Why Is My Dracaena Leaning?

In this article, we examine the most frequent reasons the Dracaena tree is inclined to lean and possibilities of getting your tree to stand straight and tall again.

The dracaena’s leaning could result from excessive watering, which causes its roots to decay. The plant’s stems and leaves could have grown too large and become far too large for roots to support. Other possible reasons include inadequate sunlight levels, or poor soil support and plant vessels.

There are more than 40 cultivable dracaena varieties that are available, with the most popular being the dragon trees ( Dracaena marginata) and the corn plants ( Dracaena fragrans). Despite the fact that their stems are gorgeous, air purifying plants tend to be firm but at times, they begin to lose their shape and make their beautiful appearance less appealing.


What To Expect From a Healthy Dracaena

Dracaenas are available in various spec of is and each one has distinct appearances. However, the majority of healthy dracaenas have common characteristics.

The stems of good dragons are strong and stay straight in their pots. Then, at the tip of the stem, you will see the sword-shaped leaves that shoots upwards toward the sky, but leaning towards the end.

While some dragon trees may have dried tips on their leaves, it’s usually found in the older leaves of a few.

Dracaenas are robust plants, but slow to growers. They may take a few years to reach the indoor size of around six feet (1.8 meters) tall. Although it is contingent on the variety of plant you can expect to see one inch or more inches per season.

In the end it is important to stay attentive to your plant and observe the time it ceases to grow. If you notice it’s getting less vibrant, such as the stem becoming weaker and leaning, it indicates that your dracaena is struggling adjust. It’s time to act immediately to protect it.

Reasons a Dracaena Plant Starts Leaning

The majority of species of dracaena are susceptible to leaning due to a variety of reasons. Let’s study of each of them.


If you frequently drown your tree the soil is never able to dry and drain correctly.

In the process, the soil is able to retain extra moisture, which interferes with oxygen and gas exchange within the roots. This in turn suffocates healthy root structures and reduces their capacity to absorb water and nutrients.

In the end, the root system begins to decay, impairing the plant’s ability take in moisture and nutrients. The stem weakens because of a deficiency in sufficient nutrients, which makes it weak.

Furthermore, once the roots begin to rot and die, they will do not support the rest part of the plant in the proper position.

The majority of dragon trees that are overwatered have the fungus. It is easy to spot this by taking a look at their stems. Most of the time, it will appear darker on its lower portion, while appearing more aged and wrinkled on the top side.

It could also be becoming less rigid and beginning to loosen.

Another indication of a dragon tree that is overwatered is when it smells unpleasant like eggs that are rotten. These smells suggest that there is an issue with drainage and that the roots are decaying. It is also possible to examine the leaves as water-logged ones are yellow.

Low Sunlight Levels

Similar to other species, dracaenas need adequate sunlight to keep growing. However, the majority of dracaenas are placed in areas which receive less sunlight. This is why the plant will try to aid itself in finding more light to carry its photosynthesis and other essential tasks.

In order to achieve this it has to endure an insignificant, leggy growth as it tries to extend it towards more advanced source of illumination. But, as the leggy growth is weaker and more rough, you’ll notice the stem leaning towards one side.

Overgrown Stems

If you don’t take care of them The stems of mature dracaenas tend to grow too large and grow taller. If you don’t trim the plants, they usually do not branch out freely. In the end, they will end having several tall stems, which become quite weighty over time.

Sometimes, the plant is difficult to support the additional weight, and if the stem isn’t strong enough it could begin to lose weight.

Pot Issues

If it’s not the soil that’s the issue the pot that was used to grow the dragon tree may be the cause. Maybe drainage isn’t as good or the container doesn’t have drainage holes in the first place making it difficult to figure out how much to give the plant.

However, the size of the pot may be contributing to the leaning issue in equal parts. If the pot is large it will require more soil to support the Dracaena tree. If there isn’t sufficient soil in the pot the plant could take over the pot and begin to lose its weight.

If your pot is smaller in size it is likely that the dracaena is overgrowing it and is now roots bound. It is evident through the plant roots.

If you notice they are popping out of the drain holes, or wrapping the pot’s edges on the outside It’s likely that the plant is getting strangled.

The tightness of the roots and their wrapping greatly reduce absorption, reducing the amount of nutrients that are delivered into the plants. In the end, the stem begins to shrink and begin to lose its shape. If you observe that the tree is growing out of the pot, you can see that the tiny container is unable to more support the size and weight of the tree.

