How to Revive a Dying Dracaena Plant

How to Revive a Dying Dracaena Plant

Overwatering and inadequate drainage are the usual causes of dracaena death. Dracaena enjoys soil that drains well and that has somewhat dried soil on top in between waterings. The leaves turn yellow and take on a drooping, dead aspect if the soil is persistently moist from overwatering or poor drainage.

Since they can burn brown in direct sunshine, dracaena houseplants require bright, indirect light.

Dracaena loses its leaves as it ages, but it can also do so as a result of temperature changes, dry soil, low humidity, inadequate light, or overwatering.

Usually, dry soil, low humidity, or high temperatures brought on by indoor heating are the reasons for drooping leaves.

By misting the leaves to increase humidity, placing the dracaena in bright, indirect light rather than full sun, watering once a week with a good soak, and maintaining a temperature range of 60°F to 83°F (15°C and 28°C), it is important to recreate the conditions of the dracaena’s native environment.

Find out how to save your dying dracaena plant by reading on.

Dracaena Leaves Turning Yellow

  • Symptoms. It is possible for leaf tips to become yellow or for the leaves to turn yellow, droop, and then fall off. The leaves of dracaena can also turn black.
  • Causes. Fluoride in the water supply, compacted soils, and excessive irrigation.

Overwatering or poorly draining soils are typically to blame for dracaena leaves becoming yellow. Dracaena require the soil’s top to dry out in between waterings. The leaves of dracaenas become yellow, droop, and eventually fall off if the soil is left wet from overwatering or inadequate drainage.

The majority of dracaena species are native to tropical Africa, including Ethiopia and Uganda, where they may thrive in soils with good drainage and unpredictable rainfall.

Therefore, dracaena plants can’t stand having their roots in soggy, damp soil since it prevents them from breathing and encourages root rot.

The dracaena leaves will turn yellow and die, and they will fall off, if the roots are unable to effectively carry moisture and nutrients to the leaves.

Fluoride in tap water or fluoride found in perlite is the cause of the yellowing of dracaena leaf tips.

Due to Dracaena’s extreme sensitivity to chemicals in tap water, depending on the amount of fluoride in the water, the leaf tips and margins may turn yellow or brown.

How to Revive a Dracaena with Yellow Leaves

Recreate the conditions of the dracaena’s natural environment to revive a dying plant with yellow leaves by watering when the soil’s surface is dry, using a well-draining potting mix to improve drainage and lower the risk of fungal disease, and cutting back any roots that have root rot to save the plant.

  • Restrict the irrigation. To mimic the regular rainfall cycle and levels of soil moisture in its natural environment, dracaena typically only need watering once per week in the spring and summer and once every 10 to 14 days in the winter. Before rewatering, allow the soil’s surface to dry.
  • Repot the dracaena using a soil mixture that drains well (if the soil is notably draining slowly). A potting soil blend that mimics the native environment’s soil drainage conditions is necessary for dracaena plants. In order to strengthen the soil structure and reduce the risk of root rot, repot the dracaena using a mixture of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 horticultural grit or orchid potting mix.
  • Avoid compacting the potting soil too firmly because doing so can cause the soil to lose oxygen and impede drainage. Dracaena prefers well-drained, aerated soil with plenty of room for air (which is necessary for root respiration).
  • With a clean set of pruners, remove any unhealthy roots. While healthy roots feel firm, typically have a lighter color, and do not smell terrible, root rot-infected roots are brown, squishy, mushy, and have a rotten appearance. Use a clean, sharp pair of pruners to cut any diseased roots back to healthy growth.
  • To avoid possibly spreading fungal diseases to otherwise healthy dracaena roots, wipe the pruner blades with a cloth dipped in disinfectant between each cut. Before repotting, wash the dracaena’s container with hot, soapy water to reduce the possibility of fungus reinfecting the roots and turning the foliage yellow.
  • Never add perlite to the potting mixture or water dracaena with tap water. The fragile leaves of dracaenas can’t tolerate amounts of fluoride and chlorine in tap water. To prevent the leaf tips from turning yellow or brown, water dracaena with bottled water, rainwater, distilled water, or leave a bowl of tap water out for 24 hours to let fluoride and chlorine evaporate. To prevent the leaves from becoming yellow, add horticultural grit or orchid potting mix to the dracaena’s potting soil since perlite contains fluoride.

When the dracaena’s leaves are yellow and most of them have fallen off, there is severe root rot, which makes it very challenging to save the plant.

