Caring for Massangeana Cane

By Shannon C , last updated January 21, 2012

The Massangeana Cane, or Corn Plant, originates from African and New Guinea soils, but has more recently become a popular, easy-to-care-for garden addition stateside. The Massangeana Cane plant can grow as high as four or six feet tall, but tolerates pruning well if a shorter plant is desired. Massangeana Cane does very well indoors and can be a malleable, flexible office or home indoor plant, but can do equally well outdoors. One fascinating, little-known fact about the Massangeana Cane plant is that NASA considers it a "clean air" indoor plant, able to remove dangerous formaldehyde from an indoor setting or home. For those aspiring gardeners who tend to forget to water foliage regularly, Massangeana Cane does extremely well under drought and dry soil conditions, and tolerates a variety of climate conditions well. Massangeana Cane needs no access to direct light to thrive, and can even do well under fluorescent or artificial office lighting. The only condition known to affect an indoor growing Massangeana Cane is over-watering. If roots are allowed to stand in water or soil becomes overly wet, the Massangeana Cane will fail to flourish and develop disease or root rot.

Caring for the Massangeana Cane Plant

The one location the Massangeana Cane plant will not thrive in is an area that receives direct light, so choose a location that does not receive direct light (either indoors or outdoors). Darker or shadier areas are fine for this unique plant.

Massangeana Cane also does poorly when exposed to fluoride that is commonly added to tap water, so before watering, be sure to add a fluoride removal agent or let water stand for two days prior to use. Wait until soil is extremely dry to the touch before watering the Massangeana Cane. This may mean watering only every two weeks, or once per month.

The Massangeana Cane can receive fertilization as needed (or approximately once per month). Be sure to always water before applying fertilizer for best results.

The Massangeana Cane can be pruned regularly. The plant grows slowly and can tend to look weak in its topmost branches. If this happens, prune those branches away.

The Massangeana Cane Plant and Pests and Diseases

The Massangeana Cane plant is susceptible to a variety of common garden pests including scale, thrips, and mealy bugs. To treat these pests, use a common garden pesticide spray or soap, taking care to isolate the infested plant away from others.

The Massangeana Cane plant typically contracts disease that relate to being left in slow-draining or standing water. Soil fungi can also infect the Massangeana Cane plant and will show manifest through leaf spots. Root and stem rot are caused by standing water and will show through an unpleasant odor; repot in lava rock to treat these conditions. Overexposure to light can cause leaf bleaching, and the remedy is to move the plant to a darker location. With dry, low-humidity climates and exposure to fluoride and other water soluble salts, the leaves may develop tip burn.

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