When a Corn Plant Blooms: Miracle or Coincidence?

Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans). Photo:

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:

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

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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

  1. Miraculous coincidence.

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

  3. Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it.

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