Scaling back watering and replacing the soil can be an efficient strategy to save the dracaena, but, if the damage is minor and solely the result of sporadic overwatering or soils that are relatively slowly draining or compacted.

Dracaena Dropping Leaves

  • Symptoms. Before falling, leaves frequently turn yellow or brown, or the lowest leaves may fall first. Blackening of the leaves is another possibility.
  • Causes. As they mature and as a result of inadequate light, dracaenas lose their bottom leaves. Dracaena leaves can fall off due to overwatering, excessively dry soil, abrupt temperature changes, large draughts from air conditioning, and inadequate drainage.

The lower leaves of dracaenas frequently fall off as the plant ages, which is the usual cause of dracaena leaves falling. However, dracaena leaves can also fall off due to poor lighting, submersion, or abrupt changes in temperature. Overwatering causes the leaves of dracaena to become yellow and drop off.

Although it is commonly known that dracaena thrive in low light, if the light is exceptionally low, the plant will not have enough energy to maintain the leaves, which will result in the lower leaves falling off.

The dracaena also loses its leaves as a result of drought stress brought on by insufficient irrigation frequency or insufficient soil moisture.

Dracaena normally prefers a once-weekly bath and generous watering.

If the plant receives too little water, only the top inch or two of the soil becomes moist, and the water does not penetrate the soil to reach the roots, where it is genuinely needed, the leaves will drop.

The dracaena’s yellowing and dropping leaves are a sign of root rot brought on by overwatering or poorly draining soils.

Dracaena need the soil’s top to dry out in between waterings. The leaves turn yellow and drop off, giving the plant a withering appearance, if the soil is persistently moist, overwatered, or has inadequate drainage.

Dracaena enjoy temperatures between 60°F and 83°F (15°C and 28°C). If the change in temperature is only temporary, dracaena can tolerate it. The leaves may, however, come off if the temperature suddenly changes because this can stress the dracaena.

Unfavorable temperature changes are frequent in homes during the winter, when indoor heating can significantly increase the temperature in the evenings (especially if the dracaena is next to a radiator in the forced air current) and the house can cool at night or due to draughts, which can cause the leaves to fall.

How to Revive a Dracaena with Leaves Dropping Off

How to Revive a Dracaena with Leaves Dropping Off

If the poor light, dry soil, or low humidity are the reasons for the leaves falling off, the dracaena should recover quite quickly in the next weeks if the conditions are changed to be more beneficial for it.

Root rot is likely the culprit if the leaves are yellowing and dropping off, in which case saving the dracaena may be challenging, especially if the root rot is severe.

Dracaena Leaves Turning Brown

  • Symptoms. The tips of the leaves may turn brown, or they may develop brown and yellow streaks and droop. Overwatering can also cause leaves to become black.
  • Causes. Dry soil, low humidity, freezing temperatures, excessive watering, and too much exposure to the sun. Dracaena leaf tips turn brown when tap water contains fluoride.

Dracaena leaves typically become brown due to excessive direct sunshine, low humidity, and dry soil. Tropical plants called dracaena thrive in humid environments with moist soil and shade from the sun. The dracaena leaves can turn brown and fall off if they are exposed to direct sunlight or if the soil completely dries out.

If only the tops of the dracaena leaves are going brown, either the humidity is too low or there is too much fluoride in the tap water for the dracaena to tolerate.

Tropical plants like dracaena do not like drafts or air currents inside the house since they might turn the leaf tips and margins brown.

The leaves of the dracaena turn brown and drop off if the soil is too dry as a result of infrequent or light irrigation.

The optimal temperature range for dracaenas is between 60°F and 83°F (15°C and 28°C).

The leaves going brown may also be caused by extremes in temperature, whether it be hot or cold.

The potting soil dries out much more quickly due to too much heat from interior heating, which adds to the drought stress that causes the leaves to become brown.

The dracaena’s leaves can also become yellow and brown with a drooping, withering appearance due to too much moisture around the roots caused by overwatering and slow draining, compacted soils.

