Corn husk plants are tropical plants with long, green leaves that droop gracefully downward, giving the plant an appearance similar to that of a corn stalk. The scientific name for corn plants is Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana.' Corn plants are showy, attractive plants, with foliage that features a yellow stripe down the middle. They are commonly grown as houseplants.
Corn husk plants are tropical plants and require very warm, humid climates in order to thrive. Information from the University of Florida states that Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana" should only be grown outdoors in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 10B through 11. This is limited to a small portion of southern Florida and parts of California and Hawaii. In other climates, the plant can be grown in a container and brought indoors when cold weather threatens, or grown indoors year-round as a houseplant.
Dracaena fragrans "Massangeana" needs shade in order to grow well, which is one reason it does so well as a houseplant. Bright, direct sunlight will scorch the delicate leaves of the plant. On the other hand, a total lack of light will cause the bright stripes on the leaves to fade. Expose the plant to some morning sunlight or indirect light each day for best results.
Soil and Water
Corn husk plants are tolerant of many different types of soil, according to the University of Florida, but prefer soil rich in organic matter. The soil should be well-draining, as root rot can kill these plants. Root rot is a fungal disease that occurs when the soil remains very soggy for long periods of time. Water this plant when the top few inches of soil dry out, and always empty the water catch tray of container plants immediately when the pot stops draining.
Fertilize this plant every other week during the growing season (spring through summer) with a balanced (10-10-10), water-soluble fertilizer formulated for evergreen house plants. Large, established plants may benefit from weekly feedings.
Mites and other chewing insects can be a problem on the corn plant, according to the University of Florida, but they do not threaten the life of the plant. Treat the plant with an insecticidal soap or simply rinse them off with a heavy spray of water. Leaf spot can occur if water is left sitting on the leaves for long periods of time. Water at the soil level to avoid these fungal disease.
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