Dracaena Fragrans Plant Care

Do you want a spectacular houseplant to use as an ornamental piece? You have found it!

You must agree that this is one striking plant, and your guests will be so jealous. The Dracaena Fragrans (yip, difficult to pronounce without thinking of the French)  plant, also called the Corn Plant, looks like it is wearing a crown.

You can actually say it spells royalty, hey! But where does this foliage come from, and what is the Corn Plant care? Plantly is right here to help, so keep your eyes on the screen and reading.

Dracaena Fragrans Classification

Dracaena Draco care card

What Is The Dracaena Fragrans?

Dracaena Fragrans Plant

Okay, this genus has several members you can invite into your living space, from the Dracaena Marginata to the Dracaena Sanderina. Now, how do you pronounce this confusing name? Start saying it out loud now, “Dra-SEE-nuh FRAY-Granz ” see; you can pronounce it and sound French.

This outdoor plant originates from tropical Africa, and you find them labelled Fragrant Dracaena, Happy Plant, or Dracaena Deremensis. One thing is sure this plant becomes the attention in your home, grown in a shaded corner or even a bright room. Not only is it a fantastic ornamental piece people have placed it in their homes since the 1800s.

And to reward you when giving it some love, it shows shiny-looking leaves and keeps the indoor air clean, great hey. Now, if you treat it with affection after years, it provides you with multiple crowns and bold ascent specimens producing small fragrant whitish flowers.

Dracaena Fragrans Corn Plant Care Basics

So what is the best plant care for the Corn Plant Dracaena Fragrans? Definitely a lot of love and care. Not only does it need affection, but you need to make sure you can grow it in your area. The plant is a slow grower, so do not get impatient with it.

It has long tapering leaves and, grown indoors, reaches up to six feet. Sadly, it will only provide you with flowers occasionally inside, but your corn palm will present you with yellow/white blooms if the conditions are ideal. So let’s get moving on what this majestic plant needs.

Best Potting Mix

potting mix

Your Corn plants thrive in loose yet well-draining potting soil with plenty of organic matter. In contrast, the majority of the species are simple to take care of. They do not appreciate soggy soil, similar to a baby with a wet bottom big no-no.

A perfect potting mix is a perlite and peat moss, as it retains some moisture while draining the rest. So please do not make it too thick as it will pool water causing root rot. Here are some tips to help improve drainage. You can add pumice or perlite to the ground.

Furthermore, to prevent your tropical plant from becoming root-bound, make sure to move it to a larger container.

Watering Needs

Plantly’s rule of thumb is that when the top two inches of the ground dries, we water the Corn Plant. So why do this? When the soil is partially dry, it avoids problems such as rotting roots. Start by dousing it well and allowing all the water to drain.

If you use tap water, leave it to stand for 24 hours at room temperature to let all the chemicals inside float to the bottom. Try keeping your water schedule at a fixed time. So keep the soil moist but not drowning in water.

Ideal Lighting

plant light requirement

Now, where should you grow Dracaena plants? The best place is indoors in bright indirect light, not direct sunlight. While it is a low-light house plant, it needs some light for your variegated types.

We found placing them in sunny locations helps them grow faster while variegated varieties easily grow on east-facing window sills.

The reason is that the morning sun will not scorch the leaves. Yet, sometimes you do not have a choice and need to place them in a south or west-facing window. If this happens, please make sure it stands several feet away.

For north-facing rooms or even your office, the artificial light works well on some of these cultivars. However, remember that different lighting conditions impact the growth of most plants, and if they do not get direct sun and only shade, the growth comes to a standstill.

Temperature and Humidity 

The good news is your Corn plant can grow at an average room temperature of 60° to 75° F. If you maintain these temperatures, your plant is happy. One thing you do not want for your corn plants is stress.

Try to keep them away from cold drafts, AC, or heaters. Now, if you live with median temperatures above 60°, your genus Dracaena can grow well outdoors. The plants need bright light with shade.

With the correct humidity levels, your plant grows well, and if the levels are between 40-50%, it prevents brown tips (meaning the moisture is not right) on the leaves. For this reason, we recommend misting your plant at least once a week and keeping the leaves clean using a damp cloth.

