Jun 262016
 

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’

How to keep them thriving indoors in Melbourne!

Please Note: The information below is specific to this particular variety. For more detailed notes on the general growing conditions required for all Indoor Plants, check out our ‘Growing Indoor Plants Successfully’ factsheet.

Janet Craig is one of the work horses of the great indoors, lush deep green cascading foliage, and super tolerant of almost everything. Increasingly popular (is this possible?) due to its high rating in the 1989 NASA study for removing indoor air pollutants. Can be left to grow as tall as 3m, but generally pruned back to a smaller size. I like it because it just looks fabulous.

Watering

Allow the top 2cm to dry out in between watering. Adjust watering to suit the season. If it is too dry the leaves will tell you by drooping.

In the warmer months it tends to put on growth and needs more water. In winter allow to dry out a bit more between watering, it will need less water.

Never let it sit in water – good drainage is essential.

Light

Tolerates low light. Avoid direct light as the leaves can scorch.

Temperature and humidity

Normal house temperatures suit Janet Craig. They do appreciate humidity so misting is beneficial or alternatively, you can put the pot on small stones or blocks to keep it raised, and fill the saucer or slip pot beneath with water. The water evaporates increasing humidity, but keeping the pot raised allows the free drainage essential to a happy indoor plant.

Fertilising

Fertilise monthly with half strength liquid indoor plant fertiliser. Once a year, flush out any salts that may have accumulated by watering thoroughly and deeply with clean water.

Maintenance

The leaves collect dust, so either wipe down occasionally or take outside and hose off. General maintenance can be done anytime. Old or tatty leaves should be cut back to the stem. Any major trimming, rejuvenation pruning or repotting is best done in spring or early summer.

If it is getting too tall, cut the cane down and new growth will sprout out of the top edges.

Unlike many indoor plants, Janet Craig generally don’t mind being moved around and can benefit from trips outside where you can spray them down, wash the leaves, and flush out the potting mix.

Repotting

• Use a good quality potting mix and a pot with good drainage.
• Pat down firmly (removes air-pockets) and water in well using a weak seaweed solution.

Problems

Yellow Leaves

o Old leaves naturally turn yellow as they age, before turning brown and dying.
o Lack of fertiliser.

Mealy bugs

Spray with white or pest oil.

Spider Mite

Look for this when the air is drier – treat with natrasoap or push a confidor tablet into the potting mix.

Leaf tips turning brown

o Overwatering – reduce watering – allow to dry out more in-between watering
o Chemical burn from fertiliser accumulation – flush out the potting mix thoroughly
o Chemical burn from poor tap water – not a big problem in Melbourne.
o Root rot – commonly from overwatering.
o Dry stagnant air

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