How to Save a Dying Corn Plant

Corn Plant

It’s heartbreaking to see the leaves wither away on your once beautiful corn plant. You brought it home thinking it will give you years of fresh foliage to brighten up your indoor landscape, but it looks like the plant is approaching the end of its life. Don’t give up hope just yet! There are still a couple of ways you can try out and salvage the dying plant! Continue reading and you’ll learn some handy tips on how to save a dying corn plant.

Corn Plant Care Requirements

If your corn plant is dying, it’s very likely that the plant isn’t happy with its growing conditions. Before diagnosing and fixing the problem, make sure you’re covering all its requirements. Corn plant should get:

  • Well-drained soil
  • Filtered sunlight
  • Temperatures between 65°F and 75°F
  • Water, around once a week. Preferably, use dechlorinated water which can be prepared by leaving the water in the watering can overnight until chlorine settles at the base before watering the plant with it. Alternatively, you can boil and cool the water before feeding it. 
  • Humidity, at around 40 to 50%. Humidity can be achieved by misting the plant when the air is dry. Alternatively, you can install a humidifier near the plant. 

Common Corn Plant Problems And How To Fix Them

Let’s look at some of the common problems that result in a dying corn plant. You’ll also learn how to fix the problem in each case and save your dying corn plant. 

Yellow, Sagging Leaves

Yellow, drooping leaves on corn plants are often a result of incorrect watering. It can be caused by both, underwatering or overwatering. If the plant gets too little water, it will suffer dehydration. If it gets more water than it requires, and the roots are often sitting in standing water, root rot results. 

Grow the corn plant in a container with drainage holes at the base and a well-drained potting mix. The potting soil can be mixed with perlite to further improve drainage. Water only until moisture appears from the bottom hole of the pot. Correcting the watering pattern will often revive the plant in the case of yellow and drooping leaves. 

Brown, Scorched Leaves

If you notice brown, scorched marks on the leaves, the reason is obvious. The plant is sunburned as a result of overexposure to sunlight. The leaves may also curl inwards towards the trunk as a response to sunlight, which is another symptom you should watch out for. The curling is actually a natural preventive measure of the plant before the scorched marks appear. 

In both cases, curling or scorching, move the plant further away from the window, making sure none of the leaves are exposed to any direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can drape curtains over the window or use UV filtering window film to protect the plant against direct sunlight. 

Brown Tips on Leaves

If the leaves are turning brown, especially around the tips, the humidity is not ideal for the plant. It can also be a result of too much sun exposure. If the plant is receiving optimal indirect sunlight, see if the air around the plant is too dry. 

Humidity may be lacking if the plant is sitting close to a radiator or a drafty window. Certain appliances, such as dehumidifiers can also make the conditions unsuitable for the plant. Humidity levels are especially lower in winters due to the heating appliances working inside the house. If you’re unsure if the humidity level is ideal for your corn plant, you can use an indoor humidity gauge to keep a check. 

Installing a humidifier near the plant or misting it regularly will improve the conditions. Alternatively, you can place the plant pot over a pebble tray filled with water to maintain humidity in the surrounding air. 

Nutrient Deprived

Like all other plants, the corn plant also needs nutrients to thrive. Feed the plant once a month with an all-purpose fertilizer throughout the growing season, which typically lasts from April to October. 

However, don’t offer any fertilizer through the winters. Fertilizing the plant during winters, while it’s dormant, can do more harm than good. Winter fertilization triggers new growth on the plant when the plant should ideally be resting. It disturbs the natural growing cycle of the corn plant, compensating for its health. 

Incorrect Pot

If your corn plant isn’t performing well, one possible reason could be an incorrect pot. The pot should be large enough to allow the roots to grow freely and have at least one drainage hole to allow excess water to drain out easily. 

If the plant is growing in a pot too small for its size, there are chances that it’s root-bound. In this case, you’ll need to re-pot it to a larger pot to help it grow healthier. 

However, make sure that the new pot is only one size larger than the existing pot. The corn plant does not like growing in a pot that’s too big for its size. Since corn plants are slow growers, you won’t have to re-pot very often. Only re-pot when the plant is root-bound, and not before that. 

Incorrect Soil

Make sure you use the best potting soil for corn plants. Garden soil isn’t a good choice for growing potted plants. It’s heavy and easily becomes compacted, both of which make it hard for the plants to grow a strong root system. 

Use a peat-based potting mix to fill the pot since it provides the ideal drainage that will keep the soil moist for the plants between waterings. Place a saucer under the pot to catch the excess water. Drain the saucer each time you see water in it to prevent the roots from sitting in standing water.   

How to Save a Dying Corn Plant – Conclusion

So now you’ll have a fair idea about what’s causing problems for your corn plant. Make the right fixes and ensure that the plant is getting the ideal conditions to thrive. With the right amendments, you’ll be able to revive your plant and enjoy that luscious foliage once again.