Momentarily, the biggest challenge is to keep the air humid in winter with your plant grown indoors. While they need less water, you need to pay attention to the leaves that do not turn yellow or have brown tips.

Necessary Fertilizer 

plant fertilizer

A great thing you will love with the Cornstalk plant (yes, another familiar name) it is not a big feeder. With this houseplant indoors, the plants grow slower compared to outside. If you have followed the instructions on using organic-rich soil, it will get all the nutrients it needs.

However, it does not mean you do not need to provide it with a balanced liquid fertilizer each month during the growing season. Avoid feeding this indoor plant in winter as it is its resting season—other important care tips to prevent the accumulation of salts in the soil.

You can notice this when it has brown or yellow leaves. So how do you remove these salts? We’ve got you covered, don’t stress!

  • Place your Corn plant outside or in a bath,
  • Open the water and let it gently run through the soil, drenching it,
  • Keep it flowing for up to five minutes,
  • Allow the water to drain well (this is where good drainage is important) and place it back in its preferred spot.

You can do it up to three times during the plant’s growing season.


dracaena fragrans

The fantastic news is your Dracaena Fragrans needs repotting every three years as it is slow-growing foliage. When this happens, you can move it to a larger vessel, and most species do not mind being a bit rootbound. The best way to achieve this is by wetting it thoroughly and leaving it to stand for a while.

You can tug at it gently, and if it does not want to budge, cut the pot and remove the stem. Shake the dust off and push the roots into the water. Look for signs of rotting and trim as needed.

Take your new container and fill it with soil halfway and place your plant gently inside and fill the surrounding spaces with the ground.

Lastly, give it thorough watering and place it in some shaded area and not in direct light. Another essential thing is to prune your plant to help with its growth and give it that luscious busy appearance. Okay, but when should I do this?

You will notice the lower leaves turn yellow and start to fall off. You can trim these off in spring, and if it grows too tall, you can prune them back to the size desired.


plant propagation

Now do not look all stressed out when hearing the word propagation. Even as a beginner gardener, you can do this. Your Cornstalk plant becomes lanky and gives it a tree look. Then, you can propagate it by breaking the stem into three parts, leaving you with the crown, root, and middle segment.

First, cut the crown and keep five inches of the branch. Place it in a sterile potting mix in your pot. Next, take the root system and remove the remaining stem as new growth occurs in the cut section. Now, take the middle part and leave it to dry for a few days.

Plant that dry section in another pot to help develop growth as you have done before. Keep the stem warm and moist.

Growth Zone

According to the USDA, you can grow it in zones 10 and 11. These are the areas with the lowest temperatures at 25 to 40 degrees F

Dracaena Fragrans Diseases & Pests

Sadly ☹ overwatering is the main concern with the Corn plant. Gradually bacterial and fungal diseases spread to the root system, causing brown leaf tips and, yes, death. Overwatering can also cause white plant mold (while harmless) but can ruin the look completely.

To remove mold, you can mix water and baking soda with dish soap to destroy it. Another bad disease is pythium causing yellow leaves and wilting. Eventually, the leaves turn black, and everything becomes hopeless.

If this happens, make sure the vessel you use is well-drained. Then, remove the infected foliage and use a fungicide spray to remove the fungus.

Dracaena Fragrans Varieties and Similar Plants

Some of the known varieties of Dracaena Fragrans are:

Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana

Is by far the most common species available and a best-selling Corn plant. It has yellowish striped leaves and a thin yellowish line, and the leaves are longer and narrower. Some call it the Dracaena Massangeana.

Dracaena Fragrans Lindenii

Also has yellowish edges making it an exceptional indoor plant to have.

Dracaena Fragrans Victoria

Also has yellowish striped leaves in the middle but tends to be smaller with wider triangular foliage.

Frequently Asked Questions

When exposed to bright indirect light, it can take up to ten years to mature.

Underwatering and no enough light can cause yellow leaves to any plants.

The Corn plant has solid green leaves while the Dracaena Massangeana has a distinct yellow stripe running through the middle of every leaf.

The plant is sold online from different nurseries and gardening sections. But you need not go browsing through all of them online and find the Corn plant available right here on Plantly.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!


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