The corn plant was a housewarming gift fifteen years ago, and truthfully I’ve never been too fond of it. A woman friend of my husband’s gave it to him, and over the years I have showered it with neglect and watered it grudgingly. A few months ago I bought a fig plant that I like much better. When it gets big enough maybe I’ll move the corn plant to a bedroom upstairs (along with the pumpkin).
Can you believe I didn’t notice these flowers? Me, who tries so hard to find overlooked nature was completely oblivious to what is indeed quite a miracle. According to Sunset’s Western Garden book, corn plants or Dracaena fragrans “almost never bloom as houseplants”. These natives of Africa thrive in frost free environments. In the neotropics the sweet smelling blooms attract hummingbirds and pollinating insects. Here in the U.S. Dracaenas are useful houseplants that tolerate infrequent watering and both low and high levels of light. The NASA Clean Air Study cites the corn plant as helpful in removing indoor pollutants such as formaldahyde, xylene, and toluene….who knew? The author of the award winning blog Plants are the Strangest People claims that very mature corn plants will bloom indoors under the proper conditions.
There’s a lesson here somewhere.