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Brown Leaves On Corn Plant

Ask the Expert: cornplant leaves turning brown on end/


  1. Iris

    There are four factor to look for when your Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans massangeana) gets brown leaves.

    Light – Too much light can cause dry burnt patches on the leaves. This is often the caused when corn plant is placed in a bright window where the light can concentrate on one or more of the leaves. It is easy to detect this problem by view the leaves that are opposite of the window. They will be free from brown spots. If this is the case move your houseplant away from the window.

    Water – Too little water will cause brown tips or spots on the leaves. Dracaena fragrans masangeana needs to be kept unevenly moist. If it stays dry for too long the leaves will shows signs of the stress. The root ball needs to be kept moist. Every seven days check the moisture level. The soil should always be moist if you stick your finger an inch into the soil. If the soil is dry give the plant water. The damage leaves will not recover, so trim the brown off.

    Humidity – Low humidity will cause brown tips or yellow edges on the leaves. If this is the problem Mist the air around the plant once or twice a week.

    The fourth issue that can cause problems is too much fluoride or chloride in the water used to water your houseplants. Corn plants are sensitive to fluoride and chloride so you might need to use distilled or rain water to water your plants. If it is only a chloride problem let you water set in an open container overnight and the chloride will dissipate.

    Hope this information is helpful. Please keep me posted. You can find more Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans massangeana) information on our corn plant page.

  2. that is exactly what was happening to my garden crop last summer, i was looking for a solution but i think the neighbor removing a couple of trees it will allow a little more sun light, which will keep the over moister problem

  3. Bob Schoonover says:

    corn plan leaves got frosd bite and brown what do I do

  4. Bob,

    As long as the roots didn’t freeze, you can simply cut off the damaged ones and the plant should start producing new ones. Just be sure not to over-water the plant during this time.

  5. Barbara keeton says:

    I have a corn plant that was a gift from a family friend after my Pop passed the leaves have turned yellow and fell off, there is new growth in two of the stalks, can I cut them off and plant them and discard the stalks what do I do??? I need help PLEASE!!!

  6. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Barbara,
    First, we need to figure out what has caused the other leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Make sure your corn plant is not getting too much sun or water. They prefer low light, and should only be watered when you stick your finger into the soil about an inch and it feels dry. They do like a humid environment, so you might try misting it once or twice a week. If there is new growth, let it grow and do not cut it.

  7. Michele m calhoun says:

    I have 5 corn plants that got hit by cold weather all of them are about 10 foot tall leaves are brown what sould I do?

  8. Hi, I have a mass cane plant that has new growth coming in as brown leaves. I’m new so not sure which direction I should take.


  9. Jeffrey Balch says:

    This could be due to a few things. Over or Underwatering is a common reason, but it could also be due to the plant being too cold. If it is in a drafty area, try moving it to a warm location with lots of indirect sunlight. It could also be due to receiving too much fluoride. If you’re using tap water for your plant, try switching to bottled water or rainwater.

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