Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’, Corn Plant
The Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’ is also known as the Corn Plant, because of the unique leaves. Great for outdoor areas in zones 10 and 11, it’s also an ideal plant for those who want something indoors. It can grow all the way up to 8 feet, but can be kept a little smaller when used as a houseplant. The Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’ also makes a great statement piece by front doors or on patios. All types of Draceana are container friendly. This unique corn plant is a great choice for those who want an easy to grow plant that prefers regular watering and full sun to partial shade. The corn plants foliage is filled with distinct green and yellow stripes throughout each cane(stem) that they are grown from. Though it does have white blooms, they are quite rare in any indoor environment and happen only occasionally in its native habitat. The flowers of the Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’ are very sweet when they do appear. If you’re looking to grow your own you can actually do it quite easily because all you need are cuttings to do so. When growing the Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’ from cuttings, make sure to set it up somewhere with bright sun. Dracaena Fragrans ‘Massangeana’ was also tested in Nasa’s Clean Air Study and is considered a plant that can remove a variety of toxins from the air. It’s important to note that the corn plant is highly toxic to cats or dogs.
The corn plant is a flowering plant species native to tropical Africa, common in Mozambique and Sudan South. You can find plenty of these plants growing in upland regions of tropical Africa at an altitude of 600 to 2,250m.
The term Dracaena comes from the word Drakaina, which is an Ancient Greek word, meaning female dragon. The plant got its name due to its red stems, as the color looks similar to dragon blood.
Home gardeners grow Dracaena Fragrans as large indoor potted plants. As they are tropical plants, they need climate-controlled conditions.
If you plan to keep them in your drawing room, place them near a window for filtered sunlight. Less light can cause color variation in your plants that can impact the plants’ growth.
On the other hand, exposure to direct sun can scorch its leaves and result in wilting. In the case of outdoors, locate shadier spots to place your plants.
A loamy, loose soil mix is perfect for growing plants. Check that the soil has excellent drainage, as its roots don’t work well in excessive water.
Make sure that the soil is perfectly moist but not too soggy from spring to fall. Minimize watering when the fall arrives till the winter. But don’t allow the soil to dry completely. Both too dry and too wet soil can cause plant health problems, making the watering process a bit challenging for new gardeners.
Mass cane plant thrives in organically rich soil. Go for a balanced liquid fertilizer, and use it on your plant every month during the growing months. Also, use fertilizers in smaller amounts in winters.
Unfortunately, corn plants are prone to several problems, and with little negligence, it can ruin your healthy plant.
Keep an eye on your plant for spider mites, scale, and thrips- the most common problems of the Dracaena Fragrans. These pests can damage your leaves and make them look unhealthy.
You can even notice small insects on the leaves and stems. You can dust the leaves regularly with a damp cloth to prevent pests from colonizing and help them look their bests.
Light brown or reddish spots surrounded by a yellow color signify leaf spot disease or fungus issues. Dead bands or yellow leaves mean that your plant needs to be kept at a warm temperature. Soft rot is another common issue that you can notice in your plants.
The easiest way to fix the spots on the leaves is to use a fungicide. Make sure to follow its directions. But if your plant has started to smell and look like it’s rotting, you can’t do anything to fix it. So, simply dispose of your plant.
You may notice the lower leaves of your corn plant getting yellow in two to three years, which is its leaf’s natural lifespan. Once you notice yellowish leaves, remove them.
If your indoor plant has grown too tall for your living room, hallway, or doorway, cut the top of the crane. Don’t worry about new leaf buds, as they will appear where you cut.
For healthy growth, you need to propagate your plants in summer or spring. But if you keep dracaena fragrans in your office or home, which are climate-controlled rooms, you can propagate these plants any time of the year.
Note that you can plant another plant by cutting the top of the mother plant. Stem cutting or top cutting is also the ideal way for rejuvenating leaf growth.
Potting / Repotting
The corm plant requires reporting every year or two. Always use large containers with fresh soil for potting. When you decide to repot the corn plant, remove the loose soil in its surroundings and gradually lift it.
Place fresh soil in the container and place your plant in the center. Fill the space around your plant with fresh potting soil, but avoid filling the container to allow drainage.