February 23, 2021 at 9:10 pm Reply
Hello, when my dad passed away about 5 years ago, I got his corn stalk plant which was about 9ft tall. It had been growing well over these last 5 years but I noticed a cat had been peeing in it so I wanted to repot it and put fresh soil. During the transplant, it lost a lot of roots! After transplanting it, it looked limp and one branch broke so I cut it off and another to make it more even. It was very top heavy to begin with and was leaning so I ended up cutting quite a bit off. It’s still really tall but leaves are turning yellow. I have been taking them off as they turn. I’m afraid I won’t have any leaves left. I’m afraid between the loss of so many roots during transplant and the cat pee that it will die. I’m very anxious about it since it was my dads plant and if it does because of me I’ll be very upset. So, I’m wondering if I could cut all the stalks way back to the point of there being no leaves left because the stalks are very long and all the leaves are at the top, will it start sprouting new stems and leaves again? Help please! Thank you 🙂February 24, 2021 at 11:30 am ReplyNate from N&GPrivate messageExpert gardener (moderator)
Hi @fallank1 – that sure seems like a huge corn stalk plant! First of all, you should check this article on dealing with yellow leaves on dracaena. Perhaps you overlooked something when repotting, since yellow leaves are often a sign of overwatering.
Normally yes, you can behead a corn stalk plant and it’ll grow back. It works great on healthy plants, see pic below. However, on weak plants (or diseased ones) it might not work. As a precaution, you could simply chop the branches you cut off into portions 1 foot (30 cm) long. Stick them in soil about 3-4 inches deep (7-10 cm). Keep moist but not wet. That way you’ll have lots of cuttings.
Important! Stick them in the soil in the right direction, with the top upwards and the bottom in the soil.February 25, 2021 at 8:55 am Reply
So the fact that it lost a lot of the rooting system during the transplant isn’t an issue? Thanks for your response:)February 25, 2021 at 8:56 am Reply
How often should I water them once plant the trimmings ?February 25, 2021 at 11:41 am ReplyNate from N&GPrivate messageExpert gardener (moderator)
Well, of course plants don’t like losing half their root system, so for sure part of the yellowing is due to that, you’re right. It’s the main factor in transplant shock. Reducing the leaves and cutting branches off helps reduce the load on roots, so what you’ve done will help the plant cope. That’s why I didn’t focus on it since you already did what was necessary 😉
As for watering, you’ll want to water often enough that it stays moist. A good test is to scratch the surface: if the soil is dry half an inch (1 cm) down, then you can water again. It’s hard to say exactly, I’d need to know where your live more or less. For instance, in the tropics with lots of sun and dry air, you’d have to water twice a day. Tropics with moist air (high humidity) only once a day. Temperate climates like most of the US or Europe perhaps only add a bit of water every 3-4 days, sometimes even a week. If in Australia, now entering winter, also about once a week. Where are you located?
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