Houseplants forum: Dracaena fragrans Massangeana. Where did the flowers come from?

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Name: Bumplbea
Oregon (Zone 8b)
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bumplbea
May 14, 2018 9:38 PM CST
I went on vaca for three weeks. Watered all the house plants before I left and closed all the blinds. It was during July. Upon return one of the huge Dracaena fragrans plant over 10 years old had the nerve to flower when I was away. I don't have a clue how the bud was set, pollinated, temps or what any of the required conditions are for flowering ?

The fragrance after awhile had overwhelmed their welcome. A few days later the fragrance hit everyones olfactory so strong it could knock over a elephant. The poor plant had to be excumunicated from the house.

I never had one Dracaena plant flower in over 30 years . The one and only time I've seen one flower and it's never flowered since. I had no idea they even flowered at all. Very little info is on the flowers because the plant is one of the most popular houseplants and bred for the foliage. So where did the flowers come from?

Does anyone have any info on how dracaena is pollinated or set flower
buds? I am at a loss how it was pollinated in the house, mmmm maybe it was a mystery. I am very curious if any one has has similar plants that have flowered and how ? Just curious! Whistling

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Iโ€™m so busy... โ€œI donโ€™t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.โ€
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
May 14, 2018 10:03 PM CST
Sorry to hear you are having all this trouble with your plant. Yes, the age old question: Where do flowers come from? Are you using a tiny paint brush yet? Gene
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
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Frenchy21
May 14, 2018 10:31 PM CST
Those blooms are beautiful @bumplbea. Lovey dubby It would be great if you could post the pics in our plant database (if you haven't already). Smiling
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 15, 2018 7:10 AM CST
Mature Dracaenas will flower if they are kept tightly potted with their roots left undisturbed. There is nothing you can do to promote the flowers other than to keep the plant in the same location for many years. They do tend to flower in late fall/early winter and then again in late spring/early summer, so it may be related to daylength.

The flowers are more noted for their overpowering aroma than their visual beauty. A couple of weeks after the initial flowers appear, the flower petals start to dry up and fall making a rather sticky mess. If you are not thrilled with the aroma or the messiness, just cut off the entire flower spike where it emerges and discard it. That will not harm the plant.

BTW, once a Dracaena blooms the first time it will usually bloom once or twice annually thereafter as long as it is not repotted or relocated.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 15, 2018 4:11 PM CST
Pollination can only occur during blooming. It is when the pollen from a flower is received by the pistil, and then seeds form.

Well done taking such good care of your plant that it would bloom!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Bumplbea
Oregon (Zone 8b)
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bumplbea
May 15, 2018 11:04 PM CST


gasrocks, really was a surprise to see the flowers. I have not seen any since.
They are really beautiful.
No tiny paint brushes. Hee. Now I should of thought of that ...still waiting for another bloom!
Iโ€™m so busy... โ€œI donโ€™t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.โ€
Name: Bumplbea
Oregon (Zone 8b)
Flower show judge
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bumplbea
May 15, 2018 11:05 PM CST
Frenchy21

Ok will do. Thanks.
Iโ€™m so busy... โ€œI donโ€™t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.โ€
Name: Bumplbea
Oregon (Zone 8b)
Flower show judge
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bumplbea
May 15, 2018 11:19 PM CST
WillC

Yeap ...we'll see ....exactly , when it comes to this one flowering again. I appreciate your explination thank you. It all makes sence now and I had no clue . Now it's getting so huge hoping I will see a surprise bloom again soon. It's never been repotted or moved very old. Very same conditions as you described of many I have had over the years and only one bloomed.
Are there male of female plants? Could it be possible one of the other Draeceana plants in the area could have something to do with the blooms?

