By: Teo Spengler
Despite its tropical appearance, the dracaena is a wonderful first plant for an unsure plant owner. Read on for more information on why a dracaena is losing leaves and what to do about it.
About Dracaena Leaf Drop
The leaves of the dracaena are magnificent, long, thin and green as palm foliage, with some types like the striking Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), edged in bright pink. These Common houseplants are also spiky and can scratch you if you aren’t careful.
If your dracaena plant starts dropping leaves, you may be alarmed. But some dracaena leaf drop is completely natural. Like other plants, the dracaena drops older leaves as it matures. So if your dracaena is losing leaves that have been around awhile, it’s probably just a healthy self-cleaning.
Leaves Falling Off Dracaena
If lots of dracaena leaves are falling off the plant, something is definitely wrong. But the cause of the dracaena leaf drop is very likely something you are doing yourself, so it’s easily corrected. When leaves are falling off a dracaena, the primary suspect is not pests or diseases. Rather, it’s the curse of houseplants everywhere: overwatering. Plant owners see a plant’s leaves drooping a little and reach for the watering can. But too much water might have been what caused the droop in the first place.
Dracaena plants can’t stand sitting in wet soil and they let you know of their discomfort by dropping leaves. Wet soil can lead to rot and/or fungal issues too, so it’s a great thing to avoid. How can you tell if dracaena leaves are falling because of too much water? Just take a look.
•The tree should be planted in well-draining soil. If a dracaena is planted in a container, the pot must have lots of drainage holes and any saucer should beneath should be emptied regularly. To double check whether your plant is getting too much water, pop off the pot and look at the roots. If the roots seem to be rotting and the soil is soggy, you’ve found the reason for leaves falling off dracaena. Cut off damaged roots and repot in a better situation.
•When a dracaena is losing leaves, overwatering is the first place to look, but the problem can also be caused by too little water. Touching the soil at the bottom of the pot will let you know if this may be the case.
•Dracaena leaf drop might also be caused by a cool wind or too much heat. Check the location of the container and move it farther from a window or heater.
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Read more about Dracaena Plants
My dracaena reflexa suddenly lost all its leaves and turned yellow
I bought a dracaena reflexa a couple of weeks ago, in a rather good state. In less than a week it turned from seemingly perfectly healthy to practically dead and I would like some advice. Both in case this plant can be saved and because I plan on buying another since I really like this plant.
When I purchased the plant, I moved it to a new pot with new soil. I should note two things here, first of all the pot didn't have a draining hole. It does now but at that time I didn't have a drill. Secondly, the soil was the compact dried type that you add water to decompress. I initially used tap water but have switched to bottled water for watering.
Since I live in Scotland, the weather isn't ideal but the plant is inside, close to a window with some indirect sunlight at least.
The plant was perfectly fine for 2-3 weeks, and suddenly it started dropping good green leaves without warning. Then the leaves turned yellow at their starting point and started drooping.
The latest move I made was to remove the plant for the pot, discard all the soil, wash the roots and plant it again in the pot with fresh soil, using much less water to prevent the possible root rot.
Leaves Turning Brown or Black – Is It Dying or Dead?
Can It Be Saved?
A Dracaena that boasts brown or black leaves can easily be saved by switching to more adequate care habits. Use a humidifier to keep the health and the level of moisture and nutrients high.
Moreover, you should move your plant onto a warmer spot in your house or garden. Lastly, opt to water it only with filtered or distilled water.
It is necessary to realize that Dragon Trees are subtropical plants that prefer highly humid and warm environments to understand the causes of brown or black edges, streaks, and spots. The ideal temperature for them to thrive is anything between 70℉ and 80℉ (21℃ and 26℃). Anything below this range can negatively affect the health of your plant.
Moreover, Dragon Trees are highly susceptible to the chemicals found in the water, such as fluoride. Fluoride-rich water can be highly toxic for any plant but can be highly detrimental for Dragon Trees in particular.
Solution and Prevention
Move your plant into a more humid and warm area of your house or the garden. If you cannot increase the level of humidity in the environment, mist the leaves with filtered water.
Moreover, before watering your plant, allow your tap water to sit in a bucket for a few hours to allow the chemicals in it to evaporate. Alternatively, you can use filtered or distilled water.
Dracaena plants are fantastic houseplants to own that require minimal care. If you are looking for a plant that will brighten up your home and does not involve complicated maintenance, the dracaena plant is the answer.
To avoid any leaves or stems turning yellow, brown, or black, you should remember to keep it out of direct sunlight, water sparsely, fertilize it regularly and monitor the temperature and humidity. By following a simple care routine, your dracaena plant will thrive for years in your home.
For more about this topic you can also check out another article we wrote about Dracaena Dragon Tree Leaves Droopy and Falling off.