Corn Plant

Corn Plant (2)

Delightfully tolerant and easy to care for, the Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) is a fantastic entry point for aspiring indoor gardeners. This plant offers a striking resemblance to a corn stalk, hence its common name.

But did you know it’s also known as the ‘Happy Plant’ in certain circles? This moniker is earned because of its unrelenting resilience and evergreen nature, which makes it an excellent choice for those looking to brighten their living spaces with a low-maintenance plant. Also, here is a detailed article on how to care for Corn Plant

Let’s delve deeper into the world of this popular houseplant to discover more about its charm and care requirements. For Propagation, see how to propagate Corn Plant?

Plant Overview

Botanical NameDracaena fragrans
Common NameCorn Plant
Plant TypePerennial
Average Size4-6 feet (indoors)
Sunlight RequirementsPartial sun, shade
Soil TypeWell-draining
Soil pHNeutral (6.0 to 7.5)
Bloom TimeRarely in indoors
Flower ColorWhite

The Corn Plant is known for its wide, arching leaves that make it a statement piece in any room. Let’s uncover more about this beautiful houseplant below.

Corn Plant (1)

Plant Description

The Corn Plant is a perennial member of the Asparagaceae family, originally hailing from tropical Africa. In its native habitat, the plant can reach a staggering height of 50 feet! However, when grown indoors as a houseplant, it typically matures between 4 to 6 feet.

The leaves are its main attraction: long, arching, and glossy with a broad yellow or cream-colored stripe running down the center. They can grow up to 2 feet long and look stunning when they catch the light. The Corn Plant boasts a woody stem with a bushy tree-like shape that enhances its visual appeal.

Interestingly, under optimal conditions, Corn Plants can bloom, producing clusters of fragrant white flowers. However, it’s a rare occurrence indoors.

Dracaena fragrans is a slow-growing plant that usually only puts out new growth in the spring and summer. With proper care, it can live for many years, making it a fantastic long-term companion.

The Corn Plant’s easy-going nature and ability to adapt to various light conditions make it a popular choice for indoor gardening. Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or just starting your plant journey, the Corn Plant is a delightful and rewarding choice.

Identification of Plant

Corn Plant, or Dracaena fragrans, is a striking houseplant, identified by its long, arching leaves that resemble a corn stalk, hence the name. These leaves can grow up to 2 feet in length and are ribbon-like, with a rich, glossy green color. The leaves are the plant’s focal point, presenting a yellow or cream-colored stripe that runs down the center, further accentuating the resemblance to a corn stalk.

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When it comes to size, indoor Corn Plants typically mature between 4 to 6 feet. However, in their native African environment, these plants can reach up to an impressive 50 feet!

The Corn Plant’s stem is woody and sturdy, giving the plant a tree-like appearance. If conditions are optimal, the Corn Plant can surprise you with clusters of white flowers that are small, fragrant, and quite beautiful. However, flowering is a rare occurrence when the plant is grown indoors.

Types and Varieties

The species Dracaena fragrans is home to several fascinating cultivars, each with its unique features:

  1. Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’: Often referred to as the Corn Plant, this is the most common variety found in homes. It is characterized by its yellow or cream-colored stripe running down the center of its leaves.
  2. Dracaena fragrans ‘Lindenii’: This variety features leaves with yellow edges, providing a lovely contrast to the lush green of the leaves.
  3. Dracaena fragrans ‘Victoria’: The ‘Victoria’ cultivar is notable for its leaves, which showcase broad yellow edges and a deep green center.
  4. Dracaena fragrans ‘Compacta’: As the name suggests, the ‘Compacta’ variety grows more slowly and remains smaller than the other varieties. It has a dense growth pattern and darker leaves.

Facts about the plant

  1. Tolerance: Corn Plants are incredibly tolerant and can withstand a variety of indoor conditions. They can thrive under low light conditions and inconsistent watering.
  2. Air-Purifying: According to a study by NASA, the Corn Plant is among the houseplants that improve indoor air quality by removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
  3. Longevity: With proper care, Corn Plants can live for many years, and even outlive their owners! They are known to be long-lived houseplants.
  4. Rare Bloomers: Although it’s a rare sight, Corn Plants can produce flowers when grown indoors. The flowers are white, fragrant, and quite a sight to behold.
  5. Toxicity: Despite their many benefits, Corn Plants are toxic to pets and humans when ingested. They contain saponins, which can lead to symptoms like vomiting, drooling, and in severe cases, loss of appetite in pets.
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Tips to Grow This Plant

The Corn Plant is known for its resilience and adaptability. However, to ensure that your Corn Plant thrives and continues to beautify your home, here are some tips:

  1. Lighting: Corn Plants prefer moderate to bright indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.
  2. Watering: Water your Corn Plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s better to err on the side of underwatering.
  3. Humidity: As tropical plants, Corn Plants enjoy high humidity. However, they’re also highly adaptable and can tolerate the dryer conditions found in most homes.
  4. Temperature: Corn Plants prefer temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). They don’t respond well to sudden temperature changes, so try to keep them away from drafts.
  5. Fertilizing: Feed your Corn Plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every month during the spring and summer.
  6. Pruning: Regularly prune your Corn Plant to maintain its shape and size. Pruning is also a good way to promote bushier growth.

Major Problems

Even though Corn Plants are relatively hardy, they can still encounter certain issues. Here are a few of the major problems and how you can address them:

  1. Brown Leaf Tips: This is usually a sign of low humidity or water with high fluoride content. Consider using distilled or rainwater for your plant, and increase the humidity around it.
  2. Leaf Yellowing: Overwatering is often the culprit behind yellow leaves. Make sure you’re allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.
  3. Pests: Corn Plants can sometimes fall prey to pests like spider mites and scale. Keep an eye out for these critters and treat with a houseplant-safe insecticide or neem oil.
  4. Slow Growth: If your Corn Plant isn’t growing as expected, it might need more light. However, remember that this is a slow-growing plant, especially during the colder months.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for a Corn Plant involves striking a balance between the right light, water, and soil conditions. Here are some key points:

  1. Light: Corn Plants enjoy bright, indirect light, but can tolerate a range of lighting conditions.
  2. Water: Let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, a common issue with Corn Plants.
  3. Soil: Use a well-draining soil mix to prevent water-logging.
  4. Fertilizer: Feed your plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
  5. Repotting: Corn Plants are slow-growers, so they only need repotting every 2-3 years.
  6. Pruning: To maintain its shape and promote new growth, regular pruning is beneficial.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the tips of my Corn Plant turning brown?

This could be due to low humidity or the presence of fluoride in the water. Try using filtered water and increasing the humidity around the plant.

Why are the leaves of my Corn Plant turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves are often a sign of overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out before watering again.

Is the Corn Plant safe for pets?

No, Corn Plants are toxic to pets if ingested. They contain saponins, which can lead to symptoms like vomiting and loss of appetite in pets.

Does the Corn Plant flower?

Yes, under optimal conditions, the Corn Plant can produce clusters of small, fragrant, white flowers. However, this is a rare occurrence when grown indoors.

How often should I fertilize my Corn Plant?

A monthly application of a balanced houseplant fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer) is sufficient.

How fast does the Corn Plant grow?

The Corn Plant is a slow-grower, usually adding new growth in the spring and summer. With proper care, it can live for many years.

Can Corn Plants survive in low light?

Yes, Corn Plants can tolerate low light conditions but thrive best in bright, indirect light.

About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

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