Root Rot in Dracaena

Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Stephanie

The most prevalent and destructive illnesses that your Dracaena may contract is root decay.

The rot disease is a devious assassin who eats away at the roots of your dracaena, degrading them from within.

The plant will end up dying If you dont stop it from spreading to the stems, leaves and even other parts.

The yellowing of leaves and the mushy swelling stems are indicators of root rot in dracaena. Take the Dracaena out of its container, rinse the soil that was accumulated on the roots, then cut off the diseased roots using sharp, sterilized pruners. Pot the Dracaena in a fresh container with freshly-drained, well-drained potting mixes once only healthy roots remain.

The prevention of rot in the root of dracaena is the most effective course of action, however when the disease is caught in time, you could keep your Dracaena.

Slow growth, yellowing leaves and soil that is wet are all classic early warning signs to be on the lookout for.

Common Signs of Dracaena Root Rot

Stage 1: Early Warning Symptoms of Dracaena Root Rot

Make a move immediately if you realize the roots of your plant are infected by the dracaena Rot.

The problem is that the early stages often hide beneath the soils surface, which makes it difficult to identify.

There are, however, some early warning signs of your plant that you could observe in the air. Some of them include:

Leaves Turning Yellow

The first signs of dracaena root rot are the leaves turning yellow. This is particularly true when the affected leaves are affected by drooping or wilting.

The yellowing leaves suggest that the roots are having difficulty in absorbing and transferring water and nutrients out of the potting soil.

Its the same the same way if your Dracaena is soaking wet or underwatered or isnt getting enough sunlight.

The signs of root rot are yellowing or discoloration of leaves, which can lead to the leaves turning brown and falling off.

Dracaena white pot

The Soil Staying Wet for Prolonged Time

If you observe the leaves turning yellow You should examine the soil to determine whether its wet or sloppy.

Root rot is usually caused by excessive watering and poor drainage, which means that the soil stays wet or swollen for longer than normal.

Each day, put your finger in the growing medium.

After one week, if the first 3 inches on your Dracaena remain wet the chances are youve overwatered it and root rot could be taking root.

Leaves Curling

Another indication of dracaena root rot leaves curving throughout the day, but then bouncing back in the evening. Wilting and drooping can be a sign of curly leaves.

Since the root is unable to provide enough water or essential elements, the leaves show this type of signal.

Stunted or Slow Growth

Instability to grow or failure to grow is a typical sign of a plant issue. The roots of your plant may be in trouble if its growth is slowed, and.

Dracaenas dont grow very quickly. They can reach an average height of 10 feet within ten years.

If, however, there is no growth at all for long periods it is recommended to investigate whether root rot could be the cause.

Dracaena root rot happens when pathogens cause damage or kill the roots.

The roots that are affected by this disease go dark brown or black and are unable to absorb nutrients and transfer them to other areas in the plant. In the end, the overall growth rate is reduced or reduced.

Stage 2: Red Alerts of Advanced Dracaena Root Rot

Consistent Wilting of Leaves

The most common warning sign that the rot has caused damage to the roots is dying leaves that fail to be recovering despite being fed.

Dracaenas will wilt if they do not receive enough water from the soil.

Its also a method for your plant to save in water, by decreasing the surface area of its leaves, which can be a source of moisture.

Your roots on your Dracaena arent able in absorbing enough water if affected by the rot disease.

So, regardless of how much water you provide your plant, its leaves will eventually become wilted with time.

Swollen, and Mushy Stems

Dracaenas with root rot typically have swollen and soft stems and wilting leaves.

The lower parts of your Dracaena which includes the bottom of your stems are likely to initially show signs of rot because decay begins at the bottom and progresses upwards.

The branches will weaken and could even break off.

Brown Leaves

The first signs are the appearance of brown marks on leaves that are turning yellow. You have time to save your Dracaena from the ravaging root rot that is destroying its jaws.

The color of the leaves is a sign that the rot is already in full force.

This means that the rot infection has spread and reached the leaves. This is your final chance to keep your plant alive!

Brown or Black and Spongy Roots

Take a small amount of topsoil from the plant and check the roots for signs of rot if you suspect that its affected.

In other instances, healthy white roots turn limp instead of hard and crisp in the beginning stages of the illness.

Roots affected will soon turn brown or black. Roots that have been decaying for a long period of time will be soft and flexible.

The dark-brown outer cover will likely reveal their slimy inner tissues.

Rotting Odor emanating from Roots

Healthy dracaena roots are scentless or possess an earthy smell. However the root rot can emit a smell of decay.

The smell of decaying flesh gets more unpleasant as the illness advances.

Stage 3: Late Signs of Dracaena Root Rot

In this stage, underlying causes of the rot-related disease transform into a dark or brown mushiness. The mushy, foul-smelling odor is a sign of the endgame.

