The Q&A Archives: Indoor corn plant

Question: My corn plant has 3 stalks. The shortest of the stalks has leaves that are turning browm, and some yellow. The other 2 stalks have minor color changes. I don't want the plant to die. What am I doing wrong? The leaves that are changing colors

Answer: Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana' (as for any plant) needs to be in a container with drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain out. Overwatering or roots sitting in water at the bottom of the container can cause root rot which then shows up as foliage symptoms. I suspect this is at least part of the problem. This plant should be allowed to dry somewhat between waterings; wait until the top inch of soil has dried out (check it with your finger) and then use tepid water to water thoroughly. Wait a few minutes and then pour off excess from the drainage saucer. There is no rule of thumb for how much or how often as it depends on the size of the plant relative to the container, the room temperature how fast it is growing, and so on. Another possible cause for yellowing can be overfertilizing and/or a build up of minerals in the potting mix due to it not being able to drain freely. Use a water soluble fertilizer once a month at the lowest rate on the label, but fertilize only during the months of March to September. I would suggest you repot into a container with drainage holes and then check your watering and fertilizing routines. It should be able to regrow if the root damage is not too extensive. Good luck with your plant!

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