Dracaena Fragrans (Corn Plant): Care and Growing Guide

A blooming plant species native to Africa, the Dracaena fragrans is commonly known as the corn plant. Since it can flourish in most indoor conditions, the corn plant is a popular decorative houseplant. The Dracaena fragrans grows glossy green leaves under low light or bright light. The corn plant gives itself the appearance of a small tree thanks to its wide lanceolate leaves, which form an attractive crown of arching leaves at the top of a woody stem. Dracaena fragrans is also known as the cheerful plant because it can be grown in a shaded area, bright room, or workplace with no natural light.

How to Care for Dracaena Fragrans – Overview

Grow the corn plant in loose, moist potting soil with excellent drainage to care for it. In the average humidity and temperature range of 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C), Dracena plants thrive. Every 3 weeks during the growing season, feed water to the top inch of soil that is partially dry.

USDA zones 10 and 11 are where Dracaena fragrans grows outdoors. These perennial shrubs may reach a height of 50 feet (15 meters) when fully developed. The leaves, which may be up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and broad, may be up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) thick. Corn plants grow up to 6 feet tall when they are indoors. They make excellent tall houseplants and can grow up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) tall.

Cornstalk Plants (Dracaena Fragrans) Flower

Indoor flowering of cornstalk plants (Dracaena fragrans) is rare. However, the delicate white-yellow blooms need perfect conditions indoors. Corn plants’ spiky foliage, rather than their less-than-spectacular flowers, are commonly kept by most people.

Types of Dracaena Fragrans

Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’ photos. It’s on the list of tall indoor plants, and the corn plant looks like a small tree. The Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’ (commonly known as mass cane plant) is the most popular variety of corn plant. The glossy green leaves of this cultivar have a lime green or yellow stripe running the length of its middle, and it grows well in bright light.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Lindenii’ and Dracaena reflexa ‘Variegata’ are two of the most popular cornstalk cultivars. They have bright yellowish streaks on the leaf margins. The Dracaena fragrans ‘Victoria,’ a short-stemmed corn plant with leaves that are similar to those of ‘Massangeana,’ is another attractive option. The Janet Craig, a spectacular low-light indoor plant, Dracaena fragrans ‘Lemon Lime,’ and Warneckii are some of the most popular varieties of corn plants.

How to Care for Dracaena Fragrans (Corn Plant)

Dracaena plants seem to do well with neglect, but they need some treatment in order to thrive. Watering corn plants properly and getting the lighting right are the most important aspects to consider when caring for them. For more care instructions for your spiky houseplant, keep reading.

Light Requirements Growing Dracaena Fragrans Indoors

Dracaena fragrans ‘Limelight’ (left) and ‘Lemon Lime’ (right) are two varieties of Dracaena that prefer bright conditions in your home. The variegated forms of several Dracaena require bright, indirect sunlight, despite the fact that many Dracaena cultivars are low-light houseplants. Corn plants also grow faster in a sunny location, which you may notice.

An east-facing windowsill is home to variegated Dracaena fragrans species. The sun isn’t strong enough to harm the leaves until quite early in the morning. Keep the plant a few feet away from the window in a room facing south or west. Dark-green foliage Dracaena cultivars perform best in north-facing rooms or offices, where they are exposed to artificial light.

The growth rate of a plant can be slowed by lighting conditions. The naturally sluggish development of the plant, for example, may nearly come to a halt when it is growing in full shade. Some species’ foliage may also fade due to its brightness. The leaves will turn colors and wilt if they are grown in direct sun for too long.

The Best Soil for Dracaena Fragrans

Dracaena plants (left and center) need loose, well-draining potting soil, whereas Dracaena plants (right) require loose, well-draining potting soil. Dracaena species are tolerant of damp soil, but they can’t stand it. Mixing potting soil, peat moss, and perlite together can create the ideal potting medium.

Water should flow freely through the appropriate potting soil. Perlite allows for better aeration and drainage by adding to the soil. The growing medium gets essential nutrients from the peat moss in loamy soil, while still retaining enough moisture. Moisture problems can lead to root rot, and this type of soil helps to prevent them.

How can you tell if your corn plant potting soil is suitable? Water collects on the surface of a potting medium that is too packed. In heavy soils, water drainage isn’t as rapid as it should be, which you may notice. Soil drainage may be improved by using two methods:

  1. To make a looser growing medium that permits water to drain freely, add perlite or pumice to the potting soil.
  2. To prevent the corn plant from becoming root-bound, transfer it to a larger container.

