Maintenance of Dracaena Massangeana (Corn Plant)

Hi,
I bought my first plant in January 2011. Dracaena Massangeana or Corn plant.
I would like to know a few things about how to maintain it and about how it "works".
When I fist bought it, it looked like this :
'DRACAENA MASSANGEANA Potted plant - IKEA' (http://tinyurl.com/74ysbav )
and now it looks like this. (see picture attached)
- So the smallest trunk of the three had yellow leaves when I came back from holidays and I cut the two sprouts that you can see on the picture. Is this trunk completely dead or will it grow again? If yes, will it be on the sprouts I cut or somewhere else on the trunk?
- The plant is getting bigger and bigger..Am I supposed to remove the "older" lowering leaves and only keep the new upper ones on a sprout? If yes, what's the best way to remove the leaves?
- I've never repoted a plant (never in my whole life actually) and the pot seems a little bit low and narrow for this plant. Do you think I should repot it into a bigger one? If so, how do you do it and what compost are you supposed to use?
- I would like to grow a new plant from this one. How am I supposed to do it? I've heard that you've got to cut a sprout (for example the big ones on the picture) and replant it in a new pot. If that is true, how can the sprout becomes a large trunk like the one it has now??
If yes, where are you supposed to cut the sprout? How many centimeters from the trunk?
Well, that's all. I hope you will be able to enlighten me on this mysterious plant as I cannot find many informations on internet and I want it to be healthy!
Thank you very much
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--
Chourreau


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On 2/12/12 8:12 AM, Chourreau wrote:

Leave any sprouts. Cut back the trunk about 2 inches (5 cm) above the highest sprout. This will renew the plant.

Remove dead leaves. Keep all the other leaves. When leaf-ends become dry and brown, you can use a scissors to trim them without removing the entire leaf.

The pot is far too small. The plant will soon tip over. Get a much larger pot with a drain hole in the bottom and a matching glazed saucer in which the pot will sit. (Your existing saucer might not be large enough.)
Buy some potting soil but not the kind that contains fertilizers. Put a piece of broken crockery arching over the drain hole. Fill the pot with enough potting soil that, when you put the old pot into the new one, the top of the old pot is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the top of the new pot. Pack down the potting mix firmly in the new pot. Try the old pot in the new pot again, adding more potting soil if the top of the old pot is too low.
Take the old pot outdoors. Holding it upside-down, rap the edge of the top (now the bottom) of the pot sharply on the edge of any horizontal surface (e.g., a wall, the lid of a trash bin). Be sure your fingers are spread out to hold the soil and root ball. This should dislodge the plant from the pot. Turn everything back right-side-up -- with the plant still in the old pot -- to carry back indoors.
At the base of the trunk, carefully lift the plant out of the old pot and set it centered into the new pot. Add potting soil all around, packing it down firmly. Slowly water the plant until a little water runs out into the saucer. As the potting soil settles, you might have to add more.

Pack your own rooting mix into a flower pot. The mix should consist of half coarse sand and half peat moss, well blended. DO NOT use beach sand, which contains salt. Moisten the mix with water, but do not make it soggy. With a stick, screw driver, rod, or similar object, poke a hole in the mix slightly wider than the diameter of the shoot. Do not poke all the way to the bottom of the pot.
Buy some rooting hormone, either a powder or a solution. (Yes, there are plant hormones.) Cut a sprout away from the trunk. Remove most of the lower leaves of the sprout. Hold the cut end of the sprout under water in a pail or sink. With a very sharp knife or pruning shears (secateurs), cut another inch off the cut end of the sprout, holding it under water for a count of 10. Then dip the cut end into the rooting hormone; the rooting hormone should cover not only the cut end but also the stalk almost to the lowest remaining leaf.
Place the cut end of the shoot into the hole in the rooting mix. Press the mix down firmly. Water the pot slowly until a mere trickle comes out the bottom of the pot. Invert a large jar over the shoot to create a miniature green house. (I take a plastic liter (litre?) soft drink bottle, cut off the very top, and pry off the hard plastic bottom. This makes an unbreakable miniature green house.)
Wait about 6-8 weeks. Remove the jar. Invert the pot and tap out the rooting mix. Do this very carefully so as not to break apart the mass of the mix. If you do not see roots, carefully reassemble everything, including the jar. Wait another 2 weeks. Repeat until you see roots. Then, move to a slightly larger flower pot, adding a regular potting mix. You no longer need the jar.
Wait about a month after repotting an existing Dracaena or potting a rooted cutting. Then you can start using a very mild house plant fertilizer.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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wrote:

I hope everything works out for you.
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New here. What is this group all about?
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On 2/14/12 7:03 AM, C W wrote:

See the name of this newsgroup. It tells you.
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David E. Ross
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wrote:

Nice questions about repotting and such. I learned a lot from David's answers!
-- Donna
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How do you keep a corn plant from dieing I do not have a green thumb.
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On 2/14/12 8:42 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The most important thing is to be careful about watering. It will die if the soil is too wet. Let it dry somewhat between waterings, not enough to wilt but enough that the top inch of soil is dry.
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How do you keep a corn plant alive?
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