How to Revive a Dying Dracaena with Brown Leaves

  • In order to prevent drought stress from turning the leaves brown, always water dracaena with a generous soak to ensure that the soil is evenly hydrated. By doing this, it is ensured that the water has permeated the soil and reached the roots where it is needed.
  • To prevent drought stress from turning the leaves brown, water dracaena once a week throughout the spring and summer and every 10 to 14 days otherwise. This cycle of watering mimics the regular pattern of rainfall and soil moisture to which the dracaena is accustomed in its natural habitat.
  • Submerge the root ball of the dracaena for 10 minutes in a basin if the soil has dried out and become hard from the drought. The only effective way to rehydrate the soil and the dracaena is to soak the root ball, which allows the water to absorb properly and changes the soil’s structure so that water should infiltrate more easily the next time you water the plant in the coming seven days. Potting soil can occasionally become hydrophobic (rejects water) if it has dried out completely.
  • As with every day, mist the foliage. It’s crucial to water the leaves as frequently as possible each day to combat dry air if low humidity is what’s causing the leaves to turn brown. To stop brown leaf tips and margins from forming, misting the leaves generates a humid microclimate that mimics the tropical climate of the dracaena’s natural habitat.
  • Keep the dracaena away from chilly drafts and air currents caused by forced air or air conditioning. Whether hot or cold, air currents have the tendency to lower humidity and dry up the dracaena. The leaves of dracaena can withstand some air movement without becoming brown (especially if it is frequently misted), but while the plant is recovering, keep them away from any direct air currents.
  • Avoid temperature changes and maintain a temperature range of 60°F to 83°F (15°C and 28°C). Avoid planting the dracaena next to any indoor heat source, ideally on the opposite side of the room, and stay away from chilly, drafty spots next to open doors or on cold window sills in order to avoid temperature swings (which can cause the potting soil to dry up too soon).
  • Instead of watering the plant with tap water if the tips of your dracaena leaves are turning brown, use rainwater, bottled water, or distilled water. Due to the dracaena’s sensitivity to chemicals, fluoride can cause the leaf tips to turn brown, hence it is frequently important to avoid tap water. But if you leave a bowl of tap water out for 24 hours, the fluoride and chlorine will evaporate, making it safe to use to water your draconis.
  • Trim the brown leaf tips to restore the dracaena’s look. The browning of the leaf tips prevents them from turning green once more. To help the plant regain its beauty, trim the leaf tips back using a good pair of scissors. The plant should continue to grow and the leaf tips should remain green rather than turning brown if the humidity is raised and the dracaena has enough water.
  • Keep the dracena in a spot with plenty of direct and bright light (avoid full sun). Dracena normally grows in shade, away from the sun, and can become burned by too much exposure. The optimal environment for growing dracena is one that is well-lit because this gives the plant the energy it needs to flourish without causing the leaves to burn or turn brown.
  • Check the drainage of the pot or the soil if you are watering the dracena once a week and the leaves are still turning brown. Good drainage conditions should be combined with the ideal amount of irrigation. The soil should be able to both hold onto moisture and drain well. It’s possible that the earth is overly compacted if it drains too slowly. To strengthen the soil’s structure, replace the existing soil with a mixture of 2/3 regular potting soil and 1/3 horticultural grit or orchid potting mix.
  • Make sure the dracena is planted in a container with drainage holes at the bottom, and remove saucers or trays from underneath the container on a regular basis to avoid water from pooling there and keeping the soil soggy rather than properly draining.

In the following weeks, when the conditions are improved, the dracaena should recover if the leaves are turning brown due to low humidity and dry soil.

To enhance the dracaena’s beauty, wait until you can see new growth before trimming back any green leaves. Once the leaves turn brown, they typically do not turn green again.

Dracaena Leaves Drooping

  • Symptoms. Drooping and possibly turning brown or yellow, dracaena leaves.
  • Causes. The most frequent reasons of drooping leaves are inadequate watering, excessively light watering, and low humidity. Drooping leaves can also be a result of overwatering.

Dracaena leaf drooping is most frequently caused by dry soil, low humidity, and high temperatures. Tropical areas are ideal for dracaena growth since they have a high humidity, moderate rainfall, and mild temperature range. Drooping dracaena leaves are a sign that the humidity is too low and the roots are not getting enough moisture.

The dracaena’s first cue that the environment is unfavorable is drooping leaves.

The dracaena leaves turn brown and drop off if the weather is adverse, or they may even turn yellow (yellowing and drooping leaves indicates overwatering).

Although dracaena prefers moist soil, it also has to be well-draining because its roots cannot tolerate soggy soil.

Too much moisture or compaction in the soil might inhibit root respiration by excluding oxygen from the soil.

