How to Propagate My Corn Plant

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Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans), with its long, arching, variegated leaves, is ideally suited to homes and offices. It requires very little care and maintenance and grows well in indirect sunlight or bright florescent light. It grows up to 48 inches tall, making it possible to take several cuttings from the central stem, called a cane. Corn plants sometimes outgrow their setting or become leggy, and this is the ideal time to take cuttings.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterile rooting medium
  • Container with drainage holes
  • Water
  • Mature corn plant
  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Small container
  • Soda straws
  • Scissors
  • Plastic bag large enough to enclose the container

Pour the rooting medium into the container and moisten it with water. You want it moist but not soggy.

Take a cutting from the central cane of the corn plant using a sharp knife and remove all the leaves. The length of your cutting depends on the number of new plants you want to start. Each new start requires a 2- to 3-inch segment.

Cut the cane into 2- to 3-inch segments. Each segment must have at least one growth bud in order to grow. Two buds increase your chances of success. A bud is a slightly swollen area under the bark.

Pour a small amount of rooting hormone into a small container. Hold the cutting horizontally with the buds facing up. Dip the lower half of the cutting in the rooting hormone.

Place the segments in the rooting medium horizontally so that only the lower half is buried in the soil and the half with a growth bud is above the soil.

Cut the soda straws in half with scissors and insert them into the medium. This keeps the plastic bag from touching the cuttings.

Enclose the container in a plastic bag and keep it in the bag until new shoots emerge. Check periodically to make sure the soil is moist.

Tips & Warnings

  • Discard any remaining rooting hormone. Do not pour it back into the original container.
  • A gallon milk jug with the bottom cut out is a good alternative to the plastic bag if your container is small enough to fit inside.

References

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