Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) is an easy-to-grow houseplant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions. It will live in low light or full sun conditions. Similar to other Dracaena plants, it is also known to be an air purifying plant because it is very effective in removing air pollutants from the air. Your Corn Plant is a very popular houseplant with attractive glossy leaves reminiscent of corn leaves. Do know that it is toxic to humans and pets. Here are tips on how to care for your Corn Plant indoors.
10 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”)
1. Your Corn Plant Can Tolerate Low Light and Full Sun
Corn Plant is happiest in bright, filtered light. It does well in an East facing or West facing window with a half day of sun. Avoid direct sunlight, it will burn the leaves of your Corn Plant. Your Corn Plant is not very sensitive to light conditions because it can tolerate low light and full sun. You can place it in a north-facing window or a south-facing window, but know that it will not grow as well in low light and intense light. Your Dracaena fragrans are happiest with a half day of sun (east or west windows).
2. Moderate Water is Best for Your Corn Plant
Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana” has moderate water requirements. Water your Corn Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Corn Plant is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your Corn Plant.
3. Get the Soil Right for Your Corn Plant
Your Corn Plant needs a well-draining, organic all-purpose potting mix.
4. Fertilize Your Corn Plant
Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana” should be fertilized twice a year- once during early Spring and once in June.
5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Corn Plant
Repot your Corn Plant when it outgrows its current pot. Repot your Corn Plant in a container with a diameter 2 inches larger than the current pot. Dracaena fragrans is a slow-growing plant so don’t plant it in a container that is too big.
6. Drainage is Essential for Your Corn Plant
Good drainage is important, you don’t want your Corn Plant to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your Corn Plant and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Corn Plant’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Corn Plant
Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana” needs to have a daytime temperature of 65F to 75 Fahrenheit (18-24C). The nighttime temperature should be at 55-65 Fahrenheit (13-18 C).
8. Keep Your Corn Plant Dust Free
Dust accumulates on your Corn Plant leaves over time. The layer of dust decreases the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Periodically wiping down the leaves of your Corn Plant with a damp cloth will help keep your plant healthy. You can also use a duster or dry duster cloth to wipe off the layer of dust on leaves. Avoid using leaf-shining chemicals on your Corn Plant.
9. Humidity is Vital for Your Corn Plant
Your Corn Plant is a houseplant that grows best in a moderate humid setting. You should increase indoor humidity. Mist your Corn Plant twice a week.
Another way to increase humidity is to keep your Corn Plant in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Corn Plant is not sitting directly on the water.
10. Corn Plant is an Air Purifying Plant
Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana” is an air purifying plant. It will clean the air by removing air pollutants such as trichloroethylene (TCE), Formaldehyde, and Benzene. Similar to other Dracaena plants, in a NASA research study, Corn Plant is effective in removing trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and formaldehyde. In fact, the NASA research study showed that Dracaena Massangeana effectively removed 70% of formaldehyde in the air, 21.4% of benzene in the air and 12.5% of trichloroethylene in the air.
3 Common Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) Problems
The common problems for Corn Plant are root rot, brown leaf tips, and mealybugs.
Why is there Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems of your Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”)?
Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the leaves and stems of your Corn Plant.
Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”. It is a common houseplant disease.
Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on your Corn Plant, wash your plant with water. You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.
Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
Why does your Corn Plant Look Wilted even if the Soil is Wet?
Problem: Your Corn Plant looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Corn Plant plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot.
Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Corn Plant. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage.
Solution: When your Corn Plant is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Corn Plant out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Corn Plant and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.
Why is the Tip of Leaves of Your Corn Plant Turning Brown?
Problem: The tips of the leaves of your Corn Plant plant are turning brown.
Cause: When the tips of the leaves of your Corn Plant turn brown that is a result of not enough water or humidity. The tips of the leaves are turning brown because they are dying.
Solution: Water your Corn Plant and increase humidity by watering your Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”. Another reason for the brown leaf tips is the tap water you use may have too many chemicals. Try watering with distilled water or rainwater to see if that resolves the issue.
Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) Houseplant Facts
|Scientific Name||Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”|
|Light||Bright Indirect Light. Can Tolerate Low Light.|
|Daytime Temperature||65 to 75F (18-24C)|
|Night Time Temperature||55-65F (13-18C)|
|Potting||Well-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix|
|Fertilizer||Apply once during early Spring and apply once in June.|
|Air Purifying Plant||Removes trichloroethylene (TCE), Formaldehyde, and Benzene.|
|Toxic to Pets and Humans||Toxic|
Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”): Frequently Asked Questions
What are Other Common Names of Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”)?
Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) is also called Cornstalk Dracaena, Dracaena, Corn Cane, Cornstalk Plant, and Mass Cane.
Is Your Corn Plant Toxic to Pets?
Corn Plants are toxic to humans and pets (source: ASPCA). Don’t let children or pets chew on the leaves of the Corn Plant plant because it contains saponins. Saponins have been used as fish poison! It can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. It will cause dilated pupils in cats. If you see any of these symptoms and suspect ingestion of Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana” call poison control immediately! Also, call your doctor or vet once you start seeing adverse reactions in children and pets.
How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”)?
Water your Corn Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Corn Plant.
Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”)?
Corn Plant can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Corn Plant. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Corn Plant. Corn Plant prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold.
When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.
Your Corn Plant can be sensitive to the minerals in tap water, so if you see brown tips on its leaves, you may need to switch to watering your Corn Plant with distilled water or rainwater.
What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”)?
Use liquid or powder, organic fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen on your Corn Plant.
How Do You Propagate Your Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”)?
Your Corn Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your Corn Plant by stem tip cutting.
Below are steps on how to propagate Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) by stem tip cutting:
1. Take a Stem Tip Cutting of Your Corn Plant (include a node)
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
2. Place Your Corn Plant Stem in a Jar of Water
Place the Corn Plant stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of Corn Plant will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
3. Plant Stem Cutting in New Pot
Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
4. Place New Corn Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun
Place your new Corn Plant plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.
You May Also Be Interested In:
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Best Houseplants for Beginners (Easy to Grow, Impossible to Kill Houseplants)
11 Best Air Purifying Houseplants
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