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Botanic Garden > Question and Answer > Plant Species > House Plants > Dracaena Janet Craig Palm Tree

Dracaena Janet Craig Palm Tree

2016/8/3 16:10:25

Question
Janet Craig
Janet Craig
I just figured out the name of my tree. I have this beautiful Janet Craig. It has 3 shoots total. The tallest is being held up by a pole which I believe is causing damage to the shoot. It is extremely top heavy. I am absolutely terrified to cut the top off and replant? Could you provide suggestions what I can do with him. I was trying to sell for $600 or best offer but after reading about the benefits of this plant, I am considering keeping. He's just too tall for the room.

Answer
Kristina,

I do NOT recommend trying to pull the second plant out of the pot. There is nothing to be gained and much to lose. The roots of the two plants are intricately intertwined so separating them will cause much root trauma to both plants.

By now, I hope you have overcome your inhibitions and successfully pruned back the two tall stems. Do email me photos, if you can.

~Will


Hi Kristina,

Thanks for posting the photo, otherwise I would not be able to inform you that your plant is really a Dracaena massangeana (Corn Plant), a close relative of the Dracaena 'Janet Craig.' Its market value as a new plant would be under $250 and used plants are normally discounted below that. If you can really find someone to pay you $600, you could use the money to buy two more new plants of comparable size!

Your Corn Plant is very healthy and well-cared for. So kudos to you. Pruning back the upper portion will not harm the plant at all and it's quite easy to do once you overcome your fear of doing it.

In the photo, it looks like there is one or possibly two stems that are taller than the others and are approaching the ceiling. I recommend that you cut off the top two feet or so from this or these stems. New growth will emerge on those stems just below the point where you make the pruning cut. Sometime in the next year or so you will probably need to prune them back again.

You can actually prune any of the stems back to almost any height that you prefer, but I suggest limiting it to the tallest stem(s) for now.

There is no special angle to make the pruning cuts and there is no need to cover the wound after you prune. Just pick a place to cut and use pruners to do it. That's all!

The stem cuttings can be inserted in the base of the existing pot or planted in their own small pots filled with damp potting mix. Strip off the lowest 4-6 leaves before inserting the cuttings into soil.

Now that's not so difficult is it?

I have written articles on caring for Corn Plants and on pruning that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who sends a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and nomination for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Regards,
Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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