How To Get Corn Plants (Dracaena fragrans) To Bloom

Corn plants (Dracaena fragrans), also known as False palms and Happy plants, are popular indoor plants with attractive striped leaves.

They’re normally grown for their foliage but with the right care and lots of patience they may reward you with a spectacular display of fragrant white flowers.

In this article I’ll share my tips for getting indoor dracaena plants to bloom.

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Dracaena fragrans are popular indoor plants that are easy to care for.

They can easily reach 6 feet (1.8 metres) tall when grown indoors and they help to remove toxins from the air according to NASA’s clean air study. [1]

Dracaena flowers

Corn plant flowers emerge from pink colored buds into masses of white flowers that open in the evening. 

They have a highly fragrant, sweet scent that will fill your home.

The fragrance can become overwhelming after a few days so you may have to move the plant outdoors, especially if anyone in your household suffers from allergies or has a sensitive nose.

The flower stalks can range in size from a few inches in length for an indoor plant up to 3 feet (90 cm) long for a large outdoor tree.

There may be one flower spike or a few blooming at the same time.

The flowers produce their fragrance for 3 to 7 days before the flowers wither away.


When do dracaena plants bloom?

Dracaena flowering is unpredictable, especially for plants grown indoors.

Mature Dracaenas may bloom unexpectedly after 5 to 10 years of not flowering.

The most common bloom times are late fall to early winter and late spring to early summer.

Why isn’t my dracaena blooming?

Dracaenas are native to humid, tropical regions so they bloom best in conditions that mimic their natural environment.

Some common reasons your dracaena may not be flowering include:

Not enough light

Corn plants grow best in partial shade with indirect sunlight.

Finding the right spot for your indoor dracaena is essential because the leaves will burn if the sunlight is too hot but the stripes on the leaves will fade if there isn’t enough light.

Not enough water

Dracaena plants like evenly moist but not overly wet soil.

If the soil becomes waterlogged the plants are susceptible to root rot.

It’s a good idea to use rain water or filtered water when watering corn plants because they’re sensitive to fluoride and chlorine.

Give the plants a deep watering at least once a week and more often during the summer months.

You can also mist the leaves with a spray bottle on hot summer days.

Optimal temperature

Dracaenas prefer warm, humid conditions for optimal growth and flowering so they’ll do best when temperatures are between 60°F to 86°F (16°C to 30°C).

The temperature should not fall below 50°F (10°C) and the plants are not frost tolerant at all.

Indoor dracaena plants should be situated away from drafts, heaters and air conditioners.


Cutting the flowers

Dracaena flowers are attractive and highly fragrant but some people choose to cut off the flowers because the pollen and nectar from the flowers falls on the leaves making the plant look a bit messy.

Others find that the fragrance is just too strong.

When the plant is blooming it directs energy into the flowers instead of the stems and leaves so removing the flower can help the foliage to grow faster and healthier.

If you choose to let your dracaena plant bloom you’ll need to remove the spent flower when it starts to wilt.

Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the flower stalk at the base.

Don’t try to pull the flower stalk off because it will damage the plant.

Are corn plant flowers toxic?

Dracaenas are mildly toxic to humans and pets if they’re ingested and they can cause vomiting, diarrhea and increased salivation. [2]

Will repotting help corn plants to flower?

Dracaenas don’t mind being slightly root bound and some people believe that they’re more likely to bloom when the roots are confined.

If you notice roots growing out the bottom of the pot then it’s time to move the plant to a bigger pot.

Dracaena varieties

As well as the common Dracaena fragrans which has yellow striped leaves, there are some other dracaena varieties that also produce beautiful white flowers.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Warneckii’ is a popular variegated variety with green and white striped leaves.

It can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and makes an ideal spiky indoor tree. 

Dracaena fragrans ‘Lindenii’ has shiny sword-like leaves with yellow margins.

Dracaena surculosa ‘Gold Dust’ pictured below has beautiful green leaves with yellow splotches and it produces delicate white flower stalks.


So there are my tips for getting dracaena plants to bloom.

With the right care your corn plant may reward you with a beautiful fragrant flower stalk.

Has your dracaena ever bloomed? Let me know in the comments below.

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