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January 13, 2018
We have a large corn plant in our lobby which is at least six feet tall. We recently
repotted it in a larger pot and noticed that it grew seeds. Recently it bloomed with
small flowers with a lovely fragrance. Now the flower petals are dropping to the
floor and it’s quite sticky. What is this and why did it bloom? The people we visit
with say they have never seen this before.
Many houseplants have the capability of blooming in their native environments. In
the low light conditions of a typical home or office, we rarely see blooms. There
are a few plants though, that we can frequently see flowers. The corn plant dracaena
is one, along with jade plants and the sanseveria or Mother-in-law plant. It means
you have some really good growing conditions for the plant. We often find that once
the plants begin to bloom, they do so every year. The fragrance is quite sweet, and
can be a bit cloying in a very small space. The fragrance tends to be more intense
at night but enjoy it while it blooms.
As soon as I got my corn plant dracena home, one of the trunks leaves started dying
off. They turned brown and died, one after the other. I started cutting them back
and before long they were all dead. Then the trunk started getting soft but stopped
in a short time. What do I do now?
I would say it either got too wet or too cold. Corn plants actually can tolerate fairly
dry conditions. Cut out the soft tissue and damaged trunk. If it goes all the way
to the ground, you probably have a dead plant. Dig it up and examine the roots. If
they are brown and gummy, toss it. If they are full and white, give it a chance to
send up another sprout. You might also visit with the store where you bought it and
see if they would replace it, or if others had the same problem.
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