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Dracaena fragrans, or corn plant, is a tropical African evergreen tree that has gained popularity as an interior plant in Europe from the middle of the 19th century and in the United States since the early 20th.
They develop gradually from thick canes or stems that generate upward-growing, long, narrow leaves that resemble corn stalks.
Because of their growth pattern and resemblance to palm trees are frequently referred to as “fake palms.” They are tall and slender, usually only growing 4 to 6 feet tall in containers, making them suitable houseplants.
Once you set up the correct growing circumstances for these plants, they don’t require much maintenance.
Although you can generally put nursery plants indoors anytime, springtime is perfect for establishing new plants.
Plants such as dracaena should be kept away from cats and dogs because dracaena is poisonous to both.
Care Tips For Corn Plant
Since corn plants are tropical plants that require climate management, home gardeners typically grow them indoors in sizable pots.
Corn plants grow best in well-lit indoor spaces shielded from direct sunshine, drafts, and vents for the air conditioner and heater. Additionally, these plants favor an atmosphere with high humidity.
Corn plants can be grown outside in the summer, provided they are placed in a protected, somewhat shaded area. Defend them against powerful winds. When the temperature drops into the 60s F, bring the plant inside.
This plant should be kept next to a window with filtered light for the best indoor environment. The leaves will lose their color variegation, and the plant’s growth may be hampered by insufficient light. The plant’s leaves may burn and wilt if exposed to direct sunlight. The plant thrives in a shadier area outside.
The ideal potting soil mixture for growing maize plants is loose and loamy. Because standing water is not helpful for plants’ roots, ensure the soil has excellent drainage.
During the growing season, keep the soil uniformly moist but not drenched (spring through fall). In the late fall and winter, lessen watering. Never let the soil to dry out, though. Plant health problems result from too wet or dry soil.
Thermodynamics and Humidity
The optimum temperature range for corn plants is 60 to 75 F. Do not subject them to 50°F or higher temperatures. Make sure to bring your corn plants inside before it gets this hot if you temporarily relocated them outside for the summer.
Keep humidity levels between 40% and 50% to simulate the plant’s natural environment. Use a humidifier or set the plant’s pot on a tray with water and pebbles to increase the humidity level. Keep the pot’s bottom away from the water. Regular misting of the foliage is another option.
Corn plants prefer rich organic soil. Throughout the growing season, use a balanced liquid fertilizer every two months, and feed lightly, if at all, during the winter.
Corn Plants Variety
The most popular variety, Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana,’ has a stripe down the middle of its leaves that is yellowish lime green.
Dracaena fragrans ‘Lindenii‘ Instead of having a stripe in the middle, this variety’s leaves have yellow edges.
Dracaena fragrans ‘Victoria’ has leaves that are smaller, wider, and almost triangular in shape. This variety is quite similar to ‘Massangeana’ and has a yellow stripe running down the middle of its leaves. It is rarely available in garden centers.
Dracaena fragrans ‘Lemon Lime’ This variation features leaves with centers that are gray-green with white-yellow stripes surrounding them.
Limelight, a cultivar of Dracaena fragrans, with lustrous, yellow-green leaves that progressively turn lime green as they develop.
The lowest leaves of the corn plant will start to turn yellow in about two to three years, which is the average lifespan of a leaf.
Remove the yellowing leaves as soon as they start to look ugly. Cut off the tops of the canes if the plant becomes too tall for the area you have available; fresh leaf buds will sprout close to the cut.
Corn Seeds Propagating
Although it’s best to propagate corn plants in the spring or summer, you may do it at any time of year provided you maintain your plants indoors in a climate-controlled space.
When this plant begins to grow taller than your room, that is a great time to start more plants. By removing the top of the original parent plant, you can create another plant.
Additionally, top pruning is a good approach to revive the plant’s leaf growth. The optimum technique of propagation is top cutting or stem cutting. This is how you do it:
- Both techniques of propagation call for the use of fresh hand pruning shears, a water jar, a container, and wet peat moss.
- If top cutting, cut the plant’s top off just below the leaf line while leaving one node on (round white bumps on the stem). If stem cutting, remove an 8-inch section of the stem.
- Leave the other half of the stem exposed and place the cut end in a transparent jar of fresh, preferably filtered water.
- Make sure it gets some sunlight and is in a warm area. Look for root growth at submerged leaf nodes and some leaf growth at leaf nodes that are at the top.
- As the water evaporates, top it off every several days. Changing the water every other week will prevent germs and algae from growing.
- Put the stem’s rooted end in a peat moss pot after the roots are over an inch long. Ensure it gets some sunlight and is in a warm place.
- You can also place a freshly cut stem cutting in some damp peat moss and wait for new leaves to appear.
- It’s likely to take root, but unlike the clear jar of water, you can’t observe the development of the roots. Rooting the stem in water increases the likelihood of successful propagation.
- To increase your chances of getting soil roots, apply a rooting hormone to the cutting end.
The Best Way to Start Corn Plants From Seeds
To improve germination, soak the seeds for three to five days in room-temperature water. In a small container of damp seed starting mix, scatter two to three seeds.