Soil Issues

Many people wait too long to be aware that their container or soil that is holding the dragon’s treecould contribute to excessive water retention and poor drainage.

When you’ve planted your Draculaena plant in soils that are more dense it is possible that they will keep excess water that isn’t needed by the plant..

Most households will have a standard potting mix that is porous enough. However, as time passes through, the soil could become compacted or too dense, creating a substrate that is not suitable for development.

If you water these soils, they will absorb excess water, which can have the same effect on the roots as excessive watering. This can hinder absorption and gas exchange, thereby weakening the whole plant.

Heavy Leaves Growth

The majority of dragon trees grow and hold onto many leaves. While the older and yellowing leaves have to be shed by themselves, others remain in the plant, increasing the weight. When the plant’s stem isn’t very sturdy, it might not be able to handle the additional leaf weight, resulting in being slanted.


Pest infestation is by far the most frequent cause for the leaning dragon tree. This is because dracaenas are typically low maintenance plants, which decreases the chance of pests playing with them.

However, pest infestation is still possible. The soil could be contaminated with the fungus gnats, which could cause extensive damage to the root system of the plant.

On the other hand mealybugs and aphids can consume the moisture of the plant’s leaves and stems and cause havoc to the overall health of your dracaena plant.

Temperature Fluctuations

Although these robust houseplants can withstand a variety of environments, the optimal one being 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16deg-21degC) rapid changes in temperature can cause stress to the plant.

The extreme heat caused by a temperature increase or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight causes the plant to lose water via transpiration. The water that is lost is usually greater than the amount that plants can absorb through its roots. In the end, the plant becomes weaker over time and begins to lose its shape.

However, exposing the plant to extreme cold winds or abrupt temperatures drops can damage the cells. Because of this the tree loses its rigidity and appears wilted or appear droopy. In the case of severe damage it may be impossible to repair the tree.

How To Fix and Stop the Dracaena Tree From Leaning

There is hope If your dracaena has already started leaning. It is possible to make it rise standing taller. Here’s how you do it:

Make sure to water the plant properly

Dracaena species, particularly dragon trees, do not require excessive watering. When you water your plant be sure to keep these guidelines in your mind:

  • The water should be thoroughly rinsed, allowing excess water to drain from into the base of the. Allow the plant to drain completely , then empty the saucer or dish beneath the plant.
  • Allow your plants to rest for a couple of weeks to feel the soil with your finger to determine whether it’s dry. When you are sure that the soil is dry, you’ll be sure to give your Dracaena tree once more.
  • Check the soil’s moisture prior to applying water again. This will remove any doubts and allows you to provide your dragon tree with water just when thirsty. If you’re uncomfortable poking with your hands into soil you can use an instrument to measure the moisture. When it is inserted into the soil of your potting, it will tell you if the soil is dry, so you can sprinkle some water on it. Make sure you don’t follow an unreliable watering schedule as the needs of dracaena change regularly.

Expose the Plant to More Sunlight

Let your dragon tree receive what it needs most: plenty of light and direct sunlight. If this isn’t feasible however, the plant will thrive in shade.

The majority of dracaena species can are tolerant of different levels of light. To avoid the leaning that is feared, it is essential to provide the plant with sufficient lighting. This will reduce the chances that the plant will lean to get a better view of light.

However it is crucial to not expose the dragon’s tree in direct sunlight since it could cause scorching of the leaves. If you have to you can let it rest under the sun’s rays in the morning – only for a few minutes. Do not expose the tree to direct sunlight in the afternoon.

The goal should be to make sure that your dracaena plant gets indirect sunlight for between 4 and 6 hours per day. If it continues to be leaning towards the window It is important to rotate the pot every week. This allows every part of your tree to high-quality lighting source, which reduces the tendency to lean hard.

Strategically Prune the Stems

If your dracaena tree has a number of overgrown stems that aren’t able to support the weight of their branches, you could reduce them to a size that is manageable. The most effective way to get away the burden of weight while allowing the tree to grow more straight is to create an angle of 45 degrees across its stem.

As time passes the cut will grow forth new stems. It’s good news that you can continue to root the cut stem tips in water. Then, you can transfer it to another pot to grow new dracaena plant varieties.

Use Stakes To Add Some Extra Support

If trimming your Dracaena doesn’t work for you Consider using stakes to aid in supporting the heavy dracaena stems.

The most effective stake is a bamboo pole that is usually coated with either with plastic or metal. Both are accessible at home improvement stores as well as nurseries. Whatever stake you pick make sure it’s strong enough to keep your stem straight.

