Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Corn Plant FAQ

The leaves on my Corn Plant are turning yellow / brown?

Yellowing and browning of Corn Plants can be for a variety of reasons. If you are overwatering the houseplant the foliage may yellow. Water once every week or two. Allow the soil to slightly dry out in between watering.

In regards to browning, it could be the plant is not receiving enough water or just a normal part of owning a Corn Plant. My Corn Plant will get brown tips and shed some of the lower leaves without any change in care. Seems to be part of its nature. You can also try giving your plant a daily misting. The leaves may brown on the tips if the plant is not receiving enough moisture.

I broke the top of my Corn plant off. Will new growth start?

Yes! However, a time frame is unknown. New shoots will either begin from directly below where you cut or from the root.

There are white spots on my Corn Plant. What are they?

The white spots could be one of two things. One if you are not using distilled water, the white spots could be from that. If you are using distilled water, then you may have a pest infestation. Spray the plant twice a day with a soapy dishwater mixture for a week. If the spots do not go away, then you may need to go to your local garden center and purchase a more potent pesticide.

How can I clean / shine my Corn Plants leaves?

Answer (Courtesy of Baton Rouge Gardener DA)
You can use Milk on a soft rag or sponge to clean and polish the leaves about once a month or so.


My Corn Plants are top heavy and keep falling over.

Corn Plants have very shallow roots, therefore easily tip over. Stake them up using a small stick and some string. This will help support your Corn Plant and lessen the strain on the roots.

Do Corn Plants flower?

Yes! My Corn Plant, which I’ve had for almost 10 years now has never flowered but various readers have shared information with me. You can cut the flower off if you’d like or let it fall off. Some have said the fragrance can be overwhelming at times. I’ve also been told that the flower can release a sticky substance so you may want to put a towel under the plant until its done flowering.

Can I split my Corn Plant? How do your propagate?

I have never tried taking cuttings or propagating my Corn Plant, however one reader has said that she had successfully cut off a branch from her plant and soaked in water until roots began to form. Below are a couple Website links with additional information:
Corn Plant: Dracaena
cane cuttings

Are Corn Plants poisonous?

Yes. Corn Plants are poisonous if eaten so keep away from pets and children.

The yellow / white stripe markings on the foliage are no longer there. Why?

Sometimes when plants receive too much or too little light, their markings will disappear. Adjust your light slightly to see if changes. Many times, the plant is not receiving enough light.

Read the complete Corn Plant Care post for detailed information on how to care for this houseplant.


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Anonymous Thil said...

I don't know HOW MUCH to water my corn plant weekly...I have a pot with three stalks (1, 2 and 3 ft tall). Also, the short and long stalks seem to be thriving but the middle stalk's leaves are noticably "wilted" and droopy. Any ideas?

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can the brown leaves be cut or is it preferred to leave as is? Also, how much water should be given per a 6-7 ft tall plant?

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a corn tree that was given to me from my grandmother's funeral, the same type you mentioned with three stalks in a pot. I water mine with about 16 oz. of water once a week, and it seems to be doing much better. If you can filter the water or get bottled water, it is much better. Corn trees, unlike other plants, have a very low tolerance for floride, and it can make your plant unhealthy or even kill it completely. The bottom leaves do brown and fall away naturally as the tree continues to grow, but the middle and top leaves should be healthy. Hope this helps! :)

10:10 AM  
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12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a corn plant, given to me when my Mother died eleven years ago...So this year she sent me a Christmas present....This Dec.2010..It is blooming...two beautiful white clusters..and they do smell, heavenly......I looked them up on this website, because I did not know they bloomed....I just hope I'm around for the next blooming.....

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had my corn plant for five years and it has grown double in size. Two weeks ago we noticed a long bean like sprout coming out of the top branch. It started having beautiful snall bunches of white spider like flowers that did have a very strong sweet smell that lasted 4 to 5 hours in the evenings and then it would stop smelling. Has anyone else had a plant that bloomed like my?

6:50 PM  
Blogger Mutahhar Bashir said...

Wow It is helpfull

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an old ponytail palm. Like others I neeed to repot it, but the main plant died due to cold winter last year.The top stem is rotted,I placed the potted "dead plant" in the woods and about five months ago it seems to be growing puppies out of the bulb (which is firm and in good shape). There's at least ten of them. Is it possible to separate them from the bulb and grow some of them individually?

