Why Are There Brown Spots on Dracaena Leaves?

Dracaena is among the most popular plant species for foliage, both in outdoor and indoor settings. The various shades of green paired with white stripes or cream or yellow makes the plant extremely attractive.

This is why it’s such a displeasure to notice brown spots appearing in the leaf. If you’re struggling with similar issues and you’re not sure where to go, then you’re on the right track.

Dracaena leaves show brown spots due to poor conditions for growth, such as excessive light, stress on the temperature as well as humidity and inadequate air circulation. Certain biotic stresses caused by pests and bacterial leaf spots, fusarium leaf spot, corrosion can also cause the same issue.

To understand how each issue can affect your plant, keep studying and learning the essential details you’ll need to know to address the problem of brown spots.

How to Identify Dracaena Brown Spots

Brown spots are different in leaves of dracaena. Based on the chemical responsible for the brown spots, they will differ in the degree of brownness, the size of the spots, as well as its place in the leaf.

There are brown spots that appear on young leaves, and others are visible on mature leaves by themselves. Brown spots can also be seen along the edges of the leaf, or at the edges.

There are small brown spots, and spots that grow larger as time passes. Certain spots are soaked with water.

The color of the spots can range from light brown, reddish-brown, or brown-black.

What Causes Brown Spots on Dracaena Leaves?

There are a variety of reasons for the brown spots that show up on your leaves Dracaena.

The majority of them are caused by stress that is caused by environmental factors and others are caused by improper methods.

Here are the most frequent causes of brown spots appearing on leaves on your favorite Dracaena:

Excess Light

Light is a source of the energy that is utilized by plants when the photosynthesis process, a crucial metabolic process.

The different levels of light also influence the appearance of plants, particularly those that have variations.

If there’s a lot of exposure to sunlight, energy harnessed could end up within plants’ cells. (Sources: Science Daily)

Then, it will produce reactive oxygen species which will quickly react with the molecules within the cells. This causes destruction and death of plant cells.

How to Treat:

Dracaena requires bright, however indirect lighting. If the area it is currently in is getting intense light, take it off of it from the area and put it in a shaded area. Different varieties require different shade levels.

If there is no other place that is appropriate, you can install a sheer curtain between your window and plant for security.

Dracaena white pot

Temperature Stress

Temperature fluctuations that are extreme can create stress on plants. The optimal temperatures to cultivate dracaena can be found between the 65-90degF range (18 up to 32 degrees Celsius).

If temperatures rise over the limit the plant can develop iron chlorosis.

Additionally exposure to temperatures as low as 35degF can cause severe damage. Long-term exposure to temperatures of 55degF can cause the same damage.

Unfortunate and prolonged temperatures can cause damage to cells and their functions.

How to Treat:

If you’ve noticed that your plants are reacting negatively to temperature changes Find ways to reduce the effect of stress.

If the temperature is too hot, you can use cooling fans or air conditioners to reduce the temperature. Misting can also ease the heat.

If it’s cold, insulation can add warmness to your plant. It can also help to protect the dracaena from damage caused by frost as well.

Poor Air Circulation

They also require fresh air, just as humans do. If your dracaena is trapped in a room that is not well ventilated and is unable to escape, it could face problems.

If the space is damp, the absence of airflow will hold the dampness for a long time.

We are aware that damp environments can trigger many illnesses. The pathogens multiply and grow in this situation.


The windows should be opened to allow air to circulate. If there is an exhaust fan in your home, switch it on so that suspended air can flow.

Separate your plants apart to allow them enough breathing space.

Pruning your plants is an effective way to reduce the amount of space. This way, more air can be able to enter the spaces.


Dracaena plants require an abundance of humidity to ensure the highest development. If you keep the plant in an area that isn’t dry enough, this could be the reason for why spots of brown appear on the leaves.

A lack of humidity can cause the plant to lose water, and the leaves will curl.

This article explains all the possible causes and solutions for the leaves of dracaena curling.

How to Treat:

Make sure you mist your dracaena each morning, especially if the air is dry.

Morning is the ideal time to mist since we want the extra moisture to evaporate before evening time arrives.

This will stop the spread of pathogens that cause disease. It is also possible to set pebble trays underneath your plants, including the dracaena.

The water contained in the tray can help to increase the amount of moisture in the air surrounding your plant.

Pest Infestation

Mealybugs, fungus gnats, scales and thrips are potential pests that could cause harm to your dracaena plant and destroy the foliage.

