27 Must-Know Dracaena “Janet Craig” Care Tips (Guide)

Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” plants

Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” is a beautiful plant that’s commonly grown in homes, offices, and in warmer outdoor landscapes. It thrives when neglected, needs minimal water, and is spectacular at surviving in moderate – and even low – light.

In this article, we’ll go over Janet Craig’s care in greater detail so you may confidently raise these attractive plants.

If you’re looking to buy a Dracaena “Janet Craig”, we’ve also found several affordable options for you to consider. Continue reading to learn about the fascinating world of this Dracaena.

What Is Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”?

The Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”, fondly known as the corn plant, or simply Dracaena “Janet Craig,” is a perennial plant that has long dark-green leaves and a cane-like stem. It’s a striking floor plant that will grow well in lower light levels.

As mentioned above, it does well when practically ignored. In fact, the main ways growers kill this plant are through overcare practices – overwatering, too much light exposure, over-fertilizing. 

The best way to love dear Janet is to give her very little TLC. She’s an independent plant, and she doesn’t need much of anything from you.

Origin And Family

Janet Craig is from the Dracaena genus, which belongs to the Agavaceae (agave) family. It is originally from the tropical areas of southeast Africa and is a variant of Dracaena warneckii. In recent years, Dracaena “Janet Craig” has become a popular indoor plant that can thrive inside most homes – assuming you don’t kill it with too much water.

And yes, if you’re thinking – wow, what a strange name for a plant – then I’m with you. Reportedly discovered by “nurseryman” Robert Craig, this Dracaena was named after his daughter, which is adorable. That said, I’m not particularly thrilled to have some person’s name attached to my plant. I grow Anthuriums and Calatheas – not Billy Bobs and Jennifers. Nonetheless, Janet Craig is what we’ve got, and it’s likely not changing anytime soon.

Air Purification Properties

In a clean air study conducted by NASA, this specific Dracaena showed the useful ability to remove specific volatile substances from the air. Specifically, in the study, Janet Craig removed 79% of benzene, 17% of the Trichloroethylene (TCE), and 48,880 micrograms of formaldehyde – which is more formaldehyde removed than any plant except the bamboo palm (74,707).

Because of this, this Dracaena is often lauded as an air purification plant, as it has the ability to remove several harmful substances from a space.

Where To Buy

Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”s prices range a bit, starting around $25-45 for smaller plants (less for Janet Craig Compacta plants!) to $75-100+ for mature or larger plants.

This Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” is available for sale on Etsy, which is one of the most common sources for buying houseplants these days. We buy more of our indoor plants here at this point.

We also have some excellent deals at Icarus Plants. Save 10% by clicking on this link.

icarus plants discount

Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” Plant Size

When grown indoors, the Dracaena “Janet Craig” grows to a height of 12-15 feet, if not pruned, and spreads to a width of 3-5 feet wide. That said, it can be shaped to fit your home as needed. It grows at a slow-to-moderate rate and thrives near a north-facing window.

How Do You Care For “Janet Craig” 

Your Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”, like any other houseplant, will thrive if properly cared for. The Janet Craig Dracaena, grows best in soil that’s relatively dry. 

You’ll only need to water your Dracaena when 1/3 to 1/2 of the soil in the pot is dry. Typically, this means you water every 10-14 days. This lovely plant needs low light or indirect light – even a few minutes in direct light can burn the leaves.

Care TypeCare Specifics
Botanical NameDracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”
Common NameJanet Craig, Janet Craig Dracaena, Janet Craig Dracaena
Plant Family Agavaceae (agave)
OriginAfrica
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapelanceolate
Leaf Colorgreen
Recommended Home Placementnear a north-facing window
Growth Rateslow-to-moderate
Lightlow light or indirect light - even a few minutes in direct light can burn the leaves
Soilloose potting mix with good drainage
When To WaterWater when 1/3 to 1/2 of the soil is dry. Typically, this means youll water every 10-14 days.
When To Fertilizetwice a year during growing season
Preferred pH6.1-6.5
Humidity Range50-80%
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include dilated pupils in cats, vomiting (sometimes bloody), depression, anorexia, and hypersalivation.
Common Pests & DiseasesSpider mites, fungus gnats, white flies, scale insects, aphids, mealybugs, brown leaf tips, powdery mildew, downy mildew, yellow leaves, root rot, dropping leaves

Care Difficulty

The Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” is easy-to-care-for. The amount of light and amount of water criteria are the most important considerations for this beauty.

How Fast Does Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ Grow

The Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” plant grows to a height of 12-15 feet, if not pruned. Their growing season is between all year round – but growth will slow in the winter.

Most Dracaena species, including the deremensis “Janet Craig”, grow slow-to-moderately.