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I received a corn plant as a gift and I noticed after a couple of days that the trunk was a bit soft. Since the plant had a very "moist smell" I decided to rip a little bit of the bark and found out a white fungus (or maybe some insect larvas?) im not quit sure... What should I do? Is it dangerous for my other plants??

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one and there is only one stalk and it is growing to the ceiling and bending. Should it be cut down some and will other stalks grow then instead of just the one?

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stalk seems to be to skinny for all the leaves and wants to fall over. Should i trim it down?

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the soil is very wet, should I replant it in a container with new soil? Does it like to be root bound in the container? Thanks for any help. It was a gift and I do not want to loose it but the leaves are really turning yellow. Can I trim the yellow off the leaves?

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My corn plant flowered this summer. The flowers have long since fallen off but the intense fragrance lingers... how can I eliminate the odor????

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a ~4 yr old corn plant that spent it's first 3 years indoors in my old house.

This spring I moved to a house with a beautiful covered back porch. I decided to move it outside into one of the corners. Whereas it had been looking a little droopy in the last 6 months, it immediate flourished, doubling it's leaf size and thickness over the hot summer. Even though it was scorching in GA this summer, it's sitting on a covered porch in shade all the time. The plant loved its location.

Now it is getting cooler and I am wondering if/when I should bring it inside? I've covered it with a light towel the couple of times we have had freeze watches and it seems to have endured well, although it is not as perky as it was this summer, but the leaves are still green sans a few brown tips.

How tolerant are corn plants to code weather? Can I leave it outside except for really hard freezes? I want to make sure my porch friend stays healthy...


9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had my corn plant since 2001. I have seperated the two stalks into two different pots. The largest grew too big for my home, gave it to my sister. The s,allest is now getting to large for my home. Is there a way to top the plant to keep it from getting any taller? Can you grow the top you cut off in another container?

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My corn plant is 36 years old.I had to completely chop it down 2x over those years. I didn't know that it should flower until reading your blots because in 36 years it hasn't flowered.suggestions?

1:31 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I have a corn plant that needs to be pruned soon. However, my plant's trunk looks different than any pictures that I can find on the web. The trunk is thinner and greener than those shown in pictures. Is there more than one variety of corn plant used as houseplant?

1:33 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

For whatever reason, two trunks started going almost mouldy-like and hallowing out, and two branches off the largest stalk went limb and the connecting part to the trunk is soft and mouldy. What should I do? What is going on?

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought a corn plant a couple days a go. the bottom leaves are turning yellow already. what is causing this.. pleas help dont want it to die

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom bought a corn plant. It had two large trunks and very nice leaves. Beautiful plant. After her passing in 2006 it was neglected. The two trunks turned soft and smelled of mold. I brought it to my home to try to save it. It slowly died. I abandond the pot outside and thought nothing more. I live in northern Alberta Canada and early spring still is very cold. Once full summer rolled around my husband noticed growth! It sprouted three little plants from the soil. I was very happy. It is 3 feet tall now and I have pruned all three sprouts twice now. My question: how do I get the trunk of the plant to thicken? They are still no larger than an inch in diameter. Starting to look a bit scraggaly... If that makes sence. Anyone is free to email me with suggestions amd tips Really enjoying this hand~me~down plant!

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of water should I use on my corn plant? Distilled or regular faucet(no soft water)water?

12:04 AM  
Blogger Shelby Coley said...

Can I separate the 2 stalks into different pots?

4:35 PM  
Blogger DJ CARLOS said...

Yes that is normal. Not all people who own corn plants have the opportunity to see it flower. I don't know the reasons for why some flower and some don't. I would like to think that it has to do with the plant being cared for very well, with optimum sunlight and a good caretaker. I would even talk to my corn plant.My corn plant grew from four feet to ten feet high. It didn't bloom for like five years. I loved to see it happen. The smell can be very strong but the beauty makes up for it. The flowers will eventually die andthe smell will go away. Then you'll still have your baby (corn plant) back. ��

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Adrienne Kerr said...

I have 4 corn plants that froze this year . They were covered but 27* for 5 hours got them. I removed the leaves from the tops and on the bottoms. I have not cut the tops of the stalks only the leave group, yet. the top of the stalk have been "milking". do I cut down further on the stalk and do I seal the stalk when I cut it or do i pitch all 4 of them. they are all 5 foot or more tall or they were that big. HELP!!!!!!!

3:04 PM  

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