Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana,” commonly known as corn plant, can add a tropical feel to a home or garden. With yellow stripes down the center of its glossy green foliage, this shrub or small tree is commonly grown as an indoor plant. Corn plant is a member of the Agavaceae family and can grow 5 to 15 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.
Corn plant is drought-tolerant, but can display signs of dehydration if left without water for too long. Its foliage can appear withered and the area where the leaves attach to the cane can appear wrinkled. Additionally, cane rot can set in. Provide the plant with distilled water, once a week or as soon as the top 1 inch layer of soil is dry. Use a watering can or place the bottom of the pot in a water-filled tray so it can replenish itself. Avoid letting the plant soak for longer than two hours, because overwatering can result in root rot and spots on the new growth.
In summer and spring, corn plant can benefit from regular feedings of fertilizer. Feed the plant a soluble 5-10-5 or 20-20-20 fertilizer monthly during the growing season. To save time and to avoid having to feed the plant every month, use a slow-release fertilizer. These fertilizers release nutrients each time you water the plant. Avoid using fertilizer in winter when the plant is dormant.
As corn plant grows it may need a larger pot to accommodate its roots. Repot the plant in spring when its new growth starts. Use a fresh, well-drained potting mix and select a pot with drainage holes that’s at least 2 inches larger than the current pot. To maintain the plant’s appearance, wipe accumulated dust from the foliage with soft damp, cloth and trim any brown leaf tips with scissors. If you prefer to keep your plant small, pull out the new growth that appears at the center of the plant.