Hailing from the African continent, this tropical plant has found its place in the households of many USA and UK families. Mass cane plant is a type of plant that is easy to grow, and highly recommended to beginner plant owners.
As compared to the other house plants which need a certain type of nutrients, pH level of soil, and soil type for good growth, mass cane plants don’t come up bothersome to the new plant enthusiasts.
Also, many folks referred to it as a corn plant is a wonderful low-maintenance plant for your house, and majorly gives off tropical vibes.
Let me give you more facts about corn plants (mass cane) before heading onto the complete guide to growing this tropical plant at your place.
Facts about corn plant (mass cane)
You must be wondering what’s so special about this African plant. The height of most Mass cane plants is around 4 to 6 ft. Leaves of the mass cane plant are the actual showstopper of the plant, even though flowers are a rare beautiful sight.
Green with yellow stripes and the glossy appearance of the leaves can compliment any house setting. It got the name of the corn plant due to its leaves closely resembling the corn stalks.
Widely growing all over Africa, and belongs to the Asparagaceae family. The other names are Massangeana Cane and Dracaena fragrans. When it is grown in the indoor area, it detoxifies the impure air.
In an indoor setting, the plant can live easily 20-30 years. However, residing in their own habitat, they can live up to 100 or over years.
In terms of the toxic nature of the plant, it is safe for humans, but not for pets. It may cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, lack of appetite, and vomiting. The cats commonly suffer from dilated pupils when they come in contact with mass cane plants.
A Complete Guide to Mass Cane Plant Care
Necessary requirements for Mass cane plants:
Mass cane plants can thrive in various forms of indoor lighting. They enjoy great exposure to the sunlight due to being a tropical plant. However, the best sunlight positioning for Dracaena fragrans is medium and indirect sun exposure for a better growth rate.
Locate them in the east-facing direction of your house. The direct sunlight will cause the leaves of the plant to start curling or turning towards the shade to protect them.
At that moment, you can place them somewhere away from the harsh light. If they are left unnoticed, discoloration, and dehydration of the leaves may occur.
In partial or low lighting, mass cane plants can easily survive. However, the growth rate will be much slower for the plant.
The watering of the mass cane plant depends on its location. In a place where it is able to get indirect sources of lighting, the watering can be done once, or twice a week easily. The proper way to water is by just pouring into the top layer of the soil.
Moreover, in low lighting, you should avoid frequently watering the pot. Similarly, when the plant when exposed to direct sun, the water evaporates and makes the soil dry very soon. Hence, therefore it increases the watering frequency. Touching the soil is an easy way to know if the soil is dry or moist before watering.
Another thing to keep in mind about watering is the presence of fluorides, salts, or minerals in the tap water. If their percentage is higher in water, then use rainwater or bottled water.
Though the corn plant has a great tendency to adapt to any environment, still we can’t forget the fact that it is a tropical plant. Hence, it needs a high humidity, and a warm surrounding of 15-24°C (60-70°F) to perform steadily.
The extreme sun can be filtered by a curtain. The humidifier, or put the pebbles in the pot, otherwise, you can plant more plants to provide a warm, and moist temperature to the mass cane plant.
Once the temperature falls below 12°C, the plant will start to struggle. So, you need to move the corn plant to a warmer space or close the windows. Low humidity can result in browning of the leaves.
NPK with a ratio of 5-10-5 in a fertilizer is advised ideally to use once a year. The fertilizers before being poured into the soil mix must be diluted according to the strength of the tropical plant. The fertilizers measuring high fluoride and boron levels will be harmful because the mass cane plant is sensitive towards these elements.
5. Soil Preparation
In the beginning, it is already mentioned that the mass cane plants don’t require a specific soil type to plant. However, one must confirm that the soil drainage works properly before placing them in the pot. The improper drainage will create the issue of root rotting, or water staying on the soil for a long time.
This is a necessary care for mass cane plants to keep in mind. Ensure the drainage by using peat moss with the potting soil, and if your soil is denser, then get some perlite. If you suspect a buildup of salt in the soil due to watering, then put more soil in the pot.
A quick note: It may take a while to see the symptoms of Dracaena fragrans when it is undergoing over-watering, or maybe under-watering issues. They are slow-reacting and slow-growing kinds of plants. So, don’t panic in such situations, and calmly understand the problems.
6. Propagating the Mass cane plants
The process of propagation is very simple for mass cane plants. Look for the best time to propagate your corn plant in the year. The plant must be healthy and should have new budding.
Now, grab garden scissors, or use a knife for cutting healthy stems (at least 3 inches) with a slight angle over the horizontal groove. After that, take your stem and apply if you want some rooting powder to ensure the growth of budding. Dig a hole to insert the stem and make sure the budding is above the soil. Water it, and wait! Finally, when the roots start coming out; transfer it to another pot.
7. Pruning mass cane plants
Without any pruning, mass cane plants can still look bushy, and pretty. However, if you have decided to prune your mass cane plants, you can absolutely custom-make their appearance, and aesthetic with the help of garden scissors.
If you think the plant is growing way too tall, then cut from the top section of the stem. These cuttings can be further used for propagation, so; you can wait for the best time for both pruning and propagation.
Remember they are slow growing, which means there are quite fewer chances of pruning your plants.
Problems or diseases related to Mass cane plants
1. Mealy Bugs:
When a mass cane plant is moved out from its African habitat, the plant experiences certain diseases and issues. Mealybugs are one of the common problems that corn plants face.
The treatment of the mealy bugs or other insects such as scale insects, and spider mites is the soap water solution. Cleaning the leaves with a gentle amount of soap water will be helpful to corn plants. If the situation gets worse, you can get insecticide to deal with it.
2. Rotting and leaf spot:
One needs to be extra careful when dealing with the above two problems, as they can turn out irreversible if left unnoticed. Rotting of the root or stalk can be caused due to overwatering, whereas bacterial or fungal pathogens can cause leaf spot disease. Using the copper fungicide, you can prune the infected leaves.
3. Brown spots:
The problem of brown spots on the leaves arises when the corn plant is exposed to too much sun heat, or cold. First of all, you need to relocate mass cane plants from the current environment to a more suitable place that satisfies the needs of your plant.
Then, take a clean shear start cutting out the brown spot parts on your leaves, and leave the rest of the healthy foliage. If the entire leaf has suffered through brown spots, then gently pull out the leaf from the base.
More similar plants to consider
Lindenii has similar requirements of maintenance as a mass cane plant. The single difference between the two varieties is the color of the stripe. It is the creamy white stripes that run through the center of the leaves of Lindenii.
Maximum height: 3 ft
This variant grows in a healthy bushy manner. They have a gray-green color of leaves, and the stripes can be of either white or green color.
Maximum height: 5ft
The leaves of these Dracaena fragrans can grow up to 2 ft long, and they stay close to the woody stem of the plant. They also have a white creamy stripe with a beautiful green shade.
Maximum height: 4 ft