corn plant question - Knowledgebase Question

New York, Ne
Question by kidcaro2003
November 10, 2009
Some of the leaves are brown and cracking at the edges. But the new leaves look beautiful. I've already repotted the plant once and I don't want it to get any bigger. What's the best way to trim it? Can I take clippings and replant?


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Answer from NGA
November 10, 2009

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Sounds like the leaves are aging and that they will eventually die and fall off. It isn't unusual for a corn plant to have a long, bare stem with only a few leaves at the top. The brown edges might be caused by chemicals in the water. A good rule of thumb is to fill your watering container and allow it to set overnight or even for 24 hours before using the water. This allows the chemicals in the water to dissapate. If you like the height of your corn plant, to keep it from growing more, you can pull out the center of new growth on the plant. The root system of a corn plant is so minimal, that it can live well in a small pot. It actually prefers to be a little root bound. The only reason you should need to upgrade to a larger pot is if the plant is so tall that it will topple over because the pot base is too small. For example, a 9 foot corn plant can do well in a 16 inch pot.

You can take cuttings of a corn plant by simply lopping off the top of the plant and rooting the top in water or in moistened potting soil. New stems will emerge from the stalk just below the pruning cut. This type of renovation will result in one or more new leafy tops on the stem or your plant, at the height you decide.

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