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Corn plant
Corn plant  

Corn Plant
Corn Plant  
Dear Will,

    I googled for help with my Corn Plant and read several results from
including the one from 3/14/2011 in which you said you had written an article on
Corn Plant care that you will e-mail to people for free. I would like to have that. My plant
has a single 32" tall trunk, 2" across from top to bottom. It used to have 2 or 3 trunks,( maybe 3 years ago) but is down to the one now. It has 2 branches off the trunk adding about another 1 1/2 feet to it's height.
 We purchased it about 5 years ago. It still is in the original thin plastic pot. But since the other trunk/s died, the remaining one is close to one side of the pot making the pot susceptible to tipping over if you don't position it so top of plant is leaning towards a wall. The pot is 10" but dirt in pot is only 6" deep. I was thinking of re-potting  in a bigger pot and centering the plant, but glad I read the posts about not repotting.
    Someone suggested using a heavier clay pot to help stabilize it. I may set the pot it is in
into a clay pot. I have attached a couple pics, below. Thanks for the Corn Plant Care article.
This plant really is a survivor, as it has put up with drying out till the dirt is hard and then
being watered and left with water standing in the pan under it. It sits about 9 feet in from a
south window and about same distance from skylight, but gets no direct sunlight.
The healthier leaves are solid dark green. Tag says Dracaena Massangeana (Massangeana Mimbre) Massangeana Cane. Should I try to center it in the pot or try to plant a smaller one in the same pot to balance it out?
Thanks, Mike in Springfield,Ohio

Hi Mike,

If you read my post carefully, it says that I will email my article to anyone who EMAILs me a request for it. I do not have access to your email address on this site. That is why you have to email your request to me at

Your Corn Plant has suffered from less than ideal light and irregular watering. That is why you have lost the other canes and will eventually lose the remaining one as well. It should be about 3 feet closer to your south window that I assume is uncovered throughout the day. It should be watered as soon as the top 2 inches of soil are dry. Water it all around until a bit trickles through into the saucer. That excess water should evaporate within 24 hours, otherwise you have provided too much water.

If the soil has gotten dry, hard and crusty, then break it up with a fork until it is crumbly. Then, use one hand to hold the cane in a vertical (non-leaning) position while using the other hand to pack the soil down tight around the base of the cane to hold it in place. If there are any healthy roots remaining, it should be able to support itself in this vertical position as long as the pot isn't tipped or bumped or moved.

Adding more soil to the top will make watering more difficult and may cause the lower portion of the cane to rot, so I don't recommend doing that. Your plant is too fragile to disturb the roots by repotting or centering.

If the problem is that the entire pot tips over, as opposed to just the cane itself, then place the plastic nursery pot into a heavier ceramic pot as you indicated. That will provide ballast to keep it from tipping.

I have written articles on repotting and on Corn Plant care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and nomination for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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