Houseplants

When a Corn Plant Blooms: Miracle or Coincidence?

Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans). Photo: http://www.thechlorofeelshop.com

The following is a delightful story shared by a reader: enjoy!

My corn plant (Dracaena fragrans) is 49 years old. It was a gift to my husband when he was hospitalized for a heart attack when he was 42. He kept it in his office for many years, and always told me that he and that plant started life together. 

After the heart attack, he quit his job at that 60 hour per week pressure cooker law firm and went to a small practice. When he retired, it came home and he faithfully watered it each Friday, always telling me that this plant was keeping him alive, and that if it died, he would too. 

Corn plant in bloom. Photo: forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca

He was afflicted with dementia during his last 3 years, but was faithful to watering his plant until he had to go to an assisted living for the last year. The morning he died, I noticed a small white bud on the plant, and within 3 days there were 5 or 6 clusters of beautiful flowers with a divine fragrance. It bloomed for about 6 weeks.

The plant was then 42 years old, and had never bloomed until the day he died. Coincidence? I think not. I believe it was his way of telling me that he was fine. 

Oddly, I cut a few branches to root a couple of years later, and one of them, while rooting in water, bloomed. It bloomed the day my beloved brother died. Go figure. I choose to believe.

The original corn plant is still going strong. I keep it trimmed to about 5 feet (1.5 m): it would grow to the ceiling if I let it. It is precious to me.

Maureen Eichman

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

3 comments on “When a Corn Plant Blooms: Miracle or Coincidence?

  1. Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Wonderful time of the year to share this heartfelt story. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Miraculous coincidence.

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