Indoor Corn Plant Care

Dracaena fragrans House Plant

Indoor corn plant care instructions. Care for Dracaena fragrans. Pruning a Dracaena palm house plant.  What, when, and how much to feed it. Propagation and problem solving advice.

Dracaena fragrans is called the indoor corn plant because its leaves closely resemble those of the world’s most popular grain. They are green, 4-5 inches wide and can grow to a length of 18 inches. In bright light, a lengthwise yellow stripe will appear in the center of each leaf.

These attractive leaves grow from a stout cane which can become as thick as an adult’s forearm.

The woody cane is a pretty light tan color.

When planted in the ground in frost-free areas, the corn plant will eventually reach a height of 6 feet or more. At this stage it will bloom.

The flower stalks come out of the plant’s growing tip and can reach 3 feet long. They arch down from the top of the plant and mingle with the leaves.

The purple flowers are very fragrant. This is why this Dracaena was given the name fragrans.

Growing Dracaena fragrans as a House Plant

This plant is normally grown in a pot by those of us who live where it freezes.

It makes an excellent house plant because it likes light but will not tolerate direct sun. Just a few hours of strong sunlight is enough to burn them badly. You can easily tell if your corn plant is not getting enough light. The yellow stripes in the leaves will disappear.

Indoor Corn Plant Care

Indoor corn plant care is simple but this plant does have specific light and water needs.

Unlike most houseplants, D. fragrans needs to be protected from intense sunlight. Exposure to direst sun can cause leaf burn so bad you will think your plant is dead.

As long a s the plant has been watered regularly, the canes will still be alive.

If this happens, move the plant into the shade immediately. The burnt leaves will not recover. You can wait for them to fall or trim them off.

With good care your corn plant will sprout new foliage in a matter of weeks.

Feed your Dracaena plant every three months year round. Use a liquid fertilizer or a slow-release granular. Cut the amount by half in the winter months.

Water only when the soil approaches dryness. You can tell if the soil is too wet or too dry because the leaves will fall. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

This tropical African Dracaena house plant does not like cold weather. A summer vacation on a shady porch will refresh it, but be sure to bring it back indoors before temperatures fall into the 40s F.

It is rare for an indoor corn plant to bloom.

Propagation of Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’

Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’

The part of the cane you cut off can be rooted by planting it in a pot of soil.

Keep it barely moist and shaded until you see new leaves growing. This may take a couple of months.

Then move it into brighter light.

How to Prune a Corn Plant

Old, ratty-looking leaves can be removed at any time. If your corn plant Dracaena gets too tall, saw the main cane off at the desired height. It will sprout new leaves.

Common Problems with Dracaena Plants

The two most frequent problems people have growing a Dracaena palm both involve light levels.

If your indoor corn plant’s leaves bleach or burn, move it away from the window or hang sheers to filter the light. It is getting too much sun.

If the leaves turn a dark, solid green and lose the yellow stripe down the center, place the pot closer to the window. It is not getting enough light.

If the leaf tips turn brown, trim them off with scissors. One of three things is wrong with your indoor corn plant care:

  1. You’re not watering the plant often enough and the soil is drying out.
  2. There is something in your tap water that the corn plant does not like. Use rain water or distilled water.
  3. Too much fertilizer is building up in the soil. Flush the pot with clear water and feed less frequently.

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