Re: Corn plant (Dracaena Massangeana) problems

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Posted by Newt on May 19, 2003 at 20:41:08:

In Reply to: Re: Corn plant (Dracaena Massangeana) problems posted by alice on May 19, 2003 at 19:24:16:


: Hello Newt.
: I have a corn plant that was given to me by great aunt sometime around 1983. She got it, I think, as a cutting of a plant she had. I probably repotted it once or twice. The cat clawed the plant quite extensively when it could reach the leaves. I water the plant only occasionally, and it is in very indirect light in my daughter's room, where despite lousy soil and extreme neglect it thrives. After I had owned it about 20 years, it blossomed for the first time. The blossoms were very fragrant at night, and eventually I seem to recall they were also very sloppy. I am about to remember how they were sloppy, as the plant has set forth a new bud.
: From this description you may think everything is fine, but it isn't because the plant is too big. It has hit the ceiling, and is in a small pot that keeps falling over.
: I know I can't shrink the plant. How do I make a cutting of this plant that will survive? I have formed an emotional attachment to the plant over the years, but not a deep enough one to remove the ceilings from my home.
: You advice will be much appreciated.
: Sincerely, Alice

:

Hi Alice,
Your story about your corn plant is wonderful! I enjoyed it so much. I have never heard from anyone who had one bloom, so you are very fortunate. They are easy to root, but you will need some patience as they do take a few months to form enough roots to plant them. What I have done is just cut a section of the stem with a sharp knife and put in water out of the sun. Don't cut the stem that is going to bloom until after the bloom is done. There are other ways as well. Cane cuttings are also an option. Here's a site that explains how to do it.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-8700.html
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/greenhouse/ornamentals/prop.html

Also, you probably need to repot the parent plant. If you are going to take several cuttings, then you can reduce the size of the rootball. If you have only repotted the plant twice in 20 years, the rootball is probably VERY rootbound. If possible, after taking your cuttings, try and cut some of the roots. Then you can either put it back in the same pot or in a pot that is 2" larger. You probably need to consider repotting it every 2 years or so.

Hope this was helpful. Good luck with your wonderful plant.
Newt



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