The Dracaena Janet Craig has been a popular houseplant for many decades. These tropical plants have surprisingly low maintenance requirements, and they can even thrive in low-light conditions, which partially explains why they are so popular.
While you may be more familiar with the larger variety, which tends to be used as a full-sized floor plant in homes and offices, the Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta, which is a much smaller version, is quickly growing in popularity.
As the name suggests, the Dracaena Compacta gets its name from the fact that it is smaller and more compact than other plants in the Dracaena family.
To help you understand why the Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta could be right for you, we are going to explain everything you need to know about this Dracaena plant. Not only will we describe why this indoor plant makes such an excellent option for inexperienced and experienced gardeners alike, we will also provide a full growing and care guide for these unique little plants!
Why Should You Choose a Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta?
Just like their larger cousin, the full-sized Dracaena Janet Craig, the Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta requires very little work. In fact, they even seem to thrive when they are neglected. Again, this is why they are so popular with beginners. It also explains why they are a common sight in office buildings, hotel lobbies, and even shopping malls.
Aside from the fact that they are relatively easy to look after, another reason why you might be inspired to grow your own Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta is the fact they have a really striking and tropical appearance.
Their attractive, sword-like leaves grow out in a dark green color and tend to have an eye-catching shine. The leaves usually grow in all directions, which gives the plant a full and healthy appearance, even when they receive relatively little attention and care. On top of that, NASA has listed the entire Dracaena Janet Craig family on its list of air-purifying plants.
So, not only does it look great and require very little attention, a Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta can actually help to pull airborne toxins out of the air in your home or office!
Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta Care Guide
Now that you know why they are such popular indoor plants, we can take a look at some basic tips you can follow to care for your Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta.
Light and Temperature Requirements
Just like the larger varieties, the Dracaena Compacta will thrive in low light conditions. With that being said, it is not overly picky, so it should be fine in any indoor location that does not receive an overabundance of direct sunlight.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to the amount of light your plant is exposed to is the fact that more light will usually mean you need to water the plant more often. This is because the sunlight intensifies evaporation from the soil, as well as increasing the rate at which the plant uses water.
For temperature requirements, your Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta should be okay as long as the room it is grown in stays somewhere between 65- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is a fairly rugged plant, so if the temperature dips, it should be OK. Just make sure you do not expose it to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can be damaging to the plant’s overall health.
As mentioned above, the Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta is a low-maintenance plant, so they actually require very little water.
In fact, the smaller varieties, like the Dracaena Compacta, prefer when the soil is allowed to dry out completely between waterings. If you are ever unsure if you should water your Dracaena Compacta, wait a few days, as it is always better to expose the plant to drought conditions than to risk overwatering. If you have waited a few days and you are still unsure if you should water the plant, you can check the soil with your finger. Once at least 50% of the soil feels dry to the touch, you can water the plant.
You should also know that fluoride, excess chlorine, and trace amounts of salt in the water can cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown. In some cases, yellow spots will also appear on the leaves. If you want to avoid this from occurring, use filtered water, or leave the water you plan to use in an open container overnight, as this will allow some of the chlorine and fluoride to evaporate.
Soil and Pot Requirements
Since it is a plant that prefers dry soil, you will want to use potting soil that is well-draining. Pre-mixed potting soils that are specifically designed for succulents will actually work quite well.
If you are using your own soil blend, consider adding peat into the mixture. You can also line the bottom of the pot with sand, as this will help with any potential moisture issues.
While it can help with moisture issues for some types of plants, you should avoid using perlite in the soil, as it contains fluoride, which, as mentioned, can damage the leaves of the Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta.
In terms of choosing the correct type of pot, make sure that you are using one that has at least one drainage hole. You should also place a saucer beneath the pot, which will make it easier to remove excess water.
They also tend to do better in smaller pots, as it keeps the roots closer together, which is better for their growth.
All types of Dracaenas require very little fertilizer. If you want your plant to look its best, you can add fertilizer to the soil once or twice per year; however, it is not necessary. Most Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta plants can get everything they need from the soil they are planted in.
If you do decide to fertilize your Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta, you should use a balanced, water-soluble houseplant food. You should also consider diluting it to about half of the recommended strength, as this will help you avoid leaf burn.