How to Water Dracaena Fragrans

Should you water cornstalk plants more often if they have variegated leaves? Water Dracaena fragrans dries out as much as the top 1″ to 2″ (2.5 – 5 cm) of soil, on average. When the earth is partly dry, watering prevents moisture issues in the pot. You make sure that the roots are kept damp all of the time.

Soaking the soil thoroughly and allowing excess water to drain is the best way to water corn plants. It’s preferable to let water sit in a jar for 24 hours before watering. This useful watering trick helps make chemicals in tap water disappear, resulting in less strain for your plants.

Also, for hydrating tropical indoor potted plants, room-temperature water is preferable to ice-cold tap water. If you want your Dracaena fragrans to survive, never water on a regular basis. Corn plants only need watering when the soil is partially dry, similar to most houseplants. Before watering, it’s always a good idea to check the soil’s moisture level.

Temperature Requirements When Growing Dracaena Fragrans as a Houseplant

Corn plants prefer temperatures of 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C) in the average room. To avoid sudden changes in temperature, it is critical to maintain the temperature as consistent as possible. Plants may be stressed and their growth may be harmed by fluctuations in temperature. Plants should be avoided from cold drafts and hot radiators.

As long as the average temperature is above 60°F (15°C), Dracaena fragrans grows outdoors. In the summer, you may bring potted corn plants outside if you reside in temperate zones. Provide plenty of bright, but shaded, sunlight to the plants. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), bring them inside.

How Much Humidity Does Dracaena Fragrans (Corn Plant) Need?

Aim for humidity levels between 40 and 50 percent for Dracaena fragrans ‘Lemon Lime’ plants to thrive. As a result, in typical room humidity, corn plants should flourish. You should increase air moisture levels because brown tips on the leaves. Mist or wipe the leaves once a week to keep the plants healthy.

Keeping the air moist in winter is one of the obstacles when cultivating Dracaena indoors. The air in a home is typically dried out by heating. Corn plants can also suffer from a lack of moisture because they need less watering in the winter. As a result, pay attention to winter humidity levels. For Dracaenas, there are a few ways to boost humidity:

  • Misting—Use distilled or filtered water to fill a spray bottle. Without spraying directly on the leaves, create a fine mist around them. For the best results, Mist should be used once a week.
  • Humidifying tray—Fill a big dish with pebbles and then put in a humidifying tray. Fill the vessel halfway up with water, covering the pebbles. Make sure the bottom of the pot isn’t in touch with the water before placing the corn plant container on the stones.
  • Wipe the leaves—Wipe the corn plant leaves with a damp cloth once a week. At the same time, the moisture helps to weten the leaves and clean them of dust.

Dracaena Fragrans Flowers

Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’ has beautiful flowers that may bloom indoors occasionally. The blooms emerge from a long panicle with white-pink buds that grows on a branching stem. In the evening, these buds blossom and emit a strong fragrance. Several plant cultivators, on the other hand, cut blooming stalks off to concentrate development in the main plant.

Corn Plant (Dracaena Fragrans) Growth Rate

Even under ideal circumstances, all varieties of Dracaena fragrans have a sluggish growing rate. Corn plants, which grow at a leisurely pace, make a magnificent indoor plant that doesn’t get too big. Light is the most important element that influences Dracaena’s development; plenty of indirect bright light promotes optimum development.

Fertilizer Needs for Dracaena Fragrans to Thrive

Corn plants don’t need much fertilizer because to their slow growth rate. Dracaena fragrans ‘lemon lime’ Organic soil provides nutrients in abundance, and it grows well in organically rich soil. Monthly usage of a balanced liquid fertilizer may increase growth. During the growing months, you should only feed the plant. In the winter, don’t feed.

It is critical to keep fertilizer salts from accumulating in the potting mix. Yellow leaves or brown leaf tips caused by excessive fertilizer can be a watering mistake that is mistaken for a problem. One technique to minimize the accumulation of minerals is to flush the soil. Flushing the potting mix involves following these steps:

  • Bring the bath or outdoors for the corn plant.
  • Soil should be thoroughly drenched by gently running water through it.
  • Let the water run for two to three minutes.
  • Before placing the plant back in its preferred spot, allow all of the water to drain completely.
  • During the growing season, repeat the flushing every two or three weeks.

