Growing Dracaena Fragrans – How to Grow Corn Plants

Large, showy indoor plants are a delight in the home. Growing dracaena fragrans gives the feeling of being in a corn field. The striped yellow and green leaves bring a lot of softness to any corn of a room

It is not too hard to figure out why Dracaena Fragrans is called The Corn Plant.  The whole plant makes me think of corn growing in my garden, especially when it is grown on one stalk.These tips for growing dracaena fragrans show how easy this house plant is to manage. #dracaenafragrans #cornplants

Growing Dracaena Fragrans

More interest comes from the plant when the growing tip is chopped off and it sprouts into many stems.

The leaves are long and glossy with yellow and white stripes on them.   The plant is great indoors, since it is fine with filtered light conditions.  Try to locate the plant somewhere near a window. Too low light will result in the plant losing its stripes and become more of a plain green plant.

Leaves of the corn plant houseplant

Dracaena fragrans is fairly easy to grow indoors.   They make good houseplants because they are tall and narrow, so they fit will into most indoor settings.  And they also have growth that can be controlled fairly easy.  If you don’t have a green thumb, this plant is also easy to grow, since it can withstand a fairly significant amount of abuse from casual indoor gardeners.


Tips for Growing Corn Plants

Growing dracaena fragrans is easy, even for beginners. Corn plant makes a great and showy indoor plant

Growing Conditions:

  • Corn Plants like bright filtered light.
  • Well draining all purpose potting soil.
  • Water the plants 1-2 times a week – avoid over watering.
  • Fertilize monthly when the plant is growing actively.
  • Temps of 60-90 degrees F are ideal.
  • 40% humidity is best.  Misting will help with humidity..
  • Propagation:  Tip cuttings root quite easily.  Stem cuttings will also take.  A rooting hormone powder will increase chances of success with both types of cuttings. 
  • Clean the leaves regularly from dust that will settle with a cloth and warm water.
  • Growth is slow but the plant can reach up to 6 feet tall indoors.

If the plant starts to get tall and spindly, chop off the top. This will result in it sprouting more growing tips as shown below.  I actually prefer this look to a straight stem. This also keeps the plant to a manageable size.

The plant will even develop what are called “aerial roots.” If you take off a section like this and plant it in soil, you will end up with a new houseplant for free.

Aerial roots of a corn plant

Corn plants are popular house plants because they can be grown by inexperienced gardeners.  Perhaps a friend of yours might like one as a housewarming gift!

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  8 comments for “Growing Dracaena Fragrans – How to Grow Corn Plants

  1. Jan
    01/11/2018 at 3:18 pm

    What causes rust on my Dracaena?

    • Carol
      01/11/2018 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Jan, Rust is a disease that is caused by a parasite that live on some plants. It’s a fungus. Rust is most likely to occur in warm moist conditions. It is spread by spores and can be transferred to healthy plants. It is treated with a fungicide. Carol

  2. Rhonda L Stuckey
    04/26/2018 at 10:44 pm

    What is wrong with my plant? It was healthy days ago I was watering it weekly Saturday evenings last time it was 4/14/18. I since have moved it from the window and my husband repotted it to a bigger pot. I purchased plant food but haven’t used since the look has changed. Is it a lost cause? New to plants trying to learn. Please advice. Thank you.

    • Carol
      04/27/2018 at 10:28 am

      Hi Rhonda. It is hard to say from the photo. It could be overwatering, or underwatering. Both make a plant droopy. I don’t water on a schedule. I water based on the soil. if it is dry down to about my first knuckle, I water it. When you replant, it is usually done because it is root bound. The pot may now be too big, which would make watering more difficult. Sorry to be vague, but it could be a lot of different things. Corn plants don’t like too much sunlight, either. Carol

  3. Erica
    10/21/2018 at 11:04 am

    My corn plant was beautiful but i left out in the sun too long. Now the leaves are brown and yellow and drooping I have cut the ugly pieces off but some I left. Should I cut the entire leaf off if it’s fully brown and yellow? What am I doing wrong?
    The new plant at the lower branch is growing fine. I don’t water it much because I tend to over water plants and want to keep this one alive as long as possible! It brings me so much joy when I walk in the house!

    Thanks for your help!

    • Carol
      10/21/2018 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Erica. Once the leaves have burned from the sunlight like yours have, those particular leaves won’t recover. They will keep going brown near the cut that you made in the leaf.

      I had this happen to a corn plant a few years ago. Many of the leaves were burned. I cut the whole STEM off and it sprouted new leaves. You can cut off the single leaves but the plant will get more and more spindly if not chopped off.

      At the point where it’s chopped off, two new shoots will grow and they’ll become new stems. Your bottom stem has had this done to it. Carol

  4. Joanna Teo
    02/20/2019 at 11:41 pm

    I am interested to grow my corn plants in water instead of soil indoor. Is it a good idea?

    • Carol
      02/22/2019 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Joanna. I don’t have experience with growing whole plants in water. It is possible to root cuttings in water, but my experience is that the plants are not as strong as those that are rooted in soil.

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