Dying corn plant, stalk only remains

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by tallyhal, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. tallyhal

    tallyhal Member

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    When I moved into my new office I inherited a Mass Cane Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana. All the leaves turned brown and the stem was hollow. I have repotted it and cut back all the leaves until now it is just a stalk. But there is some new growth, just a couple of green leaves begging for life. Will this eventually come back or is it too far gone to recover?
     
  2. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Any photos?

    Repot it in a smaller medium, removing old roots, and fresh soil. Do not water often, they love dry soil!
     
  3. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    New growth sounds positive to me:)
     
  4. tallyhal

    tallyhal Member

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    Attached are three pictures showing the whole stalk, the new budding and the top of the stalk with struggling leaves. We will repot and trim roots. Thanks for the advice.
     

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  5. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    If I may, repot it in a tiny pot... and go from there, it looks fine, albeit emerging...
     
  6. EDNY

    EDNY Member

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    I've got both a response and a question.

    In my experience, the corn/cane plant is extremely resilient. Last year, a stalk in the office tipped over and one of the green buds fell off. The bud was a little bigger than yours but has more green leaves on it. Instead of throwing it away, I stuck the bud in a clear plastic cup with only water and placed it by the window. I left it there for several weeks and forgot about it. When I checked back, the water had turned brownish but the bud had sprouted roots on its own. I changed the water and watched in amazement as the roots continued to expand. Meanwhile, the leaves on top of the bud stayed almost exactly the same. There was no growth and only slight drying. After about six months, my boss suggested that I put the bud with roots into a pot and grow it home. [The stalk from which the bud had fallen off has since sprouted a new bud at the exact same spot]. After taking it home to a more moist environment, the cane plant (see picture) has grown considerably. Old leaves grew longer and new leaves sprouted from the center. The leaves grow more slowly than the roots. In my limited experience, the plant likes sunlight, warmth and water. It lived for months in standing water by a window facing the south. I water all my plants once a week, but found that when I watered the cane plant twice a week, the leaves grew more quickly.

    Here's my question, if I could piggyback off of the previous post. Recently, about two months ago, I noticed semi-circular patches of yellowing along the edge of one leaf. It's as if the leaf was bleached. The yellowing has since turned brown and has spread to other leaves. I don't see any insects around the leaves, and don't know what's causing this. The whole plant has stopped growing. My plant has endured so much, I'd like to see it survive.

    Anyone know what's going on?
     

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  7. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    Just a few questions........Have you checked to see if its rootbound? Do you fertilise it much? Scorching can be a sign of over-fertilising, or perhaps its too much light, Dracaena's like indirect light not full sun (which is a good job as otherwise I wouldn't be able to grow any!).

    Have you noticed any patterns in which leaves are going yellow/brown at the edges? If its the bottom ones...it could be part of the natural growth process.
     
  8. EDNY

    EDNY Member

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    Hi JenRi, Thanks for your reply. From York to New York!

    I just potted the plant only about four months ago, when the roots were still maybe 6-8 inches long. I just dug around the edges to see if the plant was rootbound. Until about 1/3 of the way down, there are virtually no roots. Then, I came across some long extensions spreading downward toward the side walls of the pot. The roots are much longer than before, but are fairly spread out with plenty of room for further growth. Also, I have not fertilized at all. Just using regular indoor plant potting soil, which seems to be fairly nutritious. And only the younger leaves on top are going yellow and brown. The older, darker green leaves on the bottom haven't yet been affected.

    Also, do you know if the plant will grow a cane on its own? Right now, my plant is fairly squat looking. It'd be nice if it can grow into a tree.
     
  9. tallyhal

    tallyhal Member

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    Do not overwater your plant. I think that was the downfall of "Frank" (my plant's name). Some of the other helpful corn plant advisors have stressed dry soil and to avoid direct sunlight. When Frank was drowning from overwatering, the leaves turned brown, the stalk rotted and I eventually had to prune all the green/brown leaves from him leaving only the stalk. I am no expert so advice from others is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.
     
  10. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    It will......eventually, if you think yours is squat you should see mine, or at least you could if I hadn't left my phone in the laboratory *DOH*. I'll post a pic when I get it back - its only has about an inch of cane and looks like a rather ropey pineapple at the moment lol.
     
  11. Bluezy_Susie

    Bluezy_Susie New Member

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    I know this thread is way long ago! All this helped my current 2019 problem. Our "Corn" Plants plants had a famous owner who would have to sing his song "I'd like to have that one back". We got 5 plants salvaged from his Key Allegro home after Harvey. They were gonna rebuild of course...They cleared out the plants. We really neglected them. My deal is these needed something done to branch them out.! I am about to hack them down and see if they root!
     

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  12. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    As far as I can tell, a Corn Plant will not develop branches unless its terminal growth is killed. However, you can grow a plant with branches by just cutting that long, barren stalk into 4-8 inch segments, drying them for a while and then inserting the bottom of each segment into damp sand until it sprouts roots and branches. If you want to keep the central growth with a shorter stalk, just cut it to the desired length and plant it in a container with potting soil. I've used rooting hormone on the cut surface, but I'm not sure if it's necessary. It should resume growth in a couple of months. I've done this a couple of times with my D. fragrans to keep it from getting too tall. These plants will survive in the corner of an office with no natural light but will do better next to a window.
     
  13. morrisonm20

    morrisonm20 New Member

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    I am also afraid that my mass Cane is dying. I got it from my friend in an effort to save it from the compost since she didn't want to deal with it. I hardly water it, but it doesn't look any different than since I got it two months ago. I have read that they take a long time to show symptoms of poor health so will it take a long time for me to get it healthy?
     

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  14. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    It appears that you have three rather thick trunks in a rather small pot. I grow a much thinner single trunk, unbranched D. fragrans in an eight-inch diameter, fairly deep pot; and it does quite well with minimum care: no feeding and watering only when I notice that the soil looks dry. I think that your plants need to be repotted in something a lot larger or separated and grown in individual pots.
     
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  15. morrisonm20

    morrisonm20 New Member

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    Thank you! I think it was bought at Canadian Tire like this. I will try repotting!
     
  16. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

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    Hello! It I know this thread is older but I am hoping for advice. I have had a Mass Cane in my office for about 7-8 months. I don't have a window so I use a grow light and it has done well. The leaves on the right would occasionally die and I would peel them away. Just yesterday I noticed that the stalk for those leaves is brown and feels pretty hollow. The leaves are still green and there is some tiny growth trying but not much. Is it dying? The other leaf stalk is doing great. What should I do? There is a tiny little bud starting from the main stalk but it has been there since I got it 8months ago

    thumbnail_20200214_100153.jpg thumbnail_20200214_100129.jpg thumbnail_20200214_100138.jpg
     

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