Dracaena Marginata plant is also known as the Mass cane plant and Corn plant. This plant is easy to grow as a houseplant for beginners. You can grow it in any part of the house and office. Mass cane plants stay green for 365 days. Below is the Mass cane plant care guide that includes everything from growing to maintaining the corn plant.
The corn plant looks like a small tree. At the bottom, it has a tree-like solid branch that grows upwards. At the top, it develops beautiful long green leaves with white creamy or yellowish streaks.
Under ideal growing conditions, it grows a maximum of 6 feet in height. This height is only possible in its natural habitat. Indoor growing corn plants only grow up 3 to 4 feet in height.
Some lucky mass cane plants produce white flowers. Only 25 % of the plants produce flowers.
Mass cane plant aka Dracaena Marginata plant is native to Africa and Zambia.
Now let’s talk about how to grow and care for this tree-like plant in your home and office? Pay attention and if necessary, make notes.
Mass cane plant care guide
Mass cane needs a low amount of light to grow. Therefore, hallways and corners are the best places to put mass cane plant pots. There the plant can get a limited amount of indirect bright light. Moreover, it gets some light from your normal light bulbs.
You can put the plant in direct sunlight and it will grow faster. But the drawback is under direct sunlight mass cane develops yellow leaves. Morning light is best for the plant. But after morning you have to move the pot to a low-light location.
Moving plants on daily basis from one part of the home to another is stressful work. Therefore, finding the best location and let it there for its whole life is a good option.
It needs a minimum of 5 hours of light to convert water and nutrients into plant food.
No need to buy grow lights for corn plants. If it shows low light signs put it under the normal bright light bulb. It will thrive again in just a few days.
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Mass Cane Plant and Soil
You can use any soil to grow and care for mass cane plants. There is only a single condition and that is the soil has to be well-draining. Also, choose the plant pot that has a bottom hole to drain out excess water.
The benefit is when you accidentally give more water to your plants. The bottom hole can save them. Because the extra water damages the plant roots. It gets collected at the bottom of the pot.
Pots that have holes in the bottom allow this extra water to drain quickly and save plants from fungus.
Normal potting soil has balanced pH so you don’t need to be worried about it. Some gardeners advise using pre-fertilized soil for all houseplants. But this soil will not work in this case. Because the plant does not need the high number of fertilizers.
Over-fertilization can burn it and once this happens. You need to flush the soil or completely change the plant soil. This will increase the cost and our motive is to grow and care for the houseplant at a low cost.
Temperature affects the watering needs of plants so you need to be careful at this point.
Because the plant is native to African countries. This means it needs warm weather to grow. The best temperature range for mass cane plant care is 15 Degree C to 26 Degrees C.
Below this range causes grey or brown leaves. In this condition, you need to move the plant pot to a warm location. Cut the brown leaves and the plant becomes green in few days.
If the temperature goes above the recommended temperature range. The mass cane leaves turn yellow and start to curl. The curling of leaves is a sign of protection. Leaves do this to protect them from the hot sun rays and hot winds.
In summers leaf curling is commonly triggered by hot winds. Do not put the plant near the sunny window on the hot days of summer.
For best mass cane plant care, give it water by checking the soil condition. In the summer months, indoor plants need more water. Because the hot weather makes them thirsty.
If the light in the room is extra bright and intense. This also increases the water intake of plants. Because the bright light increases the soil temperature and makes it dry quickly.
Before watering the plant stick the finger in the soil and check the moisture. If it is dry give some water. The amount of water should depend on the amount of potting soil.
Water the mass cane plant in a way that the potting soil becomes moist from top to bottom.
There is no specific guideline for watering plants. We cannot say give your plants 1 gallon of water.
Because the watering needs of two same family plants can be different. It depends on the various factors of the growing room. Like Air moisture, light in the room, Temperature of the room, Temperature of the air, etc.
If you give a decent amount of water to your plants the humidity will not be an issue.
Normally the tropical plants need a high humid environment to grow. But in this case, the corn plant needs low humid conditions. High humidity is not a problem it can survive in it. But we do not have high humidity in our homes.
Generally, we have home humidity in between 30 to 67 %. It needs 40 to 48 % humidity to live stronger and longer.
Brown color leaf tips are the signs of low humidity. If this is your case put the plant in the bathroom for some days.
The bathroom is the place in our homes where we have high moisture in the air. Plants in the bathroom feel like they are in the jungle due to high humidity.
In this method, you need to take care of air circulation. Keep the exhaust fan ON or open the window for fresh air. Plants also need fresh oxygen to grow and this oxygen prevents many fungus diseases.
You need to fertilizer the mass cane plant to improve the foliage quality. Sometimes high light put a negative effect on leaves. Bright light causes bleaching of the leaves.
In this situation feeding the plant is the only option to make it strong to revive itself.
Fertilizers improve plant immunity and make them strong. Any type of houseplant fertilizer will be perfect for the corn plants. Dracaena Marginata prefers the liquid type of nutrients. They are easy for the plants to absorb from the potting soil.
Most of the growers use fertilizers to encourage the bloom (which is rare).
There are two types of propagation methods one is Root divisions and the second is Cane cutting. The second method is widely used all over the country to propagate.
Follow is the step-by-step guide
- Start propagation in warm months, these are the growing season of plants
- First of all, look for the healthy mass cane that you want to multiply
- Now take a minimum of 3 stem cuttings (3 inches long)
- Plant them in the fresh potting soil.
- Give some water and put it in a container in the warm weather.
- Indirect light is required to develop roots as fast as possible.
- Check the soil every day and keep it moist all the time.
- When the plant shows good healthy signs and develops few tiny leaves this means roots are established.
- Now transfer the plant into the original pot and follow our mass cane plant care guide.
Toxicity of mass cane plant
The University of Nebraska said mass cane plant is non-toxic to humans. But this does not mean humans can consume it.
The ASPCA said corn plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. Keep the plant away from your pets. Vomiting occasionally with blood is a sign of plant toxicity. In this condition visit the ASPCA website and call your local animal doctor.
Mass cane plant pests & Diseases
In normal conditions, the plant is strong enough to fight any disease and pests on its own. There are some insects that like to live on this planet. Because they eat the plant juice to live.
Mealybugs, spider mites, and Thrips are the common insects that infect corn plants. To deal with them using soapy water. After that spray neem oil on the entire plant. This heals the plant and also prevents them from coming back.
To prevent them for entire plant life use neem spray once a month. It is safe for plants, children, and pets.
Brown leaves and brown spots
Brown leaves are the result of too low or too much water. Once the leaves turn into brown color they will not turn green. You have to correct the conditions and remove the old brown leaves. The new leaves will grow green and remain green.
Brown spots on leaves and brown tips are the sign of extra-bright direct sunlight. Overexposure to light reduces the moisture from the laves. It also burns the leaf glucose. This put tiny brown spots on leaves. Again, you have to remove the leaves that have brown spots. Move the plant pot to the low-light place.
The new leaves will grow green and vibrant.