Potting

For the potting material, most options will work fine. The main consideration is that it has at least one drainage hole, allowing excess water to drain out.

The majority of Dracaena Janet Craig plants grown for interior usage are planted in 10′′ inch pots with three plants per pot, with heights ranging from 24′′ to 32′′ inches.

Some 14′′ inch pots are also grown, with four plants per pot, and reach a height of 30′′-42′′ inches.

Dracaena plants do not like to sit in water and will get root rot without proper care.

Repotting

You’ll want to repot your Janet Craig when it becomes root bound, typically every two to three years, give or take. You should only move it to a pot that’s one size larger than its existing pot.

During a potting change, you can refresh your plant’s old soil with a new loose potting mix with good drainage to freshen up your dragon tree plant each year.

After you’ve repotted the plant, water it thoroughly.

Soil

For the Janet Craig, a loose potting mix with good drainage is a suitable choice. Use one part compost, one part perlite, and one part peat moss if you make your own. Keep in mind that deremensis “Janet Craig” prefers a relatively dry growth medium, and your soil should accommodate this.

We recommend the following potting mixes:

The loose potting mix with good drainage should also allow for proper drainage, which helps to keep root rot and other diseases at bay. This easy-to-care-for plant prefers a well-drained soil or mix.

pH

For the “Janet Craig”, you’ll need a soil pH of around 6.1-6.5, which is considered slightly acidic. In most cases, assuming you repot every two to three years, give or take, a loose potting mix with good drainage is rather similar to this, so this shouldn’t be a major worry.

A pH test can help you detect if the soil has a low pH. There are a lot of online options that we recommend for this.

In most cases, you’ll be lowering the pH for this acid-loving plant. Sulfur or aluminum sulfate can be used to lower the pH of the soil.

Water Needs

Less is more for Dracaena Janet Craig. You should only be watering when 1/3 or even 1/2 of the pot is dry. This means you’re watering about every week and a half or two. Overwatering is a common cause of root rot, which can be deadly.

The Dracaena Janet Craig plant also dislikes tap water, which can contain fluoride and chlorine.

In a perfect world, use rainwater to hydrate your plant. That said, I realize rainwater isn’t readily available for every indoor grower, so filtered water or distilled water are also good options.

You should never have soggy soil or wet soil for this plant. Again, take a chill pill on the watering. A little water goes a long way in making an attractive Dracaena plant.

As previously stated, drainage holes and suitable soil are essential for Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”. You don’t want it to sit in water for an extended amount of time.

How Much Sunlight Does A Dracaena Need?

This popular houseplant prefers low light or indirect light approximately 4-8 hours typically. But even 30 minutes in direct light can burn its leaves. 

Too much direct sunlight and you’ll see pale bleached leaves or burnt leaves. If you don’t have enough light, it’s leaves may turn pale.

Fertilizer

Dracaenas are pretty sensitive to the salts in fertilizer, meaning you shouldn’t feed your plant too much fertilizer. You only need to fertilize once or twice a year in the spring and summer using an all purpose fertilizer reduced to half strength.

Absolutely do not fertilize it in the winter when growth has slowed.

Propagating Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”

Similar to a lot of cane plants out there, stem cuttings are the most common way to propagate the Dracaena Janet Craig bush. Start by cutting a stem into 5″ (12 cm) parts. Place the cut stems on a paper towel and let them dry overnight.

At this point, it’s actually pretty easy to forget which end of the plant is up and which end is down. You might mark them, so you know to put the “down” end in the ground the following day.

You can now plant them in small pots. Roots will appear in about three weeks – as well as new leaves. Be sure to put your plant in bright indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist.

Spring and summer (warmer months during the growing season) are the best times to take stem cuttings. Increase your humidity around the plant when propagating. 

Humidity Requirements For Janet Craig

Dracaena “Janet Craig” Dracaena is a beautiful perennial that prefers average-to-high humidity– for best results, we recommend you stay between 50-70%. Remember, you’re trying to emulate the growing conditions it would experience in tropical Africa.

If you have low humidity or if you see brown edges on your plants, consider getting a humidifier or placing your plant in a space naturally higher in humidity (like a bathroom or kitchen).

Temperature

Slightly cool to warm temperatures are preferable for your Janet Craig; a range of 65-90 is perfect, meaning that average room temperatures are great for this plant.

It can survive in colder temperatures – all the way down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for short amounts of time.

Flowers

The Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” rarely  produces long white flowers indoors. For most indoor growers, this Dracaena is grown for its leaves and cane-like stem.

