How to Prune a Corn Plant


Get tips on how to prune a corn plant so that it can continue to produce corn for harvesting.

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The corn plant, Dracaena fragrans, is an elegant, leafy tropical that commonly graces the interiors of homes and offices. With proper care, a corn plant can grow to be 6 feet tall or more and live for many years. Though it requires little pruning, you may want to cut back a corn plant to control its size or shape, or to encourage new growth.

The Basics of Corn Pruning

Pruning is an important part of keeping your corn plant healthy and producing the best possible yield. When and how you prune your corn plant will depend on the type of corn plant you have. In this article, we will go over the basics of corn pruning so that you can make sure your corn plant is healthy and productive.

What is pruning?

Pruning is the process of selectively removing parts of a plant, such as leaves, stems, or fruit. The goal of pruning is to encourage growth, reduce the spread of disease, and improve the plant’s overall health.

Corn plants are typically pruned in late summer or early fall. This allows the plant to focus its energy on producing new leaves and stems, rather than on producing fruit. Pruning also helps to control the spread of diseases, such as corn smut.

To prune a corn plant, start by removing any dead or dying leaves. Next, cut back any existing leaves so that they are about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) long. Finally, cut off any remaining stalk so that it is about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) tall.

When is the best time to prune corn plants?

Pruning should be done when the plant is actively growing, which is typically late spring or early summer. The best time to prune corn plants is after the side shoots have started to develop, but before they get too long.

How to prune a corn plant?

Most people think that pruning corn is as simple as topping the plant when the tassels appear. However, if you want to produce the highest possible yield, there is a bit more to it than that. Here are the basics of corn pruning:

The first thing to understand is that corn is a grass, and like all grasses, it produces its fruit (in this case, ears of corn) at the tips of its leaves. Each ear of corn is actually an aggregation of many small fruits, called kernels, that are borne on a slender stalk called the cob. The cob is surrounded by two rows of leaves, called husks.

The main stem of the plant typically produces eight to ten leaves, each of which produces an ear of corn. In addition, side shoots called suckers may form at the base of the plant or along the main stem. These suckers compete with the main stem for water and nutrients, so they should be removed.

When to prune?
The best time to prune your corn plants is when they are about knee-high. At this point, you should remove any dead or diseased leaves, as well as any side shoots that have appeared. You can also remove any lower leaves that are touching the ground, as these are susceptible to disease.

How to prune?
Pruning corn plants is best done with a sharp pair of shears or garden snips. Simply cut off any dead or diseased leaves, as well as any side shoots or lower leaves that are touching the ground. You can also cut back any particularly long leaves to keep them from dragging on the ground and becoming diseased.

The Benefits of Pruning

Pruning is the process of removing dead, diseased, or damaged plant tissue. It can also help to shape a plant and promote growth. When done correctly, pruning can result in a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing plant.

Improved air circulation

When you prune a corn plant, you are essentially giving it a haircut. This may seem like a pointless exercise, but in fact, pruning has many benefits. For one, it encourages the plant to produce new growth. It also helps to remove any diseased or damaged leaves, stems or flower heads. In addition, pruning can improve air circulation and allow more sunlight to reach the plant. All of these factors can contribute to a healthier, more vigorous plant.

Pruning also has aesthetic benefits. By trimming away dead or overgrown leaves and stems, you can help maintain the plant’s natural shape and size. If you’re growing corn for its ears of corn, then you’ll want to focus on removing any extra leaves and stalks that are taking away from the ears. This will not only improve the look of your plant, but it will also make harvesting much easier.

Increased light penetration

Pruning your corn plants correctly will result in increased light penetration and air circulation within the plant canopy. This enhanced light penetration will lead to increased photosynthesis, which results in more sugar being produced by the plant. The sugar is used by the plant to create both energy and new tissue. This process of increased photosynthesis also results in increased ear size, specifically the kernels on the ear.

Improved plant health

While masscutting a plant may seem like an easy way to tidy it up, doing so can result in a number of problems. For one, it can provoke a response in the plant that causes it to produce more foliage, leading to an overgrown mess. It can also stimulate the growth of weak and unhealthy shoots, as well as encourage pests and diseases. Pruning, on the other hand, helps to create a healthier plant.

When you prune a corn plant, you are essentially thinning it out. This allows for better airflow and circulation, which helps to reduce the risk of fungal diseases and pests. Pruning also encourages the plant to produce stronger and healthier growth. By selectively removing damaged or diseased leaves and stems, you allow the plant to direct its energy towards producing new growth that is strong and healthy.


Pruning a corn plant is essential to keeping it healthy and producing a good yield of corn. When pruning, be sure to remove any dead or dying leaves, as well as any leaves that areinfested with pests. Also, remove any stalks that are not producing corn. To keep your plant healthy and vigorous, prune it on a regular basis.

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