The Janet Craig Carmen will survive in low light, but thrives in moderate- and high-light spaces. If you can get it in good light, you can get it and (nearly) forget it. Here are some tips to keep it growing:
Watering – Like other members of the Dracaena family, it prefers its rootzone on the dry side; so make sure the soil dries out between waterings. See our watering guide for more information.
Light – It’s a Dracaena, with large green leaves for capturing the slightest bit of light, and likely our most low-light plant offering. It will, however, do better and last longer with at least moderate light. If you selected a plant with more variegation, like a Carmen or Lime Light, it will require a little more light than the all-green-leaf Janet Craig, which obviously has a bit more chlorophyll for photosynthesis. Like other shade-grown foliage plants, do not expose this plant to direct sunlight or it will burn the leaves very quickly.
Nutrition – The Janet Craig will not need to be fed during the first 6 months after it has shipped. During this time, it will use the residual nutrients from nursery production. After 6 months, it can be fed quarterly with a complete fertilizer formulated for interior plants. Please refer to our nutrient guide for details.
Cleaning – This plant, with its long, strap-like leaves, is easy to clean – that that’s a good thing since those large leaves tend to attract some dust. Simply wiping the leaves with a wet cloth usually does the trick. For spots where something else (besides dust) has landed on your plant, use a mild soapy solution to wet the cloth; then wipe. This will restore the luster to your plant.
Pruning – Don’t. Unless your plant is not meeting the dimensions of its intended space, you will not need to prune this plant. Older leaves, though, may yellow, and they can be pruned or snapped off. Brown tips can be trimmed off to the contour of the leaf. See our pruning guide for details.
Bugs – The biggest threat for the Janet Craig is Mealybugs and they can be pesky – so, keep it clean. Look for the little white cottony bugs at the base of the leaves. If you see them, break out the spray bottle with a light soap solution and spray them daily ’til they’re gone.
Trouble – Aside from the mealybug threat, minor leaf spots and old age will be your biggest worry with the Janet Craig.
- Leaf spots – Spots on the leaves may be a natural imperfection from production. If your new Lisa has a few spots, don’t sweat it – it’s Mother Nature’s way of letting you know it’s a real, live plant. Over time, leaf spots, especially on the margins, can develop from a build-up of fluoride in the leaves from water sources treated with fluoride – like almost everywhere that water comes from a treatment plant. If you can water with rain water from your garden, have at it; otherwise, be on the lookout for discolored margins over a very long period of time. When older leaves become unsightly, just remove them.
- Yellow and brown leaves – Old leaves may turn yellow and begin to brown. These should be removed.