Corn Plant Care: What You Need to Know

If you’re looking for an attractive, low-maintenance houseplant, the Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans) might just be the perfect choice! With its tall, woody stalks and lush, green leaves, this easy-to-grow plant adds a touch of the tropics to any space. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Corn Plant care, so you can keep your plant thriving and looking its best.

Corn Plant Care Guide

Quick Reference Table: Caring for Corn Plants

Aspect Requirements
Sunlight Indirect, moderate to bright light
Soil Well-draining, loamy soil mix
Watering Allow top 1-2 inches of soil to dry between waterings
Pruning Remove yellow or brown leaves; trim to control height and shape
Temperature 65-80°F (18-27°C); not cold tolerant

Corn Plant Sunlight: Do They Need It and How Much?

Corn Plants do best in moderate to bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, so it’s important to place them in a spot that receives filtered or diffused light. If your space doesn’t have sufficient natural light, Corn Plants can also tolerate low light conditions, although their growth may be slower.

Corn Plant Soil Tips

For optimal Corn Plant care, use a well-draining, loamy soil mix. This will help prevent root rot, which can be a common issue if the plant’s roots are left sitting in wet soil. You can create your own mix by combining equal parts potting soil, peat moss or coconut coir, and perlite or pumice.

Corn Plant Watering and Frequency

Allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings, as Corn Plants prefer to be slightly dry rather than consistently wet. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plant’s leaves to become yellow or brown. Be sure to adjust your watering frequency based on the season and your plant’s specific needs.

Pruning Corn Plants Properly

Pruning your Corn Plant will help maintain its shape and size, as well as remove any dead or damaged leaves. To prune, simply use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to remove any yellow or brown leaves. If you’d like to control the height of your plant, you can also trim the stalks, but be aware that they will not regrow from the cut point.

Optimal Corn Plant Temperature: Can They Tolerate the Cold?

Corn Plants thrive in temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C) and are not cold-tolerant. They can be damaged by temperatures below 55°F (13°C), so it’s important to keep them away from cold drafts or windows during the winter months. If you live in a colder climate, it’s best to keep your Corn Plant indoors to protect it from freezing temperatures.

Common Corn Plant Problems

Yellow or Brown Leaves

If your Corn Plant’s leaves are turning yellow or brown, it could be due to underwatering, overwatering, or inadequate light. Adjust your watering schedule and ensure your plant is getting enough indirect sunlight. If the problem persists, check the roots for signs of root rot and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil if necessary.

Leaf Drop

Leaf drop is common in Corn Plants that are exposed to cold temperatures or drafts. To prevent this issue, keep your plant away from cold windows or doors, and maintain a consistent room temperature above 65°F (18°C).


Common pests that can affect Corn Plants include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation and treat any pests promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Corn Plant Outdoors vs Indoors

Corn Plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors, depending on your climate and preferences. However, they are primarily grown as houseplants due to their sensitivity to cold temperatures.

Location Pros Cons
  • Easy to control temperature and lighting conditions
  • Less susceptible to pests and diseases
  • Can be grown year-round in any climate
  • Requires more attention to watering, soil, and pruning needs
  • May outgrow smaller indoor spaces
  • Can grow larger and more vigorously
  • Less maintenance in terms of watering and humidity
  • Sensitive to cold temperatures and frost
  • More susceptible to pests and diseases
  • May need to be brought indoors during colder months

Best Pots for Corn Plants

When choosing a pot for your Corn Plant, look for one with drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil and root rot. A ceramic or terracotta pot is a great choice, as these materials help to wick away excess moisture and allow the roots to breathe. Be sure to select a pot that is appropriately sized for your plant, with room for growth, but not so large that the plant is dwarfed or the soil takes too long to dry out between waterings.

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