Toxic

Janet Craig Dracaena is toxic to dogs, humans, and cats. While usually considered non-life threatening, this plant can cause the following symptoms if ingested: dilated pupils in cats, vomiting (sometimes bloody), depression, anorexia, and hypersalivation. Always contact a vet or doctor if your pet or child has eaten part of a dracaena plant.

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

The Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” is a plant that’s resistant to several bugs and diseases. But there are several potential issues that your Dracaena could face. Below are some common ailments and possible solutions. 

Spider Mites

Unfortunately, spider mites are a widespread concern, particularly for people with Janet Craigs. The first signs of spider mite damage are tiny brown or yellow patches on the Dracaena’s leaves.

If your plant has stopped growing, that’s another sign something’s wrong. Spider mites, which are related to spiders, also spin webs, which are also visible.

Start by spraying your Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” down with water from a sink nozzle to get rid of spider mites. Horticultural oil or neem oil, or any other insecticidal oil, can help you get rid of them as well.

Downy Mildew

Pseudoperonospora cubensis is an oomycete that causes downy mildew in Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”.

Downy mildew can cause leaf drop, chlorosis, and angular lesions in your deremensis “Janet Craig”.

Fungicides are useful if used before the disease progresses to a severe stage. In terms of Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” prevention, keep fans running at night to enhance ventilation.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a common fungus that can cause powdery white patches on the diseased leaves of this lovely houseplant. The plant gets increasingly vulnerable and destroyed as the fungus spreads.

Powdery mildew prefers warmer, dryer conditions, although it also thrives in damp environments. Even though your Dracaena isn’t particularly sensitive to powdery mildew, it can still be a problem if you mist too much or use the humidifier too often.

Good air circulation, such as that provided by a fan or an air purifier, can help to keep this fungus at bay.

Scale Insects

Scale insects might appear on your Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”. The small bugs, which come in green, gray, brown, and black colors, usually stay put once they’ve latched on to a plant.

If your infestation isn’t too severe — on a single plant or part of a single plant — you can use a teaspoon of neem oil in four cups of water to help discourage fresh scale insects from attacking this beautiful houseplant. Similar to spider mites, you should take a spray bottle and vigorously spritz the plant.

While neem oil and other horticultural oils will not kill everything, they will certainly cause some damage. There are numerous insecticide sprays for Janet Craig Dracaena that are regarded safe to use to treat this.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are a common problem for Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”. If you find these tiny parasites – identified by their white “fluff” on the stems – you need to act quickly before they spread. 

Take a cotton ball and douse it in rubbing alcohol. Rub this over the Janet Craig’s lanceolate green leaves and stem to remove all the visible bugs.

Now take a teaspoon of fragrance-free dish soap and a cup of rubbing alcohol, and then mix in a spray bottle with a couple of cups of water.

Spray that on Janet Craig Dracaena twice a week until the mealybugs are gone.

Neem oil also works well as an insecticidal soap.

Brown Leaf Tips

If you see brown tips on your leaves, it’s likely a sign that you’re watering too much or too little. It could also be an indication that it’s getting too much sunlight – or that your home isn’t humid enough. Start by adjusting the amount of watering. If that doesn’t work, change the placement of your plant so that it receives less light. If that still doesn’t work, increase your humidity.

Root Rot

Root rot is an incredibly common killer for these attractive houseplants, which is caused by overwatering or inadequate drainage. To keep it at bay, maintain a strict watering schedule (less is more!), and use loose soil that promotes drainage.

The easiest strategy to avoid root rot in Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” is to carefully monitor how much water it receives. The main cause of this vexing and often fatal illness is an excess of water.

Similar Plants

We love Dracaena’s long leaves and stem. And fortunately, there are many similar plants available. Here are some of our favorites.

Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ compacta – Compacta is a Dracaena dermensis ‘Janet Craig’ slow-growing sport. The name ‘Compacta’ comes from the fact that it is smaller and more unique than most other plants in the dracaena family.

Dracaena fragrans – Also called the corn plant, fragrans is a tropical African evergreen tree. They grow slowly, from thick canes or stems that generate long, narrow leaves that shoot upward like corn stalks. This growing pattern also gives them the appearance of palm trees, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “fake palms.”

Conclusion

The Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig” is the perfect option for plant people – even if you don’t have a green bone in your body. This Dracaena, with its sword-shaped, dark green leaves, pleated-like and leathery foliage, and rich green colors, make for the perfect indoor house plant.

If you’re looking for house plants that are easy to grow, we highly recommend you start with Dracaena Janet Craig today! 

Patrick Chism

Patrick likes to pretend that urban gardening is just a hobby, but he’s actually prepping for the apocalypse. He’s a practical grower, specializing in hydroponics systems and grow lights. His dream is to one day feed his family with just the food he grows in his Chicago-based condo.

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