If you do not take proper care of your plant, its likely to topple. If you touch the stem in this final stage, it could break when you hold it.

Causes Dracaena Root Rot

[1] Overwatering

One of the major factors that contribute to the growth of the dracaena root rot is a high amount of watering.

If you water your plant too much and then put it at risk of the rot disease.

The oxygen levels in the soil are decreased which allows fungi that are opportunistic and other pathogens to thrive. The roots are also choked.


To avoid the risk of water overflowing, use self-watering pots. The bottom of the pot can be beneficial too.

Plant your plant in a bright spot and allow air circulation so that the soil can dry out.

The Dracaena should be watered only after the top 1 to 2 inches have dried out.

[2] Fungal Infections

Dracaena root rot can be caused by a variety of root-decaying fungi that thrive in humid environments.

Some of the most frequent causes include Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora, Pythium and Fusarium.

They usually attack weak or damaged roots that are damaged by poor practices in the field like overwatering, fertilizer burn, and so on.

This table will assist you in determining the root-rotting fungus that is causing destruction in your Dracaena:

Treatment, Control, and Prevention of Dracaena Fungal Diseases

Make sure you dont overwater your Dracaena and splash water over the leaves or sprinkle water from the highest point of the.

Use clean repotting containers and potting mix for your Dracaenas.

Utilize a fungicide containing copper to combat the fungal infection of the plant affected.

Get rid of dead and fallen leaves plant material as part of a sound gardening practices.

[3] Poor Soil Drainage

A soil that is not properly drained retains a large amount of moisture. This is particularly true when the soil is old heavy or has excessive organic matter.

Wet or constantly soggy roots are the most common targets for pathogens that cause rot.


I highly recommend repotting your Dracaena by using a fresh, well-drained compost for potting.

Additionally you can increase drainage by adding some vermiculite.

[4] Dracaena Soft Rot

The evil guys dont just belong to the fungi. The root rot that plagues dracaenas could be caused by a variety of water molds, bacteria and viruses.

The cause of soft rot is the bacteria Erwinia chrysanthemi . Erwinia carotovora, a.k.a. carotovora is an example.

The delicate roots, brown, and a foul smell are the most common signs. Lower leaves can also fall.


Plant parts that are infected must be removed and safely disposed of. In the event that your Dracaena is infected to the point of being fatally affected, you should consider throwing it away and re-starting.

The purchase of a dracaena that is disease-free is the first step towards the prevention.

[5] Inadequate Drainage

To prevent the development of root rot, it is essential to be sure to have drainage holes that are adequate in the dracaena pot.

The addition of stones at the pots bottom wont be able cut it.

Root rot is more likely to happen when you permit too much water to build up in the bottom of the pot.


Make use of clay or terracotta containers with walls that are porous to allow the water to evaporate.

Also, ensure that the bottom of the pot is equipped with drainage holes.

[6] Wrong Pot Size

It is possible to plant your Dracaena in an enormous pot, believing it will have plenty of room to grow.

Let me be clear This is a bad idea. Root rot can happen if there is excessive dirt around the roots, which could result in waterlogging.

The roots of potted plants get blocked and are susceptible to rot and disease.


Select the appropriate dimension pot to accommodate your Dracaena. A quarter inch of dirt around your roots will allow plenty of space to grow.

[7] Low-Temperature

When temperatures are warmer the plants evaporation and consumption of water rates rise.

In the end, your plant will require less water at lower temperatures, which sets the stage for root rot and overwatering.


A daytime temperature of 60 to 70 degrees (15-21degC) is the ideal temperature to your Dracaena. The temperature at night are usually 10-degrees lower. (Source)

Certain varieties such as Dracaena draco are able to withstand the full sun, therefore placing them in a window that is brightly lit is the best option.

[8] Watering During Dormancy

It is not recommended to be able to water your Dracaena in the time it isnt in winter. In the winter, your plants growth slows and the amount of water required is reduced.

If you continue to water it in the same manner you have always done the risk of causing root rot.


Dracaenas prefer their soil to be slightly moist in winter However, you shouldnt allow the soil to completely dry out.

Before watering your plant ensure that the first 2 to 3 inches of the soil is completely dry.

[9] Poor Air Circulation

The soil and your plants are more prone to losing moisture when there is a good circulation of air. Soggy soil and stagnant air result from inadequate ventilation.

The overcrowding of your plants and the absence of airflow could cause this problem.


  • Place your plants in a secluded area to increase circulation of air.
  • Make use of a fan to improve the circulation of air.
  • Prune dracaenas that are overgrown to allow air circulation between the leaves.

[10] Contaminated Gardening Tools

Pathogens can be attached to trowels, pruning shears and shears as well as pots and garden tools.

They could transfer pathogens to healthy plants if they are not cleaned.


Make sure to clean your gardening tools with bleach before and after every use.