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Ask the Plant Expert: Please Help My Corn Plant – What Am I Doing Wrong?

Ask The Plant Expert:Sun Damaged Corn Plant

What is wrong with my plant?

I received this plant as a condolence at my mothers funeral. When I reviewed it there were no problems with it, but about two days after bringing it home the leaves started to brown … that was about a week ago. Now it looks like this. I would really love to save this plant. Can you help?

It is located in front of my French doors that do not have curtains and is about two feet away from a heater vent, but the vent does not blow directly on it, and the temperature is kept at around 72° in the house. I have watered it once since bringing it home. The care instructions said moderately bright light and only water when soil is dry, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

I had problems sending multiple photos so I just included the whole plant. If you need others please email me a location that they can be sent.


Plant Expert Reply:


I think the plant is suffering from too much direct sunlight and not enough humidity. If the plant is closer than 18″ from the French doors, the sunlight may be too strong. Keep in mind the glass from the door can cause the sunlight concentration to intensify. This will cause a burning effect on the leaves. Low humidity can also cause browning of the tips and leaves.

I recommend you pull the plant at least 18″ from the window and mist the air around the plant every other day with lukewarm water. You should see new growth within a couple of weeks. You can remove any of the severely damaged leaves.

One more thing. Check your pot and make sure any excess water can drain away from the plant.

Good Luck and keep me posted.


Jamie Jamison Adams


  1. Danielle Palmer says:

    I have been reading your replies to people and it seems like you know what your doing. My lucky bamboo got to much light and I want to save it . I read that you should put some of the yellow parts but how can u do that with a spiral lucky bamboo. Should I take it out of pot and replace the gravel and water ?

  2. Danielle,

    Wow, your plant is amazing. The way your plant is constructed, you won’t be able to cut out the yellow parts of the stalks. You can cut the brown off the upper leaves. I would correct the light issue and make sure the plant have plenty of water. Then let’s see if the plant continues to turn yellow. If the yellowing doesn’t progress, then the plant should be ok.