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Plants that belong to the Dracaena genus are widely cultivated as indoor plants primarily because they are low-maintenance plants that make jaw-dropping architectural displays in every home.
One such variety is Dracaena “Janet Craig“ which is grown in homes and offices mostly as a table or a floor plant. Provide moderate light, well-draining potting medium, regular household humidity, and temperature levels that do not fall below 12 degrees C. Dracaenas are not heavy feeders so be careful with fertilizers. Watch out for mealybugs and scale insects. Water only when the soil begins to feel dry on the touch.
But that’s not all… Dracaenas help to purify indoor air (NASA). What else can you expect of a plant? Continue reading to find out how you can successfully grow Dracaena Janet Craig as a houseplant.
Dracaena Janet Craig General Information
Dracaena “Janet Craig“ belongs to the Dracaena genus, the family Asparagaceae. It is an upright shrubby plant species that originates from Africa.
It is distinguished by sword-like deep green and glossy leaves pointed at the tips. The plant can achieve a height of 2 meters and as it matures, the leaves may drop and reveal the main, slightly thicker stem.
It doesn’t normally flower in typical household conditions, yet white flowers can be seen if cultivated in tropical areas.
One cultivar of this species is “Janet Craig Compacta“ which has shorter and thicker leaves forming a rosette.
The Dracaena plant genus comprises more than 50 species famed for their bold foliage and interesting leaf coloration, commonly cultivated indoors and outdoors. Meet some of the family members:
Light Requirements for Dracaena Janet Craig Care
Like most dracaenas, this species thrives best in moderate, bright indirect light and even in a spot that receives low light. That’s one of the reasons why it is commonly cultivated indoors.
Observe the leaves of your plant as they will guide you to make changes if the plant receives inadequate light. Too much light and brown spots will appear, too little light and the leaves will be small and unnaturally pale.
Avoid direct sunlight by all means. Moreover, no artificial light is needed with this plant variety since it is tolerant of a slight shade. You can always move the plant to a brighter spot if necessary.
As for temperature, the ideal range is room temperature between 16 and 25 degrees C during the day and in the summertime.
However, keep winter and nighttime temperatures slightly lower than that, around 15 degrees C and never below 12 degrees C.
Avoid drafty hallways, windows and doors since it will damage the leaves. Besides, avoid positioning the plant close to the heaters and air conditioners.
In case you are cultivating the plant in a greenhouse, make sure to provide fans and installation systems to decrease temperature.
Regular household humidity is sufficient for the successful cultivation of this plant variety, around 30 and 40 %. This is yet another reason why this plant can thrive in any household.
Additionally, you can place a tray of pebbles next to the plant and it will benefit from this or group the plant with other leafy companions.
Dracaena Janet Craig Soil Requirements
Like most plants, Dracaena “Janet Craig” requires well-draining and fertile soil which you can amend by adding some perlite or coarse sand.
It is not picky about soil and will thrive in any, provided that these two conditions are met.
How to Repot Dracaena Janet Craig
Choose a regular round or square plastic or clay pot. You can grow one plant per pot or you can combine three mature plants that have dropped the lower leaves in a 25 cm pot for a more exotic look.
When repotting, sterilize the new pot that is one size larger than the previous one and use fresh potting mix. Water lightly and find a warm spot.
Let the plant be slightly root-bound in a smaller pot. Repot in spring.
Watering Dracaena Janet Craig
Since Dracaena “Janet Craig” does not need a lot of sun, it follows that it won’t need much watering, too.
Water only when 50% of the soil becomes dry. Water thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain out through the drainage holes. Water less frequently in winter.
Do not overwater, since wet leaves are fertile ground for fungus and bacteria and will start falling off eventually. Instead, direct the tip of the can to the soil.
Try not to use tap water since it contains fluorine, chlorine and salts that are detrimental to dracaenas. Rather, use distilled, bottled water or rainwater that is at room temperature so as not to cause the plant the unnecessary shock.
Do not pour any other beverage into the soil, such as coffee since it contains substances that will damage the plant.
Fertilizing Dracaena Janet Craig
Dracaena species are not heavy feeders and neither is this plant species. Provided that the fundamental conditions are met: moderate temperature, humidity, and sunlight, you won’t need much fertilizing.
However, the plant will benefit from the addition of good fertilizer. Avoid using chemical / synthetic ones since they contain substances that will damage the plant. This is true of all dracaenas.
Instead, opt for organic fertilizer and apply it twice a year in the spring and summer, but be careful not to overfeed the plant since it may burn the leaves.
How Do You Prune Dracaena Janet Craig?
When the plant grows taller than you want it to be, cut off the top of the stem and plant it in another pot to grow a new plant. The original plant will produce new leaves just below the cut.
It is best to prune in spring or early summer.
If you maintain good hygienic conditions of your growing space, inspect your plants regularly, sterilize your pots and tools, the chances that your plant gets visited by pests are minimal.
However, be watchful of mealybugs and scale insects which can be successfully removed by using cotton swabs dabbed in alcohol and wiping the leaves with them. Additionally, scrape scale insects with your fingernails, use insecticidal sprays or dissolve dish soap in one gallon of water to get rid of them.
How Do You propagate Dracaena Janet Craig?
Propagate Dracaena “Janet Craig “by taking stem cuttings in the following way:
- Take stem cuttings using sharp shears or a knife with at least one node
- Remove the lower leaves
- Allow the stem cutting to dry overnight before planting
- Apply rooting hormone on the cut end and dust slightly
- You can root stem cuttings in a liquid medium (water), but the preferred way is to use a solid medium (soil) mixed with perlite or ground bark
- Make sure you have memorized which it the top and the bottom cut when planting it
- Insert the cutting in moist and fine potting soil or water
- Place in indirect light
- Enclose it in a plastic bag to increase humidity
- Water if the soil becomes too dry
- The cuttings will root and develop new leaves in around four weeks
Keeping the Plant Clean
Use a damp cloth to remove dust from the leaves and some people advocate using the banana peel for additional shine and nutrients. Other than that, do not use any other products for leaf shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is “Janet Craig“ poisonous?
Yes, this plant species produces sap that is toxic to pets when ingested. So keep your pets away from it and if your pets show any symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue or a lack of appetite, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
Why does my plant have brown tips?
Your plant is receiving way too much light. What you should do is move the plant to a place where it will receive moderate light or even a slight shade. In addition, make sure you are not overfertilizing or overwatering your plant, and do not use tap water. If that’s your only option, leave tap water in an open container overnight and the harmful substances will evaporate.
Should I mist my dracaena?
Dracaena species benefit from a light occasional misting, especially if the air is dry and hot in the winter, but do not soak the leaves entirely since it will invite fungi or bacteria.
Dracaena species are extremely versatile, flexible, low-maintenance and perform well in any household conditions.
You can easily combine them with other plants and make dazzling architectural and ornamental displays that will not only look attractive but also purify the indoor air.
Choose Dracaena “Janet Craig“ or any other species and reap the benefits of having them indoors.