Why Does My Dracaena Marginata Have Brown Tips

Often referred to by the name of Madagascar Dragon Tree The Dracaena Marginata is a well-known robust indoor plant. It’s a great choice for novice plant owners.

The foliage, however, shows early signs of strain in the event that there is a problem.

It is possible that the Dracaena Marginata can have brown tips because of underwatering or overwatering, poor quality water, the accumulation of harmful chemicals fertilization overuse and low levels of humidity insects and pests and temperature fluctuations or windburn. The browning could also be due to regular growth of the leaves.

In this article, I’ll go over the various reasons that your Dracaena Marginata might have tips that are brown. I’ll also discuss how you can solve the problem before it causes harm to your plant.

Dracaena variety close up

Watering Issues Cause Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

Although the Dracaena Marginata is a relatively hardy plant, it prefers to be in water instead of being overwatered. If it is overwatered, the excess or too little water could cause stress to the plant and alter its capacity to absorb nutrients.

The quality of the water is crucial because the wrong type of water could lead to an accumulation of minerals as well as toxins within the soil. This could also harm your Dracaena.


Dracaena marginata thrives in bright to dim indirect lighting and don’t require much water. However it is possible that a Dracaena that is thriving when it is watered regularly in colder weather may require more frequent watering during the summer.

The warmer temperatures will cause the soil to dry out more quickly, which will result in your plant becoming submerged. This is particularly true in regions with low humidity.

Dracaena Marginata is quite drought-resistant, which means it could require a long period of period of time without water before your plant begins to show symptoms of stress.

The signs of water loss will be visible in the plant via dried-out leaves which drop off of the plants. The soil will appear dry and brittle.

The easiest method to correct this is to test the soil prior to watering. A watering plan that requires you to water your plant when the upper 2 inches (5.08 cm) are dry is what will work for your Dracaena most.


Overwatering is a frequent issue for plants belonging to the Dracaena family. If the plant is overwatered, it responds in a similar way to being underwatered by forming brown-colored tips. When the leaves are overwatered, Dracaena might be more brittle than the leaves that of the underwatered Dracena.

The roots are drowned by overwatering the plant, which in turn causes it to be difficult for the root system to soak up water. The result is the same : the plant begins to dry out and begins to brown the leaves.

A water-stressed Dracaena Marginata needs patience while it heals. Take the plant off of watering and examine the soil. If the soil is too wet it may be necessary to completely repot it.

Repotting also gives you to examine the roots to make sure they aren’t beginning to rot.

The healthy root hair of Dracaena Marginata are between white and yellowish hue, and with hair on the roots that is thin. Repot the overwatered plant in clean, well-drained soil and then wait for a week before applying water.

The leaves affected will dry out and fall off, however the plant will sprout new leaves.

Water Quality

Dracaena Marginata is sensitive to minerals found in their environment, and particularly fluoride. Fluoride may cause leaves to become chlorosis in Dracaena which means that leaves do not produce enough chlorophyll. This can be seen in a gradual browning and yellowing of the leaves.

Fluoride is typically present in water used for irrigation. If used to provide water to your Dracaena Marginata the fluoride could accumulate in the soil and cause poisoning to your Dracaena which can cause the leaves turning brown.

The water you give your plant with a large amount of soluble salt may cause browning of the leaves of the Dracaena Marginata.

Verify the purity of the water prior to applying it to your plants to ensure that it is free of fluoride or insoluble salts. Even if they are present in tiny amounts, these minerals could accumulate in soil over time.

In the event that water you’re using have salts and fluorides make sure you use distilled water to fill the Dracaena Marginata to make sure it is healthy.

Fertilizer Burn and Saline Buildup Cause Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

Fertilizer burn is the condition in which the tips and edges of the plant appear to be scorched. The ‘burn’ is caused by the accumulation of insoluble sodium within the soil causing disruption to the plant’s ability to absorb water.

It’s tempting to assist the growth of a plant by supplying the soil with fertilizers. But, excessive fertilizers aren’t taken up by plants. Instead, they accumulate and engorge the roots.

The plants require a lot of water in order to process fertilizers and transform them into useful acids. If plants that are stressed by drought are fertilized too much and run out of water and begin drying out.

The majority of water-soluble fertilizers contain boron and fluoride, both of which can be harmful for the Dracaena Marginata.

It is important to stay clear of fertilizing your Dracaena Marginata during hot weather. Make sure you use the appropriate amount to the soil, and don’t become frustrated with the growth of your Dracaena.

Repairing Burns from Fertilizers and Saline damage in Dracaena marginata

Burns from fertilizers can harm your plants, however the damage isn’t necessarily irreparable. Try flushing out the fertilizer and salts in your soil by regularly soaking it during the summer months in the water of spring. 1 one inch (2.54 cm) application of water ought to suffice.

Make sure you ensure that you water your Dracaena Marginata early in the morning, so that the water can dry out in the sun’s warm rays. This will keep your soil from becoming too wet.

Another method to aid plants that are browning because of excess salts is to use gypsum in order to help balance the salts in the soil.

Additionally, you could think about repotting your Dracaena Marginata completely in a new potting mix without fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer to allow it time to heal.

Humidity Causes Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

Dracaena Marginata is an exotic plant that comes from Madagascar So, while it is drought-resistant, it can’t perform well in situations in which humidity is extremely low.

Drying out of the Dracaena and causes brown tips appearing on the leaves. In addition to drying out the plant, low humidity levels also accelerate the process of fluoride-related toxicity in the Dracaena Marginata.

Mist your Marginata Dracaena regularly during hot weather to prevent the leaves from drying out.

Toxicity Causes Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

As we’ve discussed previously that The Dracaena Marginata is sensitive to fluoride, which can cause phytotoxicity within the leaves. Although water is the primary source of toxins, they can also enter your Dracaena via fertilizers and the air.

