House Plants/Corn Plant

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Question
I have a corn plant in my office (around 10 years.  I sent you an email with a picture of the bottom portion going into the pot.  It is leaning about 45 degrees and has a 'baby' growning from the soil at the bottom.
Can I repot to stablize and straighten the main plant by burying the bottom of the stalk deeper?  It does well in florescent light but I need it to stand up straight.

Answer
Hi Chuck,

I have not received a photo of your plant so I can only respond to what you have written here.

Straightening Corn Plant canes is more about physics than horticulture. If the soil is loose, you should be able to push the cane to the vertical and then press the soil in tight around the cane to hold it in place. If the soil is very hard and inflexible, then you have to lift the entire rootball upward slightly so that you can tilt the rootball just enough that the cane is vertical. Then, push the rootball back into the pot at that tilted angle and press soil in around the sides to keep it in place. This is repotting using the same pot and a minimum of added soil.

Corn Plants often lean over time because they have small root systems and are top-heavy. However, their roots are best left undisturbed and they should be kept in small pots, so repotting into larger pots is not advisable.

Baby plants at the case of Corn Plant canes is not a good sign. It usually happens when the cane itself is slowly dying. If the bark at the base of the cane is loose and papery, then for sure the cane is slowly dying and cannot be saved. The baby plant is a last desperate effort to survive. I hope this is not the case with yours, but I do need to advise you of this possibility down the road.

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 wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. 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.

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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Regards,
Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

Visit my website at: A link to HorticulturalHelp.com  

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Will Creed

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
BA, Amherst College

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