How to Care for Corn Plants

Overview

The corn plant (Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana') is a low-maintenance houseplant that grows in a tree-like form. Corn plants have thick, woody, cane-like stems and large, dark-green leaves. The leaves have a wide yellowish-cream colored stripe down the center and can grow up to 24 inches long and 4 inches wide. Native to tropical East Africa, the corn plant is extremely easy to grow and care for, thriving in normal indoor temperatures and conditions. Due to its preference for low light and only limited water and fertilization needs, the corn plant makes for an ideal houseplant.

Step 1

Pot your corn plant in a heavy container with drainage holes in the bottom that is only 2 or 3 inches larger than the diameter of the roots. The corn plant likes to be slightly root-bound in its pot.

Step 2

Grow your corn plant in a well-draining, all-purpose potting mix. Position the corn plant in low light or bright, indirect sunlight.

Step 3

Maintain normal indoor air temperatures around the corn plants, about 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit but no cooler than 55 degrees. Keep the plant away from drafts, heating or air-conditioning vents and direct sunlight.

Step 4

Water your corn plants two or three times each week from spring until fall to keep the soil evenly moist. If you have several canes growing in a single pot, check the soil around each cane because they'll each have different rates of water usage.

Step 5

Feed your corn plants once each month from spring until fall with a liquid 10-10-10 NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) fertilizer at half the regular dosage rate. Apply the fertilizer when watering the corn plants.

Step 6

Repot the corn plant once every three years in the springtime. Repot the plant only when the roots have filled the container.

Step 7

Prune out the new growth in the center of the corn plants to maintain their height and shape. You can also cut back the cane in spring or early summer to maintain any desired height.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't overwater your corn plants, because this will cause the tips of the leaves to turn yellow, the new growth to develop spots and the roots to rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy container
  • All-purpose potting soil
  • Liquid 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • Guide to Houseplants: Indoor Corn Plant Care Tips

Who Can Help

  • Evergrowing.com: Corn Plant / Fragrans
  • Calyx Flowers: Corn Plant
Keywords: corn plant care, grow Dracaena fragrans Massangeana, corn plant houseplants

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.