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corn cane
corn cane  
hi there Will, i just read one  of your tips to the girl that got a corn cane from her office staff,nice advise. my question to you is how do you plant one! my wife has 2 stocks in a 12 by 12 pot. one is 16 inch high and a 6 inch. she brought it out side to try to dry the soil as it seems water logged. the soil is plant potting soil from walmart. its being outside not in direct sun now for a week but the soil is soaked. also the leaves on the smaller plant are going brown at the tips and lowest leaves are all brown. i don't know if they were brown before she watered the heck out of it.
would redoing the soil be a help here? and if yes-what do i use.listening for any advise. my wife does not have a green thumb !!!!

Hi Mike,

I don't know who potted this plant, but the pot is way too big. In addition, the pot may not have a drain hole and the soil may be too heavy or dense. The result is that the excess soil in the large pot is retaining water for too long and the roots are rotting. That is why the leaves look the way they do.

I suggest that you carefully remove the plant from its pot. Most of the soil will fall away on its own because there are so few roots to hold it together. Do NOT forcibly remove any soil that remains together or is attached to healthy roots.

Healthy roots will be firm and light colored. Diseased roots are soft, dark and mushy. The latter can be cut off and removed. If there are no healthy roots, then you will have to propagate the plant using stem cuttings (see below). If there are some healthy roots, then set the canes with the healthy roots together into the SMALLEST pot that they will fit into snugly. Use a potting mix of 5 parts peat moss and 1 part perlite to fill in spaces in the pot. Be sure the pot has a drainage hole. Pack the potting mix in just tight enough to support the canes.

Keep your Corn Plant indoors a few feet away from a sunny window that is uncovered. Do not keep it outside where it is exposed to wind, rain and strong sunlight. Water the potting mix only when the top quarter of the soil in the pot feels dry.

To propagate this plant if the roots are dying, you will have to cut off one or more healthy green stems that grow from the top of the thick canes. These stem cuttings can be rooted in plain water or in a small pot filled with the potting mix I described above.

I have written articles on repotting, propagation 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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