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Publication #FPS184

Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana' Corn Plant, Fragrant Dracaena1

Edward F. Gilman2


The upright, multiple, unbranched stems of corn plant, with rosettes of arching, broad evergreen leaves have a wide, central yellow stripe, and form a heavy but graceful tropical clump, suitable for low-maintenance container culture or specimen planting. Mass plant on two-foot centers for a coarse textured, clumping effect. Extremely fragrant flowers are occasionally produced and open during the night.

General Information

Scientific name: Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana'
Pronunciation: druh-SEE-nuh FRAY-granz
Common name(s): corn plant, fragrant dracaena
Family: Agavaceae
Plant type: shrub
USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Fig. 1)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: mass planting; specimen; container or above-ground planter; suitable for growing indoors; accent
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Figure 1. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Height: 5 to 15 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Plant habit: upright
Plant density: open
Growth rate: slow
Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: spiral
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: undulate
Leaf shape: linear
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: fragrant
Leaf blade length: 18 to 36 inches
Leaf color: variegated
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: white
Flower characteristic: pleasant fragrance; flowers periodically throughout the year


Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: less than .5 inch
Fruit cover: fleshy
Fruit color: unknown
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: showy; can be trained to grow with a short, single trunk; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems
Current year stem/twig color: not applicable
Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable


Light requirement: plant grows in the shade
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; acidic; slightly alkaline; loam
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: poor
Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches


Roots: usually not a problem
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Corn plant requires shade and is tolerant of drought and a wide variety of soil types, though preferring an organic soil. Do not overwater as root rot can cause plant death. The cane of the corn plant is usually cut into various lengths and rooted into a container in the nursery. Two to several stems grow from the top of the cane cutting, creating a multiple head of foliage. Individual leaves can last several years on the corn plant.

Propagation is by tip cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

Mites, thrips, and chewing insects are a problem.

Corn plants are sensitive to leaf spot diseases and root rot.



This document is FPS184, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.