Things You'll Need
Cotton swabs and alcohol
Use a soil meter with a probe to test soil moisture.
Do you want a striking houseplant that needs little care and will even tolerate neglect? The massangeana cane, or corn plant, fits that description. The plant's leaves are its best feature--bright green with a yellow stripe. Plus, it tolerates low light and humidity and it does not need--or want--much watering.
Place your massangeana cane in indirect, bright sunlight for optimum growth. Mass canes will tolerate low light, but they will grow very slowly.
In hot weather or low humidity, mist the plant daily. Dust the leaves with water and a soft cloth as needed.
Water with distilled water. Fluoride, salts and chlorine in tap water can damage the plant's leaves and roots.
Water no more than once a week since over-watering can cause the plant's roots to rot.
Cut back new growth occasionally to allow the massangeana cane to grow a new top.
Feed your mass cane with a commercial plant food about once a month in warm weather.
Check your massangeana cane periodically for spider mites, mealy bugs or scale. Treat any infestation with an insecticide spray. For mealy bugs and scale, you can also clean the plant with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab.
Watch for these other problem signs: brown edges on leaves (over-watering), scorched spots (too much sun), grayish-brown spots (fungus caused by too much moisture) and droopy leaves or stalks (over- or under-watering).
Cameron Delaney is a freelance writer for trade journals and websites and an editor of nonfiction books. As a journalist, Delaney worked for wire services, newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years. Delaney's degrees include a bachelor's degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State and a master's degree in liberal arts from University of Denver.