The mystery of the blooming Draeceana .
Iโ€™m so busy... โ€œI donโ€™t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.โ€
Name: Bumplbea
Oregon (Zone 8b)
Flower show judge
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Aquaponics Greenhouse Clematis Lilies Cut Flowers
Image
bumplbea
May 15, 2018 11:40 PM CST
Purpleinopp, hi there most of the plant had rosett leaves at the tip and the long floral stem came out from the tip . After the floral stem was removed then it formed a second growing stem for more leaf growth. Two stems at the tip.m
It's over 20 years old and this is the flowering species . No pollen or seeds.
It's a house pet by now.
Iโ€™m so busy... โ€œI donโ€™t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.โ€

wilb427
Dec 25, 2019 10:49 AM CST
My plant is over 32 years and has flowered once. The main stem is now bumping into the ceiling and I need info on how to cut and re-root this stem. Any help would be appreciated.
Brad
Southwest U.S. (Zone 7a)
MsDoe
Dec 26, 2019 8:52 AM CST
Hello Bumplbea,
Thanks for sharing your pictures, the plant looks great!
If I'm reading your post right, there seems to be some confusion about pollination. FYI, pollination is not what triggers flowering. Pollination takes place (or not) after the flowers open. If they are successfully pollinated, they will then set seeds. Some flowers will actually close and wilt once they are pollinated, as the plant puts its energy into the seeds.
From what I've read, in nature the Dracaena is pollinated by night flying insects (moths), hence the strong fragrance to attract their pollinators in the dark. The white colored flowers would also be more visible at night, think moonlight. A lot of plants that are pollinated at night have white flowers. (In Arizona, we have saguaro cactus that have creamy white flowers right on top, pollinated at night by bats!) One post mentioned that the Dracaena scent intensifies at night, wanes during the day, all the better to attract the night pollinators. Your indoor flowers were most likely never pollinated, and would have eventually died without setting seeds.
The "fragrans" in the scientific name comes from the strong fragrance.
So bottom line is that pollination of the flower results in seeds, it's not pollination that causes the flowers.
You must be taking great care of it to get the flowers, thanks again for sharing your pictures!

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Dec 26, 2019 4:09 PM CST
@wilb427 - Please post a photo of your plant and its pot so we can better advise you.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

PerfectCat
Jan 26, 2020 7:05 PM CST
Have had this Dracaena lisa have had for over 25 years and it only started blossoming in the past few years. The aroma is quite relaxing. This photo is from today. Started blossoming 3 days ago. Usually lasts for about a week.

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Plants are also intelligent at their level. Just watch their motion and their
motives for the motion.

Wish I had time for Botany - a world of wonderful life forms.
London, Ontario, CANADA (Zone 5b)
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Grma3
Jan 27, 2020 6:03 PM CST
My web search of "flowering corn plant" got me here to this forum discussion - so excited to find more info! My friends are spending the winter in Thailand, and her recent FB post was about a sort of hedge of these plants flowering along the entrance to where their home is. The pic she sent looked just like my "corn plant". I'm an avid gardener, and can't resist finding out more, so I did the web search.
My Dracaena here is inside (snow outside) and is about 14 years old, stands about 6 ft, and has 3 main stems, with 2 of them quite extensive branches. If I can figure out how to upload a pic, I will ( but that pic is 4 years old ). I will follow Bumplbea's post to see about care. I was thinking I should be up-sizing the pot, but now I'll wait to see.... Thanks for the info so far. Thank You!

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[Last edited by marypatrowcl - Jan 27, 2020 6:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jan 28, 2020 11:24 AM CST
@PerfectCat - Congratulations on your flowering Lisa. Most Dracaena species will bloom like yours but only when they are mature and have been in the same pot and environment for many years. After the first bloom, they usually bloom again once or twice per year as long as nothing in their environment changes.

I recommend cutting off the entire flower spike as soon as the flowers first start to dry up. They can make a sticky mess if left in place.

@marypatrowcl - Your Dracaena fragrans is doing fine and is already in a pot that is larger than necessary. Keep up your continued good care and don't try to improve on it!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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