How to Grow Dracena Fragrans (Corn Plants)
- This article was last updated on 12/27/2017
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If you want to grow Dracena fragrans, also known as Corn Plant, you need to know what kind of growing conditions it needs to thrive. A great thing about this plant is that it can be very hardy once it is properly acclimated, so you won’t have to worry too much about it. However, in order to take a good care of your Dracena fragrans plant, you need to know what kind of growing conditions it prefers.
There are many different ways to grow Dracena fragrans plants. The most common ones include growing them as single tip cuttings or multiple tip cuttings; many choose to grow them as single canes or s multiple canes of different lengths. It is also possible to grow Corn plants as single-branched or tree-like canes with multiple heads.
As you can see, there is a great variety in which you can grow your Dracena fragrans plant indoors. The form in which the plant is grown will partially depend on the form you’ve bought from the nursery.
Keep in mind that most of the potted Dracena fragrans plants that you can find in garden centers or nurseries are sold as staggered canes or in a bush form. If they are sold in canes, the canes are typically of varying lengths and each cane has multiple heads.
It is also not unusual to get a plant with three or more canes of different length, all planted in the same pot.
Typically, a Corn plant comes in a 10 inch pot and has canes that are between 2 and 4 feet in length. Of course, not all Dracena fragrans plants that you can find in garden centers will be like this, but it’s the most common form.
Since many of these plants already come with canes of different lengths, they give you an excellent opportunity to have a tall indoor plant without much trouble. Keep in mind that each cane will typically have a new head or multiple heads of foliage, which gives the plant a rich and lush appearance.
Sometimes, you will find stock plants that are harvested and planted in containers. These will produce multiple heads, which gives a very striking effect. Such branches canes are often grown in stock farms in Central America and the Caribbean. These branched canes are then assembled to make very attractive large-container plants.
Typically, Corn Plants grow straight and upright. This is why they are so commonly used to decorate corners of the rooms. If you plant it in a decorative container it will make a very eye-catching detail in any room.
Alternatively, you may choose to grow Dracena fragrans in landscapes outdoors. There, they produce very tall specimens. If you live in a tropical climate, you may use single-cane pieces of Corn Plants to make a living fence.
One great thing about Dracena fragrans is that it has very minimal light requirements. All it needs is 75 foot candles for 8 to 12 hours per day. This is very little so they can thrive even when there is not much light.
Natural light seems to suit Corn Plants the best. It is also the one that gives Massangeana the best colors. Natural light will bring out the yellow stripes in Massangeana plants to full color.
Since Corn Plants do not require much light, they can thrive in a north-facing window. It is important to make sure that the plants are not exposed to too much western sunlight during the summer months. If this happens, the leaves can become burned or bleached. This is why a west-facing window might not be the best for these plants.
In case you need to position your Corn Plant under intense light, make sure that it is minimal and that the light is filtered. For example, using a curtain to filter the light works great and will protect your plant.
Keep in mind that too low light will also make Dracena Massangeana lose some of the bright stripping.
It is important to be ready to changes when your Corn Plant gets older. Keep in mind that very old plants that have spent the majority of their time indoors, typically have striping that has faded. Do not be surprised if this happens to your plant over time.
Also, old Corn Plants that are kept indoors generally have long and stretched leaves. They are thin, with very little variegation. This is generally not dangerous but it may look unattractive. If this happens, simply cut the plant back to the desired height and the new buds will form. It is also important to remember that tip cuttings can be rooted easily.
It is not uncommon for Corn Plant indoors to accumulate dust on the upper surfaces of their leaves. This is why you should regularly clean their leaves and perform dusting on them to keep them bright and healthy.
It is important to water your Dracena fragrans properly. The soil should be thoroughly soaked and drained off any excess water. Make sure that the soil stays moderately dry between waterings.
When watering your plants, you may userainwater. This is an excellent choice for Corn Plants.
Many people choose to use sub-irrigation for watering of their Dracena fragrans plants. Another good idea is to simply submerge the plant in a 5 gallon bucket. Do it until no air bubbles are rising. After this, make sure to drain off all the excess water fully.
Dracena fragrans plants generally thrive when the relative humidity is 40% or more, so keep this in mind.
Dracena fragrans plants thrive when the temperatures are above 55 degrees F. Do not keep your Corn Plants on temperatures under 40 degrees F. It is particularly dangerous is the weather is windy.
Injuries from cold can happen anytime when the temperatures are between 35 and 50degrees F. A lot will depend on the amount of the wind present. Cold injuries typically manifest as light gray or brown leaf margins.
Keep in mind that the cold injuries do not automatically mean that the plant would die. Cold injuries will show up very quickly but it doesn’t mean that it cannot recover. You should always give your Corn Plant better conditions and allow it to recover before you trim its leaves.
Remember, trimming is a sensitive job because you can always cut a lot more foliage than necessary or you may not cut enough. This is why it’s best to allow all damage to show up before you start trimming. Generally, it is best to allow about 2 weeks for your plant to develop signs of cold injuries before you start trimming.
As you can see, Dracena fragrans plants can be damaged from both the heat and cold. It is therefore important to protect your Dracena fragrans plants from wind and cold, as well as too much heat.
It is generally advised not to fertilize your Dracena fragrans plants that are grown indoors. Keep in mind that these plants are very sensitive to accumulation of fluoride and boron. This can lead to numerous problems. In order to prevent these issues, it is best not to fertilize your Corn Plants indoors.
Keep in mind that too much fluoride and boron can make the plant burn. This typically manifests on leaves. Brown tips on leaves is a common sign of over-accumulation of fluoride. This is generally a consequence of fertilizing. Therefore, it is best not to fertilize your Corn Plant if you grow it indoors.