How to Repot a Corn Plant

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Large corn plants have a dramatic effect.
Large corn plants have a dramatic effect. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A longtime favorite for homes and offices, the corn plant, Dracaena fragrans, is an easy-care, dramatically attractive plant. Originating in tropical east Africa, the corn plant prefers to be out of direct sunlight, making it an ideal houseplant. Corn plants grow slowly and like to have their roots slightly root bound, so you will not need to repot your plant often, usually every three to four years. When you do replant your corn plant, do it in the spring, before the plant's growing season begins.

Things You'll Need

  • Container or pot, one size larger than existing pot
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Large bucket
  • Catch pan for under the pot
  • Small pebbles or rocks
  • Water

Mix, in a large bucket, one part potting soil, one part clean builder's sand and one part moist peat moss. This will be the new planting medium for your corn plant. This mixture will drain well, yet hold moisture.

Fill your new plant container 1/3 full of the new potting mix. Your new pot or container will need to have a drain hole in the bottom and only be the next larger size than the pot your corn plant has been growing in, or 2 to 4 inches larger. Corn plants do best when their roots are crowded.

Remove your corn plant from its existing pot and carefully brush off the soil around the roots.

Place your corn plant roots on top of the 1/3 potting mix fill, then add more potting mix over and around the roots and stalk. Make sure your corn plant's main stalk is straight as you do this. When you are 1 to 2 inches from the rim of your pot, stop and gently pat down the soil to eliminate any air pockets and ensure good contact with the soil and roots.

Place small pebbles or rocks in the water catch pan before placing the potted corn plant on it. The pebbles will help keep your plant from sitting in water and becoming overwatered, which may kill or rot your corn plant.

Water your newly planted corn plant lightly and slowly. Corn plants prefer dry to moist soil, never soggy soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • Let your newly planted corn plant adjust to its new planting for two to three weeks before beginning your monthly fertilizer program.
  • Your corn plant may loose one or two bottom leaves after repotting. It is a common occurrence.

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