All Things Gardening forum: Corn Plant Advice

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FLORIDA
DanielCyral
Sep 8, 2017 10:33 AM CST
I adopted a corn plant from work.

Of the 3 stalks, only 1 is in decent shape. Are the other 2 salvageable? I was told to cut the top off of them and they will grow back. I have noticed (on this plant and another at work) there is what looks like wax on the top of the stalk. I tried looking up what the wax was but didn't see much.

This forum helped save the other plant that was left at my doorstep so thank you in advance!

-Dan

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[Last edited by DanielCyral - Sep 8, 2017 12:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Sep 8, 2017 1:21 PM CST
The wax is applied to the cut end when the section of stem was 'harvested' from its parent. The wax prevents too much moisture loss while it grows roots and leaves. It will eventually peel off. Your photos are dark but it looks like the cut stems are growing new branches.

At this point in your plant's life, I would care for it and let it get healthy before you start whacking pieces off. When a plant doesn't have leaves, it must survive on energy stored in the stem. Your plant is already struggling so taking away what leaves it has would kill it for sure. The third stem (the one without leaves) may be dead but give it a chance if the stem still feels solid.

Do not fertilize! Fertilizer is for healthy plants.
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Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Sep 8, 2017 3:05 PM CST
The canes without leaves got that way for a reason and the usual reason is that the roots to those canes are damaged beyond recovery. If the bark on the lower portions of the canes are dry and papery and starting to separate from the underneath layers, then you can be sure the cane cannot be salvaged. Once the inner cambium layer is damaged, the cane has no way to transport water and nutrients from the roots.

Cutting a dead cane will not revive it. The easiest way to remove a dead cane is to rotate it in place until it spins freely. You can then pull it straight up and out without pulling up a lot of soil and damaging the roots of the remaining healthy canes.
Will Creed
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Sep 8, 2017 3:08 PM CST
Thumbs up
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Sep 8, 2017 3:20 PM CST
Your "Corn plant" is a dracena. They are normally pretty tough plants.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 8, 2017 4:04 PM CST
If the pot does not have a drain hole, be aware that adding too much water can cause roots to rot, as deadly as not adding water for such a long period that roots die of desiccation.

The leafless trunks do look dead, and it would be easy to determine if you have a strong pruner that can cut into them. Cut small sections from the top until you find healthy, whitish material inside.

Whatever happened has killed 2/3 of the plants trying to grow in this pot. I would repot it, meaning removing the old soil, rinsing it off of the roots, trimming the "pancake" of roots you'll likely find at the bottom of the root ball, replacing with new soil and using a pot with a drain hole in the bottom. This would allow an opportunity to remove the dead trunks, if you determine they are beyond hope. I will be doing this soon to my many potted Dracaenas, as I do almost every year, because they always start looking less happy when the roots run out of room to grow and are suffocating in a strangling pancake at the bottom of the pot.

Dracaena plants are sensitive to tap water chemicals, especially fluoride, which does not evaporate, regardless of how long water sits. Whenever possible, using distilled, rain, &/or condensate from a dehumidifier or A/C should produce a noticeable difference and if used regularly, eliminate concern about tap water chemicals building up to toxic levels in soil.
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