Corn plants (Dracaena fragrans) create leaves that appear similar to corn leaves but stay green year-round. These tropical plants grow naturally in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 through 12 but are often enjoyed as indoor houseplants in all climates. Even though they are primarily grown for their foliage, in addition they create yellow-white blooms when properly cared for.


Corn plants need soil that retains moisture without drying out fast but drains well enough so it doesn’t become soggy or waterlogged. A peat-based potting soil devised for tropical houseplants holds sufficient moisture. The grass must feature a minumum of one bottom drainage hole so that excess water can drain out of the ground. A drip tray under the grass catches any moisture that seeps out. Corn plants need repotting just when the roots completely fill the old pot, usually every three to four years. Repot to the same kind of soil and into a grass just 1 size larger than the previous one.

Light and Temperature

Put corn plants at a location that receives bright but indirect sunlight, such as close a south-facing window. Direct sunlight can scorch and damage the foliage. The plant tolerates low light better than direct sunlight, so err on the side of caution when choosing a location, although inferior leaf development will indicate the plant requires more light. Corn plants can not withstand cold temperatures and grow best when the indoor temperatures stays between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water and Fertilizer

Allow the soil surface to dry before watering, but avoid allowing it to dry to over a 1 inch depth. Watering the plant till the surplus starts to drip out the bottom of the pot ensures the soil is evenly moistened throughout. Use lukewarm water because cold water can shock the roots. Corn plants need less frequent watering in winter when they are semidormant. A monthly feeding with a soluble fertilizer formulated for tropical houseplants, applied at the recommended rate on the bundle, provides sufficient nutrition. Apply fertilizers spring through autumn. The plants don’t require feeding in winter.


Most corn plant problems occur due to improper watering, indicated from the foliage turning brown. Avoid overwatering that results in soggy soil and don’t allow the grass bottom to sit in standing water. Low humidity can also cause leaf damage in a dry house. Mist the foliage with water each day to raise humidity. Alternatively, fill out the drip tray with pebbles and water and set the grass in addition to the pebbles. The pebbles elevate the grass so the soil doesn’t absorb the water, however, the evaporating water still raises the humidity around the plant. Spider mites may infest plants. Treat the plant with an insecticidal soap or an insecticide invented for these insects.

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