The organisms feed on tissue of the plant by sucking it. In the process, they create lesions that look like small brown marks.

A mild infestation is usually tolerable. The dracaena’s will continue to exist despite this kind of organism. If they do get too much, it could cause a lot of pain.


Remove the pests manually after they have been observed. Remove the stems and leaves which are affected. Clean them with an intense flow of water.

If they persist If they persist, spray horticultural oils and insecticidal soap that has been diluted in water. You can also clean them off with a cotton cloth that has been dipped in alcohol.

Bacterial Leaf Spot Disease

Leaf spot caused by Bacterial in leaf plants like dracaena can be caused by the bacteria that belong to the genera Erwinia, Xanthomonas, and Pseudomonas..

The disease causes spots in the leaf of the plant. There are spots that are either yellow, black or reddish-brown, depending upon the kind of bacteria that’s present.

How to Treat:

Take immediate action to remove and pinch off leaves and stems that are infected with leaf spots caused by bacteria. The sooner you spot the issue, the better.

Maintain the foliage of the plant dry as much as you can. The plant should be watered early in the morning to ensure that it has enough time the water to evaporate.

Fusarium Leaf Spot Disease

The disease causes spots of water on the young leaves of the dracaena.

The spots will tend to grow over time, and eventually turn more red or tan and are surrounded by an orange shimmer. Infected leaves can die if severely damaged.

The cause of Fusarium leaf spots is by a pathogen called F. moniliforme. The dracaena species most vulnerable to leaf spot spots caused by fusarium include the D. marginata, D. marginata ‘Magenta’, D. reflexa “Song of Jamaica’ (Pleomele reflexa). (Source: University of Florida/IFAS)

How to Treat:

Remove the affected parts from the plants to stop the spread of disease. Spread your plants out and, if you can, separate your dracaena from other plants.

Be sure to have enough air circulation, and that the leaves are dry the majority of the time.

Apply fungicides like Daconil mancozeb, mancozeb or benomyl to the plants of the dracaena as a preventive step.


Rust may appear as orange, red or yellow spots that are located on the upper and lower leaves of the dracaena plant.

It’s the result of an infection caused by fungi that could have caused the unattractive appearance.

If rust spores are transported to the plant, they begin spreading onto the leaves.

They eat the plant’s tissues to survive. The presence of rust does not a major problem unless their population grows beyond the limits of control.

How to Treat:

Always inspect the leaf’s underside and look for signs of corrosion. Cut the affected leaves and dispose of them correctly.

Make sure there is enough space between plants to allow for good air circulation and to reduce the humidity levels around the plant.

The spread of pathogens will decrease when the conditions are not favorable.

Fertilizer Problem

One of the main reasons that causes many plants to get brown spots is excessive application of fertilizers.

Fertilizers are beneficial, but only to a certain extent. If you’re doing it too much the dracaena plant is likely to be affected.

Fertilizers are made up of salts, which usually accumulate in soil over the course of time. The salts draw water from the plant’s roots and cause drought conditions. The roots will shrink because of the dehydration.

The harm caused by fertilizers on the roots can affect their ability to function. The roots will be hampered in their in their ability to move the water as well as other nutrients up to the plant’s other components.

How to Treat:

When the leaves on your dracaena plant begin developing brown spots along its margins and tips after fertilizer application remove it by using water. A soaking to 6″ water can remove 50 percent of the salts in the soil.

Examine the roots to determine whether there are any severe injuries. If not, keep the plant in the pot until it is fully recovered. You should avoid applying fertilizers in order to allow the roots to recover.

For a hint, apply fertilizers only when your plant requires it. If your dracaena appears healthy and vibrant and healthy, then you can skip fertilizer applications.

Inconsistent Watering

A different reason behind the spots of brown that show up on leaves of dracaena, particularly on the tips, is inconsistent irrigation.

The inconsistency could lead to two issues: either overwatering or submerging.

The excessive watering can cause the roots to turn brown while underwatering can lead to the shriveling of the entire plant. Both of these signs indicate the leaves turning brown as a warning sign. Then, eventually the leaves of dracaena may be snuffed out.

How to Treat:

If your dracaena plant has been submerged, you must water it immediately. The soil should be watered thoroughly in a uniform manner until completely saturated. When the plant has been hydrated it will regain its rough appearance.

If your plants are overwatered It is recommended to stop the water for a few days. Examine the roots to determine how far the damage has been able to spread. Then Repot If required.

Water Quality

Another reason that could cause the formation dark spots can be the use of low-quality water.

