How to Save Overwatered Dracaena Marginata (Dragon Tree)

Dracaena marginata plants don’t require any water, which makes it simple to drown them. This article I’ll explain how to help a dracaena that has been overwatered marginata and maintain its health.

Here’s how you can help save the overwatered dracaena marginata:

  1. Take it out of the pot and look at the roots.
  2. Cleanse the roots
  3. Get rid of the soil that was contaminated
  4. Clean the pot
  5. Make sure that it’s properly drained.
  6. Put the dracaena marginata back into the pot

Overwatering is common in plants, including dracaena marginata. There are numerous stories on forums online of people seeking assistance and advice on how to bring their plants back on the right track after having overwatered and you’re definitely not all on your own!

Dragon Tree Dracaena Marginata

Without further delay we’ll discuss the ways to save your marginata dracaena from being overwatered.

1. Take it out of the pot and examine the roots

If you think your Dracaena marginata may be suffering from excessive watering The first step is look at the roots as well as the leaves. The leaves are likely to appear pale and yellow if the plant is being overwatered. The leaves may fall off completely.

It is recommended to remove the plant with care to avoid damaging any of its roots, or any other components that make up the plant. Examine the roots for signs of decay after the plant has been taken removed from the pot. In many instances the dracaena marginata that has been overwatered can develop root decay.

Here are some indications of root decay:

  • Soft and musky roots
  • Dark roots
  • A sour smell in the soil and in the roots

Important note: In an easy case of water overflow it is not necessary to change the soil or pot the plant. In this case all you have to do is allow the soil to dry prior to rehydrating. But, you might require removing certain areas of soil surrounding the roots in order for it to breathe more easily. This can aid in drying the soil faster.

If you want ensure you’re on the safer side, there’s nothing wrong in replacing and repotting the soil (even even if you’re not sure of the root is rotting).

If you find that certain roots have been damaged, you must remove them with garden cutting tools. Make sure you clean and disinfect the cutting tools prior to and after touching the affected leaves and roots.

After cutting off a few rootstocks, it is recommended to cut off some leaves. It is recommended that you were aiming to trim away some of the leaves that are weakest.

2. Wash the Roots

After you have removed the damaged roots, you should clean them with running water. This is especially important in the case of root rot as a result of excessive watering.

Cleansing with water can wash off any dirt or debris prior to putting in an anti-fungicide or disinfectant.

After you’ve cleaned the roots, you should apply a fungicide to eliminate any pathogens that may be left on the healthy roots. If your plant isn’t suffering from root rot, and is at the beginning of water loss, you don’t have to apply fungicides.

There are a variety of fungicides available to pick from, and you must ensure you choose the correct one. As per Pennsylvania State University the fungicide you choose to use to treat your plant’s root rot must have the name of the plant on the label.

In this instance the packaging for fungicides must have the words ‘dracaena marginata or ‘dragon tree’ printed on the label.

If you’re not sure which fungicide you should choose it is recommended to hire an expert to examine your plant and direct you to the correct direction.

3. Dispose of the Old Soil

It is recommended to eliminate the soil that was previously used, particularly in the case of an infection as a result of the excessive watering. As I said earlier it’s not necessary to change soil if it’s simply a matter of water overflowing.

But, I do prefer to give my plants a new start by re-potting the soil every now and again and highly recommend it.

If you have fungal soil, the most effective option is to throw it in the garbage. Some may prefer to put it in the compost pile, however this is only useful when the weather is hot with sun shining.

If the soil that is infected doesn’t attain temperatures that are hot the fungus will not die and will continue to expand to other areas in the heap.

If you’d like to salvage the soil, put it in an empty plastic bag (so that it doesn’t cause harm to other things) and place it in the sun. It needs to reach a temperature of 140 temperatures F (60 degree C) or greater for at least 30 mins to kill the fungus.

In this case that it is only possible to treat your soil using temperatures during summer months. Removing your soil with a new one is the simplest and most effective method, particularly for potted plants such as the dracaena marginata.

4. Clean the Pot

After you’ve removed the soil that was previously in it then you’ll have to wash the pot. Rinse it by soaking it in water to get rid of any dirt, soil and other debris.

If you notice an infection within the plant, you should clean the pot using bleach. Alternately, you could apply the same fungicide you applied to the plant. This will ensure that there’s no contamination left in the container.

It is also possible to use an entirely new pot in case you like the idea. If it’s been some time since you repotted your dragonfly, you might need to repotte it again due to the fact that it has grown larger. It is recommended to put it in a larger pot if it’s grown substantially since the last time you repotted it.

It is not necessary to clean the pot if there’s no evidence of infection within the plant.

5. Add New Soil and Make Sure It’s Well-Drained

The pot is now waiting to be filled with new soil. To ensure that your plant is not over-watered or swollen later on, you should ensure that you choose a the soil that is well-drained and light.

A good example of a well-drained soil suitable for marginata can be found in the Rio Hamza Indoor Plant Soil Mixture. This is a soil specifically designed intended for indoor plants, such as the dracaena marginata. It is made up of perlite, peat moss lime, perlite, and worm castings. All of these are all-natural components.

