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Dracaena Fragrans "Corn Plant"
Dracaena Fragrans "Corn Plant"
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Dracaena Fragrans "Corn Plant"

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Dracaena Fragrans "Corn Plant"

Corn plants grow fairly slowly from one or more thick canes (stems) that produce long, narrow leaves (like those of corn) toward the top. This growth habit gives them a similar appearance to a palm tree, which is why they’re sometimes referred to as “false palms.” They make good houseplants because they are tall and narrow, typically only reaching around 4 to 6 feet tall in containers, and they can withstand a fairly significant amount of abuse from casual indoor gardeners. Springtime is ideal for starting new plants, though you can typically pot nursery plants indoors at any time of year.

Home gardeners usually grow corn plants as large potted plants rather outdoors in the garden. Corn plants do best in bright indoor locations that are protected from direct sunlight, drafts, and airflow from air-conditioning and heating vents. Also, maintaining a high humidity environment indoors is key for these plants.

You can bring your corn plant outdoors during the summer if you place the pot in a sheltered, somewhat shady location. Make sure it is protected from strong winds. Bring the plant indoors well before temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy during the growing season (spring to fall). Reduce watering in the late fall to winter. However, never let the soil completely dry out. Soil that is too wet or too dry can cause leaf tips to dry out and turn brown. Moreover, like other Dracaena species, corn plants are sensitive to fluoride and boron, which can be found in tap water.2 Thus, it's best to use distilled water to avoid leaf tip burn, stunted growth, and even plant death.

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