The fluoride particles that are suspended in the air can impact the Dracaena Marginata and vice versa.

Another chemical that can cause toxic effects within the Dracaena Marginata is boron, that can be present in air, water or in fertilizers.

If you think that your plant suffers from phytotoxicity due to fluorides or boron , and the chemicals are not present in the water or in the soil you may are suffering from air pollution.

Transfer the plant Dracaena Marginata to an alternative location, if you can. If not, think about installing the air filters to enhance the quality of air surrounding your plants.

Pests and Infections Cause Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

Dracaena Marginata does not have a great deal of insects, but it can be infected by leafhoppers and Katydids and spider mites. snails, mealybugs and other insects. These insects can impact the Dracaena Marginata in a variety of ways. The most common signs of infestations are browning, wilting, as well as stunted growth.

Most pests begin in the soil, which is why it is important to examine your potting soil to make sure it’s free of insects. If the soil contains eggs, they’ll grow and hatch in humid conditions, so make careful not to overwater your Dracaena.

It is the Dracaena Marginata is fairly drought resistant, which means you’ll only need to mist leaves when it’s extremely humid and your leaves have started to dry out. Misting the leaves regularly in cooler conditions can promote the development of fungus and encourage peststhat can harm the plant.

Sudden Temperature Changes Cause Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

Dracaena plants are tolerant of an array of temperatures, however abrupt changes in temperature could alter the growth.

Rapid temperature fluctuations don’t allow the roots time to adjust, which results in the plant getting too much or not enough water to meet the conditions. ‘

The damage to the Dracaena Marginata by abrupt weather changes can be observed more often when the weather is abruptly cooling down. As tropical plants, Dracaena thrives best in warm climates.

Plants that are chilled may experience the leaves turning brown as well as falling. Dracaena Marginata is chilled when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10degC) particularly when exposed to cold for more than several days.

It is best to move your Dracaena Marginata indoors during the winter months if you live in a cold region. Be sure to keep the plant far from windows and other areas that are prone to drafts.

Wind Burn Causes Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

Dracaena Marginata may develop windburn during cold weather particularly if temperatures drop to below 35 degF (1.66degC) however, Dracaena begins to suffer when temperatures fall lower than 55degF (12.77degC).

The windburn begins as with a pale or gray line that runs along the leaf edges and can then change to black or brown.

The younger leaves are the most affected by windburn since they are the most delicate component of Dracaena Marginata.

Make sure to protect the Dracaena Marginata from burning by keeping it in a protected area at home or in an outdoor greenhouse when temperatures drop lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.77degC). You can also aid your Dracaena by installing windbreaks or by providing heat.

Make sure to keep the heat a certain distance away to the Dracaena. Plants who are too close to the radiator can heat up in a way that is uneven, causing shock to the plant.

Regular Growth Cycle Causes Brown Tips on Dracaena Marginata

As with all species, Dracaena Marginata is also a plant with regular growth cycles, which is when old leaves are removed and are replaced with new ones.

It is possible to tell whether your leaves are turning brown in the normal growth cycle by observing the leaves that are affected. If the older leaves are on the bottom, the browning is due to the natural growth of the plant, and the Dracaena Marginata is healthy.

Browning edges on the leaves can be a reason to be concerned when the majority of the leaves of the Dracaena has been affected even younger leaves that are newer.


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the Dracaena Marginata.

How Often Should You Water Dracaena Marginata?

It is recommended to water Dracaena Marginata as frequently as is necessary for the season because the plant requires less water during cooler temperatures. As a general rule you should you should water the Dracaena Marginata extensively about every week or when the first 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) of soil are dry or when it is later.

It is the Dracena Marginata adjusts well to dry conditions, but suffers from drowning more frequently than overwatering.

To avoid overwatering, ensure you only water your plants after your soil is dried out and can last anywhere between two and four weeks at cooler temperatures.

What Kind of Soil Does Dracaena Marginata Need?

Dracaena Marginata must be planted in a well-draining soil or potting mix so that it is well-grown, and the soil must contain plenty of loam and peat. The best potting mixture is comprised of one part of soil and one peat and vermiculite, or sand, for drainage.

If you aren’t able to customize the soil, a regular potter’s mix will work to make your Dracaena Marginata in the event that it’s draining well.

Dracaena is a problem with wet roots, therefore a well-drained soil mix can prevent waterlogging, which can engorge the roots and lead to root decay.

What Size Pot for Dracaena Marginata?

The pot’s size for your plant will depend on the size of your plant at present.

The pot you select for Dracaena Marginata must be large enough to ensure that roots can fit comfortably and there is not more than 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) between them and the edges of the container. For the majority of young plants, this is a pot that’s approximately six inches in diameter.

The plant could grow quite big in the same pot, and will not require repotting for two years. When you plant your Dracaena Marginata make sure that that the container is big or sturdy enough to hold its weight. leaf crown.

Will Dracaena Marginata Leaves Grow Back?

Old leaves that fall from the Dracaena because of age or damage can’t be saved.

Dracaena Marginata leaves typically recover, since the plant is able to recover from the most severe damage and develop new leaves during the season of growth. But, the process takes time particularly when the plant suffers injuries in winter, when it isn’t able to develop new leaves.


Browning tips of the leaves are a response by the Dracaena Marginata to a problem with its surroundings. In addition to the normal growth cycles that only affect the oldest leaves at the lower part of the leaf the browning of leaves can be caused by a variety of issues.

Common problems that lead to the brown spots in Dracaena Marginata are overwatering and submersion, toxicity caused by fluoride or boron buildup fertilizer burn, abrupt temperature fluctuations, windburn, low humidity and pests.



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