How To Save A Dying Corn Plant (Dracaena)


After the thrill of bringing home your corn plant and anticipating years of lush foliage, disappointment can set in when your plant’s leaves turn brown, yellow, or grow inwards, or even when any variety of issues begin to ravage your once beautiful corn plant.

How To Save A Dying Corn Plant

You can save your dying corn plant by reducing plant exposure to direct sunlight, prevent overwatering, and ensuring the plant pot is properly drained.

Luckily, because any dracaena variety is a sturdy house plant, you don’t need to purchase a new plant and start over, hoping that it will work out better the next time.

You could really learn how to save a dying corn plant, and the solution may surprise you.

The corn plant is a prime example of a versatile plant that can thrive in almost any growing environment.

The corn plant is often the house plant of choice for gardeners of all ages and with limited experience with plants because it can tolerate a ridiculous amount of neglect.

Many people describe the houseplant as “nearly unkillable,” and there may come a time when you’re ready to give up and start over.

However, you are unlikely to need to do so because there are a variety of rescue techniques available to save a dying corn plant. You’ll be able to enjoy it for years, if not decades.

6 Ways To Save A Dying Corn Plant (Dracaena Fragrans)

Are you concerned about a dying corn plant? Luckily, the overall strategy for saving a dying corn plant is simple to put into action.

How To Save A Dying Corn Plant

#1. Identify the Problem

Several factors, either alone or in combination, are to blame for corn plant death. As a result, it is critical to investigate and determine the cause.

Are your plants withering due to overwatering,  absense of sunlight, disease, or nutrient deficiency? What’s the current state of the soil or temperature? Have you ever lost another plant?

#2. Remove the Dead Parts

The declining parts of the corn plant are very visible. The stalk and leaves, for example, would turn an unhealthy brown color.

Simply cut off the dead parts with gardening shears, beginning with the dying leaves. Next, remove the stem. When cutting the stem, cut it in sections and stop when you see green budding from the cut areas.

You don’t have to completely remove the stumps from the soil, especially if the problem isn’t root rot.

Allow about 5cm of the healthy stump to protrude above the soil. And, under the right conditions, it can develop into a new plant.

#3. Watering Problems

Aside from the pair issues of over/under-watering, which can be addressed by providing adequate drainage and maintaining consistently even moist soil, high levels of fluoride in the water may also be an issue.

It is not recommended to irrigate the plant with fluoride-rich water. Instead of using tap water directly, soak it in a bucket for 24 hours to remove fluoride (or even chloride).

If you have been using fluorinated water, you can use distilled water to flush out the accumulated fluoride salts in the soil. Simply drench the soil in distilled water slowly. The distilled water used should be twice the volume of the pot. Repeat the process two or three times more to ensure that all fluoride is removed. Repeat on a regular basis.

#4. Eliminate Pests & Insects

Corn plants are affected by a variety of pest/insect-caused diseases. If the diagnosed problem is a disease, use the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Fungus causes some common infections. If the plant already has a fungal infection, the best treatment is to prune the damaged leaves and stems and repot the plant in a high-quality potting mix.

Insect pests such as spider mites can be a problem, particularly if the indoor air is dry. The mites spin fine webs that cover the growing rips and foliage. Corn plants may perish as a result.

Spray the plant with an insecticidal soap solution made by combining 6 tablespoons in 4 liters of water. Continue spraying until the plant is completely submerged. Resolve the issue until it is no longer a problem.

#5. Corn Plant Repotting

You should repot your corn plants if they are dying due to overwatering or disease. Place them in a new potting mix or soil, making sure that the substrate is well-drained and disease-free. If you must use an old substrate, bake it to sterilize it properly.

You can improve the soil by incorporating perlite into it. If the soil retains a lot of water for an extended period of time, your plants may develop root rot.

#6. Propagate New Corn Plants

There is still hope if you have tried everything to save your plants but they continue to die. Look for the plant’s healthiest part and try to propagate it. Here are some methods for propagating your corn plants:

A. Stem Propagation

Because your indoor corn plants can produce a large number of stems, you can start a new plant from the current stem. Simply cut at least 10 inches of stem and plant it in a suitable potting mix. Make certain to plant the lower end. Mist the stem with water until it begins to grow.

B. Top Cutting Propagation

If you have root rot on your corn plant and the lower ends are slowly rotting, you can collect the top of the stem and plant it in a suitable potting mix. Make certain that the new potting mix or soil does not retain an excessive amount of moisture. Mist it with water until new growth appears.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are my corn plant’s leaves turning yellow and crispy?

Yellowing leaves are frequently an indication of a problem with the nutrient uptake process, which can be caused by water competition from nearby grass or by drought conditions. Corn plants obtain 13 of the 16 nutrients required for growth from the soil, either through direct contact as roots grow or through mass flow or diffusion.

How can I tell if my corn plant is dying?

Yellowing, drooping leaves

If the leaves on your corn plant are yellow and beginning to sag, this is a sign of dehydration. It can also be a sign of root rot, which is caused by leaving the plant in standing water.


Corn plants, like most plants, die as a result of a combination of factors. Fortunately, the process of saving a dying corn plant is fairly simple, involving mostly routine gardening practices and plant care.

You’d be surprised how often simply moving the plant to a shadier part of the house is enough to perk it up. Only in extreme cases involving root rot and serious plant diseases should the plant be removed.

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H&A ~ The Home Adora

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