Certain water sources contain high levels of soluble salts, which could harm the roots.

The salts may also build up on the leaf margins of the dracaena, leading to burning of the tips.

These cultivars “Warneckii”, “Janet Craig” and “Massangeana” are particularly prone to fluoride poisoning.

If the water is containing one ppm fluoride, the cultivars you choose to grow will likely be able to show signs of browning on their leaves.

How to Treat:

Make sure you use filtered water if have a filtering system installed at your home. It removes contaminants and particles from the water.

If you aren’t able to get it, let the tap water to sit for at minimum 24 hours in order for the fluorine and chlorine to evaporate.

If you can, conserve rainwater on rainy days. This is still the most effective option for your indoor plants like the dracaena.

How Do You Treat Brown Spots on Dracaena?

While the issue of brown spots on leaves plants can appear overwhelming but there are many ways you can protect the plant from dangers.

Here are some practical methods to get rid of brown spots on your Dracaena plant.

  • Find out the root of the issue. Brown spots are merely signs of an internal issue. It is important to assess and observe the state of your plant in order to determine the root of the problem is.
  • Remove the leaves that are heavily affected by brown spots. To stop the spread of illnesses, it is recommended to remove affected leaves as soon as you notice. In the event that brown marks aren’t caused by pathogens, it is possible to preserve them as there is no risk of spreading the disease.
  • Stop causing a long-lasting damp situation. The likelihood of developing diseases is higher. be developed if your plant is constantly damp. Dry it out throughout the day by only watering in the morning, and allowing good airflow.

Make sure to schedule your misting in the morning to allow time for the excess water to evaporate.

  • Make sure you have adequate lighting. Plant your plants in an area with moderate to low lighting. Shade is essential to prevent scorching of the leaves. Be sure to keep your dracaena away from direct sunlight, especially when the intensity is too intense.
  • Make sure you use water of high quality on your plants. Dracaena is extremely sensitive to fluorine, so be sure you use water that is filtered. If not, you can use rainwater. Be sure to avoid overhead watering, so that the vegetation remains dry.

The water should drain completely out of the container to prevent root rot. The amount of water you use should be adjusted according to the humidity, temperature, and the light conditions.

  • Only apply fertilizer when it is needed. Over fertilization is a major enemy for indoor plants. It is a quick way to destroy your dracaena, especially when it is given in large quantities. Be sure to dilute fertilizers when they are used on potted plants.

Choose organic fertilizers for a more environmentally sustainable choice. There are many easily available organic fertilizers that are environmentally friendly you can discover on the market.

  • Provide good ventilation. Allow air to flow into the direction of house. This way, all particles, pollutants as well as spores of pathogens that are in the air won’t remain in the vicinity.

A good ventilation system can also aid in reducing the humidity around your plants. Long-term moist conditions are not ideal for the dracaena.

  • Utilize horticultural oils and insecticidal soap to deal with insects. The majority of harmful organisms that are that are found in the indoor plant can be controlled with these home remedies. There is no need to use chemical pesticides.

It is recommended to check your dracaena every day to determine if there is any evidence of insects. Do not wait for the organisms to eat the plant before noticing the presence of them.

  • Make sure your plant is protected from drafts. Fireplaces, air conditioners, as well as cold windows, are a few places to be careful not to place your Dracaena. The drafts can release extreme temperatures, which can cause stress to the plant.
  • Utilize soil that has been sterilized. Pathogens that cause disease are typically present in soils. They remain there for a long time until they can find a suitable host.

If you’re using soil that’s not sterilized it is likely the plant could develop an illness caused by the pathogen in the mix of potting soil.

You can purchase pots that have been sterilized at garden centers or make your own.

  • Make sure your plant is protected from frost. Dracaena is not tolerant of frost. It is easily damaged due to frigid temperatures. If you notice that the climate is becoming colder and colder, you should put in the plant with insulation.
  • Maintain a high humidity. Dracaena needs high humidity in order for its growth. If it is not, it can easily lose water and become dehydrated. If plants are constantly thirsty, they decrease their vigor and turgidity.

Final Words

It is essential to maintain the dracaena’s foliage. The leaves are the most beautiful feature that give the plant its ultimate appeal. It is important to not overlook the appearance of dark brown marks on leaves.

Take note of the plant and do your best to determine the root cause of the problem based on the indicators that are displayed.

Give immediate treatment and check back to see how the plant responds. This is your chance to be a doctor right now, and the future of your dracaena is in your control, so try the best you can.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)