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House Plants/Dracaena Janet Craig - brown spots and shriveled leaves


sick leaves
sick leaves  
Please help!  We purchased a dracaena "Janet Craig" (or that's what the label said) last week for the office, and it's developed large brown-gray spots. Leaves are beginning to shrivel. It's under a florescent light; the soil feels slightly moist (not wet). It's in a glazed clay pot over a gravel tray.

Is there anything you can suggest? Does it look diseased?

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for the photo. The blackened leaves are a result of exposure to cold temperatures. Dracaena 'Janet Craig's' are tropical plants and cannot withstand temperatures much below 60 degrees, even for short times. Probably, the cold exposure occurred during delivery.

The cold damaged leaves will not recover and should be trimmed off. If the cold exposure was brief, then the roots should be okay because they are insulated by the soil and pot. That means new growth will eventually come in and should be healthy.

I have written articles on cold damage and on Janet Craig care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

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