The Dracena fragrans, also called the “corn plant”, is a beautiful ornamental tropical plant mostly grown indoors.
It has dark green leaves with bushy foliage. Other varieties of this plant, such as the “Dracaena fragrans massangeana”, produce a greenish leaf with a yellow border.
Dracaena fragrans is an easy-to-maintain plant and is native to the tropical parts of Africa. Dracaena fragrans grown indoors can reach a height of 6 ft and a spread of 3 ft.
The ideal temperature for cultivating Dracaena fragrans is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 24 degrees Celsius). For healthy growth, keep the humidity level between 40 and 50 percent.
Although not toxic to humans, Dracaena fragrans are toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. If ingested, it can lead to vomiting and anorexia.
|Scientific name||Dracaena Fragrans.|
|Common name||Corn plant.|
|Size||6 to 10ft high, 3 to 5 ft wide.|
|Lighting||Bright indirect sunlight. Can also survive under low light.|
|Soil||Moist but also well-draining loamy soil.|
|Temperature||60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit ( 16 to 24 degrees Celsius).|
|Fertilizer||Well-balanced diluted fertilizer.|
|Toxicity||Toxic if ingested.|
Dracaena Fragrans Care
Caring for the corn plant is easy, thereby making it the ideal houseplant for your home and office. Under the right growing conditions (temperature, lighting, humidity, and proper watering), the corn plant should grow without hitches and at the same time reward you by producing fragrant white flowers.
Place the Dracaena fragrans in a location with access to bright indirect sunlight. Although the corn plant can withstand low light, continuous exposure can cause the plant to lose its variegation and experience stunted growth.
You shouldn’t leave the plant in direct sunlight either, as this could cause leaf burn. For outdoor cultivation, you should ensure the plant is shaded from the sun.
The best location for this plant will be the east-facing window as it provides a form of shade against direct sunlight. East-facing windows also expose the plant to early morning sunlight, which is great as it is not too intense.
A loose and well-drained loam soil mix is great for growing the corn plant. Wet and waterlogged soil causes soil compaction, which in turn causes root rot.
Add perlite and orchid bark to the soil mixture to create a potting mix that will drain extra water fast and also have water retention capabilities.
Also, remember to create drainage holes at the bottom of the pot for the removal of excess moisture.
Always ensure the soil is kept moist at all times, especially during the growing months. From late fall to winter, cut back on watering the plant.
Do not allow the soil to dry out in-between waterings. Whenever the top soil becomes dry to the touch, water the plant till it starts dripping through the drainage holes.
During the growing season, fertilize the corn plant once a month with a well-balanced fertilizer diluted to half its strength. Stop fertilizing the plant as winter arrives.
Also, organic manure such as cow dung or mustard cake can be diluted in water and applied during watering.
Temperature And Humidity
One of the best practices in cultivating tropical plants is by mimicking their native environment.
The corn plant loves a warm environment, so a temperature range of 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Also, keep humidity levels between 40% and 50% at all times.
For corn plants kept outdoors, ensure you relocate the plants indoors when the temperature outside drops.
Pruning can be carried out on the corn plant to control its size when it becomes too tall for your liking.
Also, cut off dead leaves, which are usually located at the bottom of the plant. You can identify dead leaves due to their change in color from a deep green to a yellowish color.
Top cutting is the best method for propagating the corn plant.
Cut off the top of the plant using a disinfected knife. Ensure you have at least one node and a leaf in the cutting.
Place the cutting into a jar of clear water and keep it in a bright location. Change the water every 2 days to maintain freshness.
Watch out for root growth. If the roots reach a length of 1 inch, you can then transfer the cutting into a well-draining and nutrient-filled potting mix.
Common Health Problems/Pests And Diseases
The pests most prevalent on the corn plant are spider mites, scales, and thrips. They attack the leaves of the plant, causing discoloration and leaf loss.
The best way of combating this menace is by washing the leaves of the corn plant with Neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Common health challenges include dry leaf tips caused by underwatering; sudden leaf loss caused by overwatering; and dry patches on leaves caused by continuous exposure to too much direct sunlight.
Yes. Dracaena is considered toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. If ingested, it can lead to vomiting and anorexia.
Dracaena fragrans can reach a height of 6 ft. with a spread of 3 ft.
Always keep the soil moist and allow the soil to partially dry in-between waterings.
Yes. Corn plants can be cultivated outdoors, but make sure to place them in shaded areas.