With the seed starting mixture, lightly cover the seeds. Put the pot on a warm, germination mat and wrap it in transparent plastic. Maintain a grow light or bright, indirect sunshine on the soil to keep the temperature between 68 and 80 F.
You want the soil to be just barely damp. The seeds may decay if the soil is too wet. Once you see some development, remove the plastic (this could take up to four to six weeks).
Once the seedling has two genuine leaves, place it in a 3-inch pot with potting soil.
Corn plant repotting and potting
You should repot your corn plants every two to three years into a new pot with fresh potting soil that is 2 to 3 inches larger and deeper. Remove any loose soil from around the plant when you’re ready to repot it, then carefully lift the plant from the base.
Place a few inches of new dirt at the bottom of the new container before centering the plant within, being careful not to disturb the roots.
Fresh potting soil should be placed around it, but avoid packing it down too firmly to retain the container’s drainage.
During the winter
Bring your dracaena inside when the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, if the plant is already in the ground, you can dig up the root ball and pot it provided you have a planter big enough for it.
The plant will perish if you leave it in the ground and reside in a region that is cooler than zone 10. If you take a stem cutting or cut off the plant’s top before the first frost, propagate it indoors during the winter, and then plant it again in the spring.
Keep an eye out for scale, thrips, and spider mites, which are typical issues with many houseplants.
You might also notice little insects flying around on the plant as a result of these plants, which can make leaves appear damaged and sick.
In order to maintain the plant’s appearance and prevent bugs from settling, constantly dust the leaves with a moist cloth.
What to Do to Make a Corn Plant Bloom
When growing conditions are ideal and the plant is mature (older than 5 years), Dracaena fragrans can bloom up to three times annually. However, this is not a plant that consistently blooms.
When grown as an indoor plant, the likelihood of blooming decreases. The flower stalks can reach a length of three feet and emerge from the middle of the leaf whorl.
As implied by its botanical name, it has a sweet smell while in bloom, and the blossoms have the appearance of white spike balls.
The aroma may have notes of jasmine, lilac, honey, and recently cut grass. As the sun sets every evening for almost a month, it blooms.
Each bloom fades by midday, which encourages the opening of a new bloom the following night.
Typical Issues with Corn Plants
Once you establish the proper growing conditions, including adequate water, light, and humidity, the corn plant is a simple houseplant to maintain. It also dislikes frigid temperatures, intense heat, and drafty areas. The plant will probably display some health problems if any of these factors are out for an extended amount of time.
Plants that receive insufficient water or very dry air may develop dry leaf tips and edges. To enhance humidity, add a humidifier or regularly mist the plant. I
Water the plant more frequently, but avoid letting the soil become flooded. Fluoride in the water or an excessive amount of plant food can also result in yellowing tips. To prevent leaf tip burn, use pure water.
Unexpected Leaf Loss
A sudden loss of foliage or root rot may be the result of excessive watering or poor drainage. Multiple drainage holes should be present in the plant’s pot and the soil should drain well.
Dry Spots on the Leaves
Your dracaena plant may develop circular dry patches and streaks on the leaves if you place it in direct sunlight. Make sure the plant receives less sunlight by placing it in a less sunny area.
If the plant’s bottom half starts to turn black or starts to smell bad, it probably has soft rot, a bacterial condition for which there is no cure.
The plant will begin to appear and smell rotten. The plant cannot be saved; dispose of it.
Are corn plants simple to maintain?
Once their requirements for climate, sunlight, and water are met, corn plants are simple to care for. Your plant can survive for many years if those circumstances are maintained.
How quickly does a plant grow?
The corn plant grows slowly to moderately. Its growth rate may slow down when the conditions are not ideal because they are typically difficult to nail.
What is the lifespan of corn plants?
Dracaena fragrans can live for many years in ideal circumstances.
What distinguishes sweet corn from corn plants?
The stalky crop that is grown for food, sweet corn, has absolutely nothing to do with the corn plant. Only in name are they comparable.
How poisonous is corn plant?
Dogs and cats should not be exposed to corn plant, also referred to as cornstalk plant, dracaena, dragon tree, and ribbon plant.
The harmful component present in this plant is called saponin. Ingestion of this plant may result in nausea (with or without blood), vomiting, lack of appetite, sadness, and/or increased salivation.
Is a corn plant an indoor plant?
The corn plant, or Dracaena fragrans, is a tropical African evergreen tree that has gained popularity as an indoor plant in Europe from the middle of the 19th century and in the United States since the early 20th.
They develop gradually from thick canes or stems that give rise to long, narrow leaves that resemble corn stalks and climb upward.
How often do I water a corn plant?
Moderate irrigation is required for the corn plant. When the soil is dry or once every 7 to 10 days, water deeply, touching down 1 inch into the ground. The corn plant’s canes and roots are in close proximity to one another.
Do corn plants like coffee grounds?
Additionally, apply a soil amendment that can boost the amount of nitrogen in your soil because backyard sweet corn requires a lot of this nutrient. It works great with compost, coffee grounds, or other organic fertilizer.
Last update on 2023-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API