The dracaena’s leaves may droop and eventually turn yellow or brown if the roots are unable to breathe, as this prevents them from absorbing moisture or nutrients from the soil.

The leaves of the dracaena will have less energy under low light conditions, giving them a drooping appearance.

How to Revive Dracaena with Drooping Leaves

How to Revive Dracaena with Drooping Leaves

  • Every seven days, give dracaenas with drooping leaves a generous soak. Always give dracaenas a good watering so that any extra water drips out the bottom of the pot. By doing this, you can make sure that the soil is consistently moist, allowing the dracaena’s roots to get the moisture they need.
  • Every day, mist the falling leaves. It is possible to mimic the humid conditions of the dracaena’s natural environment by misting the leaves. This aids in fending off the dry air that dehydrates dracaena leaves, causing them to droop.
  • Avoid abrupt temperature changes and keep the dracaena in a temperature range of 60°F to 83°F (15°C and 28°C). The temperature may quickly change and the leaves may droop due to drafty regions of the house caused by open doors or windows, air currents from forced air conditioning, indoor heating, or air conditioning.
  • Find the dracaena in a place with more light (but avoid direct sunlight which can scorch the leaves). The dracaena should have enough energy and resources from bright, indirect sunlight to grow and rejuvenate its wilting leaves.
  • Don’t overwater dracaenas, check that the soil drains adequately, and make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom. A dracaena typically benefits from weekly watering, however this should be done in conjunction with the proper drainage setup.
  • After watering, remove any extra water from saucers, trays, and decorative outer pots to ensure strong roots. After a week, if the potting soil still feels damp, I advise replacing it or supplementing it with a mixture of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 horticultural grit or orchid potting mix to improve the soil’s structure and drainage. The conditions for root rot are encouraged if the soil is still wet or saturated one week after watering (instead of equally moist) (which causes the leaves to droop, turn yellow and drop off).

A dracaena with drooping leaves typically recovers within a few days of the conditions being changed for the better, especially if the cause of the drooping leaves is dry soil and drought stress.

Key Takeaways:

  • Overwatering and inadequate drainage are frequently to blame for dracaenas that die. Dracaena plants like well-drained soil and cannot endure constantly wet or bog conditions. Due to root rot, dracaena leaves will turn yellow and appear to be dying if the soil is too wet.
  • Due to excessive exposure to direct sunlight, dry soil, and low humidity, dracaena leaves turn brown. Tropical plants like dracaena prefer to flourish in direct, bright sunshine with weekly watering and frequent sprinkling to improve humidity. The leaves droop and get brown if the soil entirely dries out.
  • Low humidity caused by air conditioning or indoor heating causes the browning of dracaena leaf tips. Tropical plants like dracaena demand regular spraying to maintain a humidity level of about 40%. Fluoride in tap water makes dracaenas extremely sensitive, and it also makes their leaf tips dark.
  • Dry soil, low humidity, and high temperatures are frequently to blame for dracaena leaves drooping. Once a week, give dracaenas a good bath to ensure that the soil is evenly hydrated. Low humidity robs the leaves of moisture, while high temperatures can dry out the soil too soon, causing the leaves to droop.
  • A dying dracaena can be brought back to life by simulating the conditions of its natural habitat, which includes spraying it frequently to increase humidity, watering it once a week, and placing it in a location with strong indirect light. Any brown leaves should be cut down to encourage fresh development. To prevent root rot from causing the leaves to turn yellow and droop down, make sure there is excellent drainage.


Why is my dracaena leaves turning brown and falling off?

Dry soil and low humidity make leaves droop and brown on the edges, which is followed by overall yellowing and browning and leaf drop. The humidity will rise if you often mist the leaves of your Dracaena. For a sustained increase in humidity, you might also use a humidifier or a pebble tray.

Can you cut the top off a dracaena plant?

The good news is that dracaena plant pruning is not challenging. You can trim dracaenas to any desired height with little to no complaint from these hardy plants.

Should I cut off brown dracaena leaves?

With clean shears, remove any brown leaf tips or patches. To prevent harming the plant’s remaining good foliage, merely remove the damaged tips or areas, leaving a very small margin of brown. 2. Remove individual leaves at their bases if the entire leaf has turned brown.

How do you rejuvenate a dracaena?

A dying dracaena can be brought back to life by simulating the conditions of its natural habitat, which includes spraying it frequently to increase humidity, watering it once a week, and placing it in a location with strong indirect light. Any brown leaves should be cut down to encourage fresh development.