If you’re worried about the possibility of waterlogging in the near future, you might want to consider adding some clay pebbles to the soil of your potting mix. They aid in aeration of plants and aid in water absorption, which means there’s less damage from water.

Take a look at Mother Earth Hydroton Original Clay Pebbles If you’re seeking water absorption and aeration for your Drachaena marginata.

The pebbles are composed of semi-porous natural clay that has an even capillary force, making them ideal for increasing the absorption of water and aeration.

Other Good Soils for Dracaena Marginata

The process of selecting the right soil is difficult. I’ve mentioned that I used the Rio Hamza soil above, however there are many other soils to pick from. Below, I’ll briefly discuss the other options for your Dracaena marginata.

Magenta Madagascar Dragon Tree Planting Soil

The potting soil is hand made in small batches, which means you’ll receive a natural and high-quality soil.

The soil is specifically suited for dragon tree (also called dracaena marginata) which means you can rest assured that your plant will be growing in the best conditions. It is free of additional fertilizers or other chemicals that are great to prevent root decay.

Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix

The Miracle-Gro potting mixture is ideal for dracaena marginata because it’s a soil that drains well.

It will also help to prevent the formation of water stains in the event of excessive watering. It is made up of all-natural components: peat moss, sand and perlite.

Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

The most important aspect of the potting soil used by the dracaena marginata plant is that it drains well and this soil certainly the best for it.

While it’s targeted at Cacti, you can also make use of this soil for your Dracaena plant. It has a pH balance and sufficient drainage, which means it’s less likely that your plant will be damaged by water.

6. Place Dracaena Marginata Back In the Pot

After you’ve replaced the soil and put the pot in place and pot, you are able to put it back. After you have dug an opening in between the two soil layers, you should put the root ball into. The hole should be about two inches larger than the size that the ball of root.

After it’s inside, you can cover it with soil. In order to increase oxygen contact it is possible to keep the roots close to the surface of your soil. For now, you should only apply water to your dracaena marginata only when it’s dry.

It is usually once per week, however it could be every week for an hour or more each week.

To determine if it requires water or not You can tell this by smelling the ground around it. If it feels damp, don’t water it, as you’ll be at risk of repeating the watering. If it’s dry, it’s time to be sure to water it.

Another method to determine if your dracaena marginata requires water is to pick up the pot and measuring the weight.

If it is more heavy than normal, it’s because there’s water in the pot, that’s what’s making it feel heavier. If it’s thin, there’s not much liquid in it, and it’s best to provide the plant with water.


How to Know If Your Dracaena Marginata Is Dying

Numerous indicators suggest the dying dracaena marginata such as:

  • Wilted leaves
  • Leaves fall off
  • Leaf discoloration
  • Color darker in tone
  • The loss of its bright green color

It’s likely to be apparent quickly if your dracaena marginalata is dying. Dracaena marginata plants tend to be bright and green, therefore those that are dying and look sad and droopy is fairly easy to spot.

The overwatering of your dracaena marginata plant to end up dying, so it is important to ensure that you aren’t feeding the plant excessive amounts of water. If you observe any of the above signs within your plant, it is best to examine the root cause right away to determine how best to address it.

If you spot a lot of things early, there’s a good chance that you can correct the issue before it gets worse.

Why Are the Leaves On My Dragon Tree Drooping?

The most common causes of droopy leaves on the dragon tree (dracaena marginata) are excessive watering, underwatering and diseases. If the soil is dry, it could be that you’re submerging the dragon’s tree. If it’s always wet the tree is overwatered and could be suffering from a health issue also.

While overwatering is the primary reason for drooping leaves on a dragon tree it is also possible that underwatering could be the cause. The browning or yellowing of leaves could also be a sign of the presence of water or underwater.

You’ll probably know the cause of the drooping because you’re the only one who can truly determine how often you take care to water your plant. If you only water every month, then the drooping is likely due to water loss, and vice versa.

What Happens If You Don’t Treat an Overwatered Dracaena Marginata?

If you fail to take care of an overwatered dracaena marginalata the plant will be susceptible to diseases, including root rot. The roots are affected by waterlogging and be deprived of oxygen, which could kill the plant as it strips the leaves of the nutrients they require to produce photosynthesis.

It’s not a good decision to ignore the warning symptoms of an overwatered dracaena marginata. If you’re in the early stages of water loss all you have to do is allow the soil to dry up.

Do not water the plant until it appears completely dry. If the soil does not appear to be dry, even after a couple of weeks without watering the plant, you might need to think about switching the soil to lighter, better draining mix.

The most damaging thing you can do to a dracaena that is overwatered is to give it more water. If you see the leaves turning yellow, you have a good likelihood of damage from water. Don’t pour additional water until you’re certain that it’s not already watered.


It is possible to save a dracaena marginata that has been overwatered If you spot the issue in the early stages. The most important thing to keep in mind are:

  • It is only necessary to change the soil only if your plant is also suffering from an illness, such as root rot.
  • If you want to treat a disease-free water-logged plant have to do is allow the soil to dry naturally and then water is again.
  • Take away diseased or damaged leaves and roots.
  • Clean the pot and roots in the event of a case that has root rot.
  • Be sure that your plant is well-drained soil.
  • Utilize clay pebbles to reduce the chance of waterlogging and improve the aeration.


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