Dracaena Fragrans Propagation

Dracaena fragrans can be propagated through stem cuttings. As most of the foliage develops at the tip of the stalk, cornstalk plants develop a tree-like appearance over time. Cutting the woody stem into three pieces is a good way to propagate a Dracaena plant. The top, root, and center sections will be included in your crown.

Next, cut off the top of the stem, leaving around 5 inches (12 cm). Plant the freshly severed stem in a new, sterile potting soil. Second, about half of the remaining stem’s length should be cut off with the root system. At the cut section, new growth will emerge, eventually forming a spiky crown of foliage.

Third, you may propagate a new corn plant by using the middle section of the stalk. Allow the severed stem to dry for a few days. Then plant the stem in a new potting soil, ensuring that the plant is developing in the same manner as it did previously. To aid the propagated stem in taking root, keep the soil warm and moist.

Pruning Dracaena Corn Plants

To encourage corn growth and a bushy appearance, it’s not necessary to prune the plants. As the plant develops and matures, the lower leaves naturally turn yellow and fall off. You may trim the stem back following the propagation technique above if the corn plant begins to grow too tall.

How to Repot a Corn Plant (Dracaena Fragrans)

Every two to three years, you may need to move a corn plant to a bigger container because of the variegated leaves of Dracaena fragrans cultivars. Dracaena fragrans species are tolerant of being rootbound to some extent. Roots overflowing the pot, on the other hand, will limit the plant’s development. Pick a container one or two sizes bigger than the current one to repot a Dracaenas species. This is how to repot any kind of Dracaena fragrans:

  1. To extract the root ball from the pot, pull on the thick stem.
  2. Run the roots under water to clean them off if there is too much dirt.
  3. Trim the roots as needed if they are rotting or decaying.
  4. Fill a bigger container with the appropriate potting soil.
  5. Fill in the remaining space in the pot with soil and place the plant inside.
  6. Place in a bright location, preferably out of the sun, and thoroughly water.

Pests Affecting Dracaena Fragrans Growth

Corn plants may be plagued by thrips, scale, and spider mites. ‘Massangeana’ Dracaena fragrans leaves are yellow or lime green on the middle and darker green on the sides. It’s important to eliminate houseplant pests as soon as feasible. Otherwise, your plant may die as a result of the infestation. Wipe the leaves with insecticidal soap or use a neem oil solution to treat signs of plant bugs if you notice them.

Common Dracaena Fragrans Plant Diseases

Overwatering is the most common cause of disease in corn plants. Fungal or bacterial infections may arise on plant roots that sit in waterlogged or overly moist soil. Soggy stems, leaf browning, and eventual death can all result from these problems. Only water your plant when the soil is somewhat dry to avoid doing irreversible damage. Mold issues on plant soil may also be caused by overwatering. White plant mold, although being innocuous, may detract from the plant’s appearance.

Is Dracaena Fragrans (Corn Plant) Toxic?

Poisons found in Dracaena fragrans plants may harm pets, such as cats and dogs. Cornstalk plants (Dracaena) contain poisonous chemical substances called saponins, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASCPA). These may induce vomiting in cats, dogs, and horses if consumed.

FAQs About Growing Dracaena Fragrans (Corn Plant) Indoors

Can Dracaena Fragrans Plants Help Clean Indoor Air?

Many varieties of corn plants, according to NASA research, have the potential to filter harmful pollutants from the air. Dracaena massangeana, Dracaena marginata, and Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’ were among the clean-air plants identified in NASA’s investigation. These plants may remove indoor pollutants like toluene, formaldehyde, and xylene.

How to save a dying Dracaena Fragrans

It’s critical to uncover the root cause if your corn plant appears to be dying. The most typical reason for slow development is overwatering or pest concerns, since this plant is typically easy to care for. If excess moisture has caused fungal diseases, try repotting Dracaena fragrans in a fresh potting mix to help revive it.

Why are corn plant (Dracaena fragrans) leaves turning yellow?

Overwatering is often to blame when the leaves lose their green color and turn pale yellow. Weak, limp leaves and a soft, mushy stem are common symptoms of too much soil moisture. Hold off watering until the top 2″ (5 cm) of soil dries completely to avoid wasting your plant.

Why have leaves on my Dracaena fragrans got brown tips?

Due to a lack of water or humidity, brown tips appear on the pointed green Dracaena leaves. When the ground is half dry, make sure to water your corn plant as often as required. Try to increase humidity by misting the plant every other day if the soil is still moist and you still get brown tips.

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