To provide additional support, you can make use of a wire to tie the stem tightly. Make sure not to tie it too tight that it is able to dig into the plant’s tissue.

The stakes will allow your dracaena plant to grow straight for a while. When the plant is solid, you can take the stakes off and let the plant grow long and straight.

Be aware that when you stake specific dragon tree species, the trees could depend on them for a lifetime.

Regularly Trim the Leaves

The heavy leaves of the dragon plant are sufficient to bring it down and cause it to lean to one side. But, you can also make use of gardening scissors to cut off the aged and yellowing leaves. You can also form your plant to make it more compact and to suit your preferences by trimming and removing the excess leaves.

Adjust the Dracaena Tree Plant in Its Pot

Use this method only apply this technique only if the whole tree is leaning, and not just the top portion:

  1. Carefully dig the soil out to release the plant and its entire roots from its pot.
  2. Return the plant back to the pot, placing the root ball at an angle, allowing the tree to rise straight up.
  3. Make sure you have a fresh well-drained soil, and then fill it into the pot along by adding the tree of dragons.

Replace the Pot and Soil

If you believe the soil you’ve used to plant your dragon tree is too hard or compacted, give a boost to the plant you have chosen by planting it in a different pots of soil.

The majority of dracaena species do well in the many pre-mixed potting and potting soils that are available. However, you may be interested in confirming that the soil you are using has excellent drainage, a breathable substrate, light and some pumice or perlite. The addition of one portion of pumice or perlite to 3-4 parts of potting soil will help make the soil lighter.

Additionally, you should look over the pot that is holding the dragon’s tree. It is important to choose a pot that has enough room so that the roots ball can grow.

In general, a distance between one and two inches (2.5 to 5 cm) between the sides of the pot between the pot’s sides and its root ball should suffice. Any more than that will hold in excess soil moisture and a smaller space is likely to require repotting too in the near future.

Additionally the pot should have at least one drainage hole on the bottom. A pot that has an ideal drainage hole allows you to water your dracaena plant well without having to worry about clogging the roots or soil.

Use Pesticides and Natural Remedies To Control Pests

Dragon trees can be able to recover from pests through different treatments. These range from natural solutions as well as synthetic pesticides. The one you choose to use will be contingent on the type of pest that have invaded your tree.

I treat fungus gnats by watering my plant with the 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. All you have be able to measure is four water components and mix them together with one part hydrogen peroxide. Then, you can apply the mixture to the plant once the top soil is 2 inches dry.

The hydrogen peroxide is extremely efficient in killing larvae and gnats, but it is not able to cause harm to the root structure of your plant.

Another method for natural insect control is to use the method of watering. If you only water your tree as needed and in the right way it will not create an environment that is conducive to pests to multiply.

Avoid Exposing the Dragon Tree to Extreme Temperatures

When exposed to extreme heat the dragon tree can become dehydrated. If this occurs, take it out of the source of heat and then completely water it. Be sure to monitor the plant to make sure it is able to recover within a couple of hours.

If the indoor temperature drops to below 50 degF (10degC) and cause the plant to shrink Find a new location to keep it safe from freezing temperatures. It is essential to avoid exposing the dragon’s tree to long-term temperatures, since it could cause permanent damage.

If you react quickly to the situation, your dracaena will recover within a couple of hours or several days. The ideal place to store the plant is in a location that receives constant indirect sunlight. This means that you should not keep the plant close to a window or air conditioning and heating vents.

Dracaena Plant Leaning – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the solutions to some of your questions about the dracaena plant.

Can You Cut the Top of a Dracaena?

You can trim the top of a dracaena with garden scissors. Pruning the tree for 10-12 inches (25 to 30.5 cm) is the best option. As time passes, new growth will grow in the cut-off area.

Can I Grow the Anita Dracaena Outside?

It is possible to grow the Anita Dracaena outdoors if your region is not frosty and the temperatures range from 60deg to 70degF (16deg-21degC). If temperatures fall to below the 50 degree mark (10degC) the dracaenas could not thrive and may even end up dying. Extremely hot temperatures must also be avoided by this tree.


Dracaena trees can add an elegant touch to your home. They are beautiful to behold, particularly when they’re straight and upright. However, over the passage of time, houseplants can begin to lean on the other side.

If this occurs, don’t be concerned. Follow this step-by-step guide to restore your dragon tree back to its straight and tall posture once more. Most of the time, switching to indirect lighting and changing the way it waters itself will be enough to get the job done.



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