How To Fix Dracaena Marginata Losing Leaves

Dracaena plants are a favorite houseplant however, they aren’t immune to issues. The most frequent issues that can occur when you have the plant called a dracaena is the loss of its leaves.

If you notice that a Dracaena marginata has lost its leaves, it could be due to poor irrigation practices, pests or low temperatures. It could also be due to root decay. It is possible to take better treatment of your plant using organic methods like removing dead leaves and treating affected leaves.

This article will address the most common reasons for the leaves of your dracaena vanishing and how to repair and maintain the plant. If you’re not certain why your plant is losing leaves, you should look at the reasons.

1. Improper Watering

Dracaena plants need consistent watering however, you need to be cautious not to over-water and let your soil become dry. When you plant your plants in pots, water it each five days.

If the soil is dry make sure to water the plant well. The plants are known to drop leaves when they’re being overwatered. The excess water can cause root rot while submerging can cause dry, brown leaves.

How To Fix

The soil of your plant should have an equilibrium between moisture and dryness. Find this balance by following these suggestions:

  • To stop water from accumulating on the crown of the plant, put an insulated saucer under in the planter to collect any drips. It is also possible to put a clear plastic bag around the pot, and then twist it around the top to form an airtight seal. This will allow you to see the amount of water in the pot without having to disturb it frequently.
  • If you’re growing your Dracaena in a basket ensure that you ensure that it is properly hydrated. Make sure you give it plenty of water all day long.
  • If you’re not sure whether or not your plant requires watering make sure you put your finger in the soil to the point of your first knuckle. If the soil is wet don’t sprinkle water on it. Give it a few more days, then attempt again.
  • When watering your plants ensure that you make sure to use sufficient water that will moisten the soil , but not enough to completely cover it. This could cause root decay.

2. Root Rot Due to Fungal Infection

The most well-known method to stop the dracaena plant losing its leaves is to give them more water. However, if the plant continues losing leaves following that, it could be an indication that there is a root rot disease.

The leaves on the underside of the plant can change to brown, yellowish-brown or gray in coloration due to an under-current fungal disease. Brown spots can also be seen on the leaf’s surface.

If the majority of your roots are affected, you might not be able to keep your plants alive. If only a handful of roots are infected it is possible to slow the spread of the fungus or end it completely.

The most effective measure to prevent fungal infections is to prevent it from happening. Here are a few ways you can take:

How To Fix

  • Place mulch on the plant’s base and water less frequently in the dry months.
  • To stop fungus from ruining your plant, limit sun exposure, and ensure that your soil doesn’t become too wet or dry completely.
  • If the fungus is growing in your garden You may wish to combat it using an antifungal drug such as Neem oil. Be cautious when handlingNeem oil may result in chemical burns.

Take a look at this Youtube video to learn how to effectively combat root rot

3. Insufficient Light

Dracaena marginata is a plant that thrives in indirect sunlight and flourish near windows that get direct, bright sunlight throughout the day.

Dracaenas aren’t tolerant of temperatures that are cold as well. Cold drafts or temperatures that are below 50 degrees (10 degC) could cause leaf loss. The ideal indoor temperature suitable for Dracaenas is 70 degrees (21.11 degC) and the average indoor humidity level is 30percent..

How To Fix

  • If you reside in a region with low humidity, you might require misting the plant every day or more often.
  • You could also try a humidifier or put the Dracaena Marginata on a tray that is filled by pebbles and water

4. Pest Infestation

Another reason that could be responsible for the dracaena marginata’s loss of leaves could be the presence of pests. Dracaena is frequently a target for scale insects and webbing spiders.

Mealybugs feast on the leaves, stems, and the roots of many houseplants. Dracaena marginata is prone to being attacked by mealybugs and their food can cause the plant to wilt.

Mealybugs can be identified by their white, powdery coating and their slow-moving speed. They feed on sap of plants in clumps on leaves undersides, leaf joints and on long stems.

Dracaenas that are heavily infested may have the foliage turning yellow or dying that falls off plants, leaving only the stems that remain.

Aphids are tiny insects that sucking away the sap of leaves from dracaenas as well as similar plants. Similar to other sucking insects they release sweet honeydew that draws ants and encourages the growth of sooty mold on leaves. Plants that are severely infected may exhibit reduced growth, chlorotic leaves and drop of leaves.

When your plants are infested by mealybugs, scale insects or spider mites these tiny bugs will feast upon the saps of the leaves, which causes the leaves to dry out and then fall off. There may also be fine webbing that resembles the shape of a cobweb, on the leaves.

How To Fix

  • If you think your dracaena is plagued by insects, wash the area clean with warm water and a mild detergent.
  • You could also use an Q-tip that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol, and then dab every insect’s underside until they vanish.
  • Get rid of any plant parts that are diseased to stop the disease from spread to the healthy plant leaves.
  • If you’re not sure which kind of insect is causing problems for your home Try this method. Utilize the trap’s yellow color to capture the insects. Set the trap close to the plant, and then check it after several days. The insect can be identified by its color and the size.
  • Make use of insecticidal soap. This will help to control pests. Insects are killed when they come in proximity to the fat acids found in these products.

