How to save your drooping corn plant

Growing corn plants in your garden is an easy exercise. However, many people struggle to carry out the adequate care required for their corn plant; as a result, their corn plant begins to droop.

In order to save your drooping corn plant, ensure it has enough water and sunlight and that you remove any dead parts. Since corn is a tropical plant, the right temperature is also essential. Fertilizer is also very helpful, as it ensures that the corn plant has the right nutrients.

This article will explain how to save your plant when you notice it is dying, as well as the factors that cause corn plants to die and the telltale signs to watch out for.

How to Save a Dying Corn Plant

You now know the causes and what hints to look out for in a dying corn plant. How then do you save it?

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Here outlined are the steps to save a corn plant from drooping:

  1. Plant with Fertilizer 

Corn requires a lot of soil nutrients for it to germinate and thrive. Therefore, it would be best to plant your corn plant with fertilizer. You can apply fertilizer at different times during the growing season.

If you are on a budget, in the place of fertilizer you can use composted manure or organic materials such as aged manure and leaves to generate nutrients for your corn plant.  

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For your fertilizer, we recommend you get one high in NPK; however, you should be careful because most soils have a high amount of potassium already. The application should also be timely. 

If you are on a budget, in the place of fertilizer you can use composted manure or organic materials such as aged manure and leaves to generate nutrients for your corn plant. 

  1. Cut off the Dead Parts

If the leaves are still green and have only begun to wilt, you can still salvage them by introducing the right conditions that the plant lacks, such as fertilizer. However, the problem isn’t often evident at this stage, making it difficult for you to fix them. 

If the damage has become advanced and the leaves have started to grow yellowish, you may consider cutting them off. After this, you should then put the right conditions in place. This will give enough room for the other plant parts to recover. 

  1. Expose it to the Right Amount of Sunlight

For your photosynthesis, your corn plant needs the right amount of sunlight. So, first, avoid keeping it in places with low lighting.  

  1. Pay Attention to Watering

Lack of sufficient moisture content is the leading cause of wilting and death in corn plants. To prevent this, provide it with a decent water quantity. Importantly, ensure that this is constant, as irregular watering is equally dangerous.

On the other hand, too much water will cause the roots to rot; in this case, the dying starts from the ground up. To prevent this, create room for excess water to drain off the plant pot. 

What Causes a Corn Plant to Droop?

Many prefer the ornamental corn plant because it thrives in somewhat difficult conditions such as low light and doesn’t demand much care. 

It should, however, be noted that these two plants are different. While the corn plant that grows in your garden can be consumed, the other is solely for ornamental purposes. Nonetheless, they share similar problems that usually affect their growth.

For instance, when these plants are not adequately maintained, areas around the stem may rot, leaves may begin yellowing, and you may notice brown marks on leaves. However, one of the most common and damaging effects is that the crop may even droop. 

The causes of this are diverse and often unrelated. For instance, if the plant doesn’t get enough moisture, you should expect it to droop. But, surprisingly, if your crop gets exposed to too much water, a droop may also happen. 

Before we examine how to solve the problem of corn plant drooping, it is essential to know the root of this problem. The causes of a dying or drooping corn plant include the following:

Limited Access to Water

This is the most common factor causing your corn plant to droop. This is why it is advisable that you plant your corn during the last frost of spring because a corn plant needs decent access to moisture to support its life cycle.

Thus, not providing it with sufficient water will affect its ability to power its stems, causing it to droop and fall off.

You should also note that inadequate watering is not the only challenge; inconsistent watering can also pose a problem. If you use irrigation and the water supply is irregular, you should expect the plant to react.

Thus, if you often provide the plant with lots of water at a particular time and then starve it some other time, you should expect the leaves to droop. 

In addition, you should be mindful of the source of water you use for the corn plant. Corn plants are liable to nutrients such as boron or fluoride, which you mostly find in fertilizers. However, these elements are also present in tap water in decent quantities.

Therefore, you can consider using distilled water or let the tap water run for a few minutes before applying it to the corn plant. 

Pests and Insects

When the plant is dehydrated and starts to experience dryness, it becomes attractive to insects such as spider mites. These pests tend to take up even more moisture from the already-sapped plant, causing further dryness and accelerating the plant’s death. 

Lack of Decent Supply of Sunlight

Planting your corn indoors is not a good practice. If your corn plant is in a dark room with a low supply of light from the sun, you may be setting it up to sag and eventually fall off since it lacks chlorophyll. This usually causes stunted growth and ultimately death.

Corn gets lots of sunlight in the tropics, their natural habitat. As such, denying them this will be harmful.

Low temperatures

We have to repeat that the corn plant comes from a more tropical climate, which means it can’t thrive in the cold. If the temperature consistently falls below 60°F, the plant may develop what experts call a cold temperature or chilling injury. Symptoms include stunting, seminal root death, spotted leaves and eventual death. 

Low Humidity

Again, since corn plants are from the tropics, and so they like some humidity, which may not be present in indoor conditions. Low humidity due to dry air inside the room, alongside dry soils due to inadequate watering, will speed up the browning of the crop’s leaves, causing them to fall.

Too Much Water Content

Surprisingly, not watering your corn plant and overwatering yield the same result. Thus, providing it with too much water will have a negative effect on the roots. The waterlogging is capable of causing the root to rot. The effects will spread over, causing the leaves to go brownish and the entire plant to die. 

How to Know If Your Corn Plant Will Droop

While it’s good to know how to save your drooping plant and the factors that cause it to droop, it is also helpful to know the signs that indicate your plant needs attention so that it doesn’t get to that point.

Here are signals that may indicate that drooping may affect your corn plants soon.

Corn Plant Leaves Curling

In cases where the corn plant runs out of water or gets exposed to too much lighting, the leaves start to dry at the edges, and they soon start to wilt. Other causes of corn plant leaf curling include overwatering, pest infestation, low humidity, and the absence of needed nutrients. 

When this happens, it is an early indicator of more severe problems later. However, you can still fix the plant at this stage. 

Corn Plant Turning Yellow and Brown

Often, it isn’t easy to notice when a corn plant starts to curl. This is because the plant still retains its greenery and the stems and other parts still stand properly. However, if you don’t fix them at that stage, they can quickly turn your corn yellow or brown.

This time around, the yellowing affects other parts, apart from the leaves, including the stem. Whether or not you can remedy the plant at this stage depends on how advanced the yellowing has become. 


A drooping corn plant can be a sign that your plant is dying, so we have written this article to help you revive it, prevent it, and also look for those telltale signs that indicate your plant is not as healthy as it should be.


Sam is an outdoor enthusiast, who loves spending time in the garden and learning about animals. His motivating forces are his wife and 5 beautiful children. When he doesn't get it right, he will go and try again!

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