Corn Plant Dying...Drooping_Losing Color

lasher10465May 19, 2009

My friend bought a beautiful corn plant in a ceramic pot in Feb of this year that I take care of - I used to water it weekly but the smallest stalk turned black and died so I started to water it every couple weeks but now the mid-length stalks are drooping, losing their lush green color and turning brown at the tips. The taller stalks still look beautiful which is really confusing.

There were a total of 5 stalks, 2 tall ones, 2 medium ones and the small one that died. I don't know what to do! I don't know if I'm watering it too little, still watering it too much.

The dirt is dry, but not overly dry and I'm assuming if it was overly dry the leaves, and actually one of the stalks, wouldn't be drooping they would be stiff and dry from lack of water.

Anyone have any idea what I should do.

Incidently, the day my friend bought the plant the delivery person dropped it and broke the original ceramic pot it came in...I don't know if that would have caused any kinds of problem but I thought I'd mention it. Also, the plant is in an office, not close to the window but it definitely gets sunlight, and there are fluorescent lights overhead.

Thank you for any information you can provide.

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Is the cane at the bottom rotting?

It sounds like you are underwatering and that with the combination of low humidity is causing your tips to brown.

I would unpot it, try to clean out the dead roots and put it in fresh soil, but some people might find that a bit severe.

In the future, if you spot rot on the canes, carefully scrape away any rotted material and pack the area liberally with ground cinnamon.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 3:40AM
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lasher10465, my opinion is that all the stalks are dying upward. The infection reached the growing points of the shortest cane first, affected the leaves and the disorder got your attention. I am willing to bet that if you nick the bark of the existing canes, you will find that the cambium changes from brown to green at about the same level. I won't be surprised if the bark is loosening at the lower levels.
I believe that the plant has been overwatered. If you can, examine one of the dead canes and you will probably find that all the (few) roots arise from the base of the cane. That being the case, one should gauge the moisture at that level before watering. The trick appears to be in maintaining a nice balance of air and moisture in the soil near the base. The plant will tolerate dry soil conditions much better than wet.
Of course all this remote theorising can be totally off the mark in which case the plant may recover. Hopefully, you will be able to isolate and remedy the root cause, if you will pardon the unintentional pun.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 6:17AM
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The tips of my corn plant leaves are brown, what can I do about it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 7:17AM
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