How to repot a corn plant (Dracaena Fragrans)

Corn plant (also called dracaena) features long, strap-like leaves that resemble the maize plant, or more commonly known as the corn we eat. Though the name implies a relation, these two species are not at all related. How to repot a corn plant ?

Corn plant care is easy, making it an ideal house plant. It’s good for you too, because it naturally cleans the air. This is one of the best house plants for removing indoor air toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene and toluene.

This hardy Dracaena is an unbranched, tree-like plant with sword-shaped arching leaves. Those dark-green leaves are 2 ft (60 cm) long and 4 in (10 cm) wide, and have a broad cream-to-yellow stripe down the middle.

Strongly scented flowers are occasionally produced on a plant grown in its native habitat. Older plants may flower indoors, but it’s rare.

How to repot a corn plant

How to repot a corn plant

Indoor corn plant varieties

Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’: This variety is the most common and features a yellowish lime-green stripe down the center of its leaves.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Lindenii’: The leaves of this variety have yellow edges rather than a stripe down the center.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Victoria’: This variety is very similar to ‘Massangeana’; a yellow stripe runs down the center of its leaves, but it has smaller, wider, and almost triangular leaves. It is rarely available in garden centers.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Lemon Lime’: This variety has leaves with white-yellow stripes around gray-green centers.

Dracaena fragrans ‘Limelight’: This cultivar has glossy yellow-green leaves that gradually turn lighter lime-green as they mature.

Should I repot my corn plant?

Lots of roots spilling out of the nursery pot means your plant’s growth is being restricted. To give the roots some space and help your plant to grow taller, change the pot to one that’s a couple of inches bigger. You should only need to do this every two or three years.

How to Repot a Corn Plant (Dracaena Fragrans)

You may need to transfer a corn plant to a larger container every two to three years. Species of Dracaena fragrans don’t mind being slightly rootbound. However, the plant’s growth will become stunted if roots fill the pot too much. To repot a Dracaenas species, choose a container one or two sizes larger than its current one.

How to repot a corn plant

How to repot a corn plant

To repot any type of Dracaena fragrans, this is what you should do:

  1. Pull the thick stem to remove the plant’s root ball from the container.
  2. Shake off excess dirt and run the roots under water to clean them.
  3. Inspect the roots for signs of rotting or decaying and trim as needed.
  4. Half-fill a larger container with the appropriate potting mix.
  5. Put the plant in the pot and fill the remaining space with soil.
  6. Thoroughly water and place in a bright spot, protected from direct sunlight.
How to repot a corn plant

How to repot a corn plant

Tip: how to repot a orchid plant

How to propagate Your Corn Plant

When your plant gets a little overgrown, you can restore its good looks with a quick trim. That’s also the perfect time to take cuttings to grow new plants.

While corn plant is one of the easiest houseplants you can grow, it can look a little gangly and overgrown over time. That’s the perfect opportunity to cut it back and propagate more of these plants from cuttings. Then, you can give the new, young plants away to new homes or keep them and create your own lush living room plant jungle. Timing and patience play into the success of growing more corn plants from cuttings. Here’s what you need to know.

How to cut back a corn stalk plant

Spring and early summer are the best times to cut back your corn plant. Not only will the original plant recover quickly from the trimming, but the new cuttings are likely to root faster in the prolonged bright light. Using a pair of clean, sharp pruners, cut an 8-inch or longer length of stem that includes four to six leaves from a cane of your existing plant. Reduce the size of your plant significantly by removing a longer piece of cane. The cane on the original plant normally will re-sprout just below the cut, although it may take a couple of months to do so.

How to repot a corn plant

How to repot a corn plant

Caring for the Cutting

Remove any excess leaves from the cutting so that it has four or so leaves remaining. The leaves are essential for producing the fuel the plant needs to produce new roots. If you made an exceptionally long cutting, reduce the overall length so that about 4 inches of cane extends below the leaves. Make an angled cut at the rooting end of the cane. Dip the cut end in rooting power, then stick the cutting into a pot of pumice, perlite, or coarse sand. Potting soil isn’t a good choice for rooting corn plant because it will stay too damp and rot the stem before it can root.

Keep the rooted cutting in a bright location, but out of direct sunlight until new roots form. Check the potting medium for moisture every other day or so. Water when it feels slightly dry to the touch. Corn plant cuttings take about eight weeks to form roots. After that time has passed, gently try to lift the stem. If you feel strong resistance, the cutting has rooted and can be replanted in a houseplant potting mix. If the stem is wobbly when you lift it, it needs a little more time to root.

Where to place a Dracaena Massangeana indoors

Under our climates, Dracaena Massangeana adapts well to living indoors in our apartments and homes.

It grows best when surrounding temperatures hold at around 70 to 72°F (20 to 22°C) and requires very good light, even direct sunlight.

Choose for it a place near a window facing to the South or West so that it would bathe in a good deal of both indirect light and sunlight.

If you live in a house that is quite dark, avoid purchasing dracaena Massangeana because it won’t cope well with the lack of luminosity.

Planting a Dracaena Massangeana outdoors

The best soil for corn plants is rich, loamy, loose and well-draining. Turn the corn plant on its side, and gently ease it from the container. You can use a trowel to loosen it, but avoid damaging the rootball. Place the corn plant in the middle of the new pot, fill in the sides with the potting soil, and tamp it down with your fingers. Water well enough to moisten the roots, and add additional soil if necessary.

The potted plants look lovely outside on a deck or patio, but you should protect them from the cold weather. Wait until the summertime if you want to move your potted corn plants plant outside. They don’t like the full sun or being out when evening temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

As they are tropical plants, they will not do well outdoors unless the conditions are right. If the frost gets to them, they likely will not survive. If you choose to replant your corn plants in your garden, plant it in rich, well-draining soil with some compost added in.

How to repot a corn plant

How to repot a corn plant

How to care for a corn plant care indoor

Water when the potting mix is dry to a depth of 1 to 2 inches, but don’t allow the mix to dry out completely. Add a layer of pebbles to raise the bottom of the pot above the excess water in the tray and mist regularly to keep the humidity around the plant higher. Fertilize from spring through fall, monthly with a liquid houseplant fertilizer or biweekly with a 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer diluted to one-half strength.

Place the corn plant in bright filtered light. While it tolerates lower light conditions, the leaves will become narrower over time. Keep out of drafts from any air-conditioning and heating vents. You can also put your corn plant outside in summer, but keep it in bright or dappled shade, as direct sunlight will burn the leaves.

Keep your corn plant and other dracaenas out of reach of children and pets. All parts of the plant contain saponins, which are bitter tasting, toxic compounds. If the plant is ingested, it can cause drooling, vomiting, depression and dilated pupils.

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