can i chop my corn plant?

Jenn48January 22, 2014

I have a 12 year old corn plant that I've cut several times (usually cut about 1/3 of the top off). It continues to grow well and is up to the ceiling again, but I was wondering about all the brown on the bottom....if I cut the plant all the way down to the dirt to get rid of the old brown growth, will the plant grow back okay? Also, can you root the clippings?

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hey, Jenn, you found the right spot. Pic upright below for those who were also seeing it sideways.

Yes, you can cut it, yes the cut-off part can be propagated, yes the stump should sprout a new top. It looks like there's enough material there to make several new plants, depending on size of each. Does reading this discussion give you the info you need? 'piercing my ceiling'. Scheffs, Dracs, Ficus, all very similar in pruning/propagation, except for the stuff about Scheffs and Ficus making side branches/'filling out,' doesn't apply to Dracs.

There's also timing to consider. When did you have in mind for doing this?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:41PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Cutting it back is probably best left until Spring (at least conventional wisdom suggests that).

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Jenn48

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought of when to cut it since I wasn't sure if it was even possible--I don't want to kill it! I just want to get rid of the brown growth and maybe start a new plant or two.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:24PM
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stewartsjon

Yep, cut in March, should sprout but might take a good four weeks to do anything!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:07AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I'd wait until June so that the plant has gained some energy back after the winter indoors. If you can get it outside in some shade, that'll really help re-vitalize it. Then, when you chop, the new growth will resume that much sooner.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:02AM
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