If you don't recognize the common name "Massangeana cane," maybe you're familiar with the corn plant. Yep, the popular houseplant known as the corn plant because of its tall canes that look like corn stalks is known botanically as Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana.' For a tropical plant, the corn plant is astonishingly easy to care for.
Meet the Massangeana Cane
The Massangeana cane, or corn plant, is a large and appealing houseplant. Its beautiful large leaves, which are bright green with a yellow stripe, look a bit like corn leaves, and the unbranched canes definitely resemble cornstalks. Native to tropical Africa, the corn plant thrives outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b through 11. It is much more frequently grown as an imposing indoor floor plant. Indoors, the canes can shoot up to around 10 feet if they are not pruned back, and each gorgeous leaf can reach 18 inches.
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Plants grown outdoors, whether in the wild or in cultivation, flower in springtime with the fragrant blossoms appearing on long panicles up to 5 feet long. Each bloom starts out pink but is snow white when open. Every petal has a thin stripe down the center, either red or purple.
Care for a Massangeana Cane
When it comes to caring for a corn plant, it is about as easy as houseplant care gets. Here is a plant with few fussy growth requirements. It's ideal sun exposure is indirect, bright light. In direct light, the edges of the corn plant will singe. In very low light, the plant will keep on growing, but the yellow lines will fade from its leaves. If you want to know what's going on with the plant, the leaves will tell you.
This is a plant that is drought-tolerant and doesn't require frequent drinks. Give it a generous amount of water when the top few inches of soil are dry. If the plant is indoors and the temperatures soar, use a water mister or hose down the leaves daily. Indoors, the corn plant "breathes" better if you wipe the dust off the leaves regularly.
Propagate a Corn Plant
Corn plant care involves occasional pruning, but you can multitask on this because when you are cutting back new growth to allow a cane to grow a new top, you are also taking a "cutting" that you can root. The Massangeana cane is propagated by taking a section of the stem or cane between 12 inches and 36 inches.
Poke the cut end of the corn plant cane into potting soil. Keep the soil moist but not wet until roots form. The cuttings closest to a stem tip root faster than the cuttings closer to the base of a stem.