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Why Is My Corn Plant Turning Yellow? 5 Things To Check

A few years ago, my sister decided to get a corn plant. After the overwhelming joy of introducing her corn plant into her home, however, disappointment quickly set in.

She expected her corn plant to bring her years of luscious foliage, but her corn plant started turning yellow, brown, and growing inwards only two months later.

All she could utter when she called me frantically was, “Why is my corn plant turning yellow?”

Fortunately for her, the corn plant is one of the most resilient house plants anyone can get, so she didn’t need to start all over again with a new plant.

In fact, the experience was a blessing in disguise because by the time we figured out the issue, she had turned into a mini expert on Corn Plants, thanks to all the research she had to do.

So, is one of your corn plants going through something similar? This guide will teach you how to revive it, and the solution could be simpler than you imagined.

Why Is My Corn Plant Turning Yellow
How to revive my corn plant – via Reddit

Why Is My Corn Plant Turning Yellow?

Suited for almost all growing conditions, the corn plant is a perfect specimen of what versatile plants should be. So no need to throw in the towel just yet when you’re dealing with a houseplant most describe as “un-killable.”

1. Acclimation

If you just brought in your corn plant home from the nursery, then chances it just needs some time to adjust to your home’s environment.

Since the conditions inside a home will usually be a little less optimal compared to those in a nursery, it’s okay for any home plant to start by showing several signs of stress.

Stress signs from corn plants include entirely brown lower leaves, slightly yellow leaf tips, and brown spots. If this is the case, keep giving your corn plant standard care, and it should thrive for years to come.

That said, if a few weeks have passed since you brought your corn plant into your home, but it’s still turning yellow, the issue might be a little bit more serious.

2. Re-potting

Did you recently re-pot your corn plant? If yes, then chances are the process caused a certain amount of stress to your plant, and it’ll need some time before it adjusts to the new soil and conditions. Some root damage is also possible, regardless of how careful you were with the re-potting process.

If any root damage took place, then expect the plant to have a hard time supporting its foliage or absorbing water as it did before you re-potted it.

As such, if this is the reason for your corn plant turning yellow, focus on providing it the care it deserves, and the plant should start producing additional healthy leaves and stabilizing pretty soon.

3. Pests

If sap-sucking pests have infested your corn plant, they could be responsible for the plant turning yellow. Sap sucking pests, like spider mites, aphids, thrips, scale, and mealybugs, love to suck out sap from the stems of corn plants, which results in fewer nutrients and water reaching the rest of the plant.

That’s what results in the corn plant developing the yellow shade.

With that in mind, regularly check your corn plants for any signs of pests, and take your time to inspect both the undersides and topsides of the leaves.

What’s more? Spider mites are usually too small to spot with the naked eye, but you can detect their presence if you find any fine webbing between the corn plant’s foliage.

If you own a magnifying glass, use it as well to see if any pests could be hiding on our corn plant, and once you’ve spotted any, take the necessary action right away before they cause irreversible damage.

Why Is My Corn Plant Turning Yellow 2
Yellowing leaves in my corn plant – via Reddit

4. Temperature stress

Corn plants will usually thrive in average indoor temperatures and will only show signs of stress if they’re exposed to temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some people (my sister included) love to take their corn plants outside over summer, and even though the plants will add visual appeal, the scorching sun could cause temperature stress on the plant.

Cold or hot drafts may also be responsible for temperature stress, so watch out for any cold or hot vents and nearby radiators.

Better yet, if you suspect that the reason your corn plant is turning yellow has to do with temperature stress, shift it to a more optimum region in your home, then take a digital thermometer and set it beside your plant.

The thermometer should help you ascertain whether or not the temperature your plant is experiencing at its new “location’ is optimum.

5. Under- or over-watering

Corn plants are, without a doubt, one of the most drought tolerant houseplants I’ve ever come across. That said, if you subject them to poor watering habits long enough, the plant will eventually develop issues, such as turning yellow.

Discoloring caused by under-watering is usually complemented by dried-out soil, and you might also see the leaves starting to curl.

To determine whether your corn plant needs water, ensure the top two to three inches of soil is dry. That said, while at it, ensure all the excess water has drained through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

The last thing you want is your corn plant sitting in soggy soil, as this can result in an even worse problem, like root rot. A severe root rot cannot be reversed, and more often than not, you’ll need to throw out the entire plant and start afresh.


Final Thoughts

I know it can be highly disappointing when your corn plants do not pan out as you had expected but remember that if you do not succeed at first, pull yourself back up and try again.

Better yet, this guide proves there are techniques you can employ to save a corn plant from turning yellow and enjoy it for decades to come.

Good luck out there, green thumb!