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Hi. I purchased a Mass Cane plant from Walmart a few months ago & up until recently it was doing fine. However, roughly a week ago my plant started looking like it's dying. The leaves are turning yellow & my plant just looks sad. Well I noticed a couple white-ish worm looking critters in the soil. They aren't moving so I'm assuming they're dead, but I still don't like the thought of them being there & I'm guessing they're harming my plant. Any clue on what they are or how I get rid of them? I read on here that these plants don't need to be repotted unless they're outgrowing their current pot, but I think that having some sort of pest would make it ok for me to repot it & throw the soil it's in now out. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated :)

Hi Chelsea,

The critters have become a distraction from what is really ailing your Corn Plant. Critters in potting soil do indicate less than great quality soil, but neither the critters or the soil quality are responsible for the yellowing leaves. Replacing the soil would be a drastic measure not unlike replacing all of your blood because you have an infection. Soil replacement is NEVER warranted.

The yellowing leaves are a generic symptom and the likely causes are inadequate light or improper watering. Corn Plants do best close to an uncovered north or east window or 4-6 feet away from a west or south facing window. Make sure the window is uncovered throughout the daylight hours.

If you have not repotted, then watering will be easier. Remove the loose soil that is not in immediate contact withe roots. Then allow the top quarter of the soil to dry before watering. It should reach that level of dryness again within 1 -2 weeks, at which time you water once again. Allowing the soil to reach proper dryness is very important to plant health.

If you get the light and watering under control, your Corn Plant should gradually recover over the next month or so, although the yellowed leaves should be removed as they will not recover.

I have written detailed 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 I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

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

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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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