Here’s an instructional video taken from Youtube to keep you at the top of the pest-related issues you may encounter:

5. Irregular Fertilizing

Fertilizing the plants with nutrients that they require to grow healthy. If you do not fertilize your plant, then you could be liable to slow and uneven growth.

If you fertilize too much your plant, it will be exposed to a large amount of salts, which can result in root damage. The excessive fertilization burns root tissue of plants, and can cause injuries.

How To Fix

  • Fertilize every month in the season of growth (late February to October).
  • If you decide to apply liquid fertilizer, dilute it before using it in half strength. The best fertilizers for water-soluble soils are those that roots are able to absorb them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are the Leaves on My Dracaena Marginata Turning Brown?

Your Dracaena marginata could turn brown due to the overwatering process or submerging, high fluoride levels within the waters, whitefly and spider mites or temperature that are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).

The danger of overwatering is for those who have the Dracaena marginata. It can cause leaves to change color from to yellow and then turn brown. The leaves that are submerged become crisp and brown and crisp, making it difficult to determine what is taking place.

The fluoride present in tap water can cause brown spots on plants. In the event that you do not have fluoride-free tap water allow tap water to sit for 24 hours prior to applying it to your plants.

Spider mite and whitefly are both common pests to Dracaenas, and their diet may cause brown spots on older leaves. Other indicators of whiteflies include stuck honeydew that sticks to the plants, and black sooty mould developing on the honeydew and the problem spreading to nearby plants.

Dracaenas can tolerate a broad temperature range, however they thrive in temperatures between 65 and 75 degF (18.3-23.8 degC) in the daytime and a drop of 10 degrees in the evening.

They can withstand temperatures that are as low as 55 degrees (12.7 degC) however, if they are they are exposed to temperatures lower than 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius) for prolonged periods their leaves begin to brown and they become less robust, which makes them more prone to insects.

How To Save an Overwatered Dracaena Marginata

If there are any leaves that remain green and securely connected to the stem, remove them closest to where you can. If they’re soft or mushy, take them away and put them into your compost heap. They are likely to cause rot to the remainder of the plant if left in the compost pile.

Then, trim off any parts of the stems that appear like they are brown or are mushy. Make use of pruning tools or sharp garden scissors to make an exact cut without mashing or crushing the stem.

Third, locate an appropriate container for your dracaena marginata . It should be one that is big enough to fit in one inch or more between the stem’s sides as well as the side of your new pot.

Remove any roots that are brown or mushy or anything that appears dead and blackened due to decay. The goal is to create a healthy roots that has white root.

Dracaena and other plants near winding white staircase

Why Do Dracaena Drop Leaves?

Dracaena marginata is able to lose leaves due to overwatering or underwatering, mite infestations, or insufficient lighting.

While these are the most frequent however, there are a myriad of different reasons that could make your plants shed leaves.

If you just recently done a repotted dracaena, it could adapting to its new surroundings.

If you’ve been watering your plant more often than normal it could be the reason for dropping leaves too. If you notice that your leaves appear to be brown or yellow prior to dropping this could be because excessive watering or submerging.

One method to tell is to check the soil. If it’s dry, your plant is in need of water. If it’s wet and squishy, you’ve overwatered the plant.

If you think your dracaena is losing its leaves because of overwatering or submerging, allow it time to recover and ensure that you keep it hydrated from now on.

How To Save an Underwatered Dracaena Marginata

A dracaena marginata that is underwater is dry and crispy with edges to the leaves and wilting leaves.

If your plant is to the point where it is heavily submerged take it for a relaxing bath in a sink filled with warm water until the pot begins to rise. It should remain there for about around an hour. Then , tip the excess water and then return the plant back to its place.

Find an air-tight tray. They are readily available in any store that has a an outdoor section. They’re simply saucers that are filled with pebbles or gravel and water.

They function by allowing water to evaporate into the air surrounding the plant. This is particularly beneficial for dry air conditions like winter homes. Make sure you ensure that the tray is full of water so that your plant isn’t overly dry again.

What Is the Best Fertilizer for Dracaena Marginata?

Slow-releasing fertilizers are the ideal choice for dracaena marginata. These fertilizers are specially designed to meet the requirements for these plant species.

First on the list is nitrogen, which aids in the growth of leaves. The second number is phosphorus which aids in the growth of roots. The third refers to potassium. It aids in the growth of flowers in flowering plants.

You should be able to have a mixture of all three numbers that will support every stage of the development for your plant. Be sure to fertilize your plant whenever the soil is moistit will permit better absorption.


Although Dracaena marginata is losing leaves but certainly not the finality of the line for the plant however, it may take some effort to heal it.

If your plant is properly cared for it shouldn’t be necessary to worry about the dracaena marginata losing its leaves once more. Like other exotic houseplants, this plant’s greatest challenge is adapting to the indoor conditions.

If they are exposed to too much sunlight and dry air the plants will shed the leaves they have and fight for all year. Place your plant within a shaded area free of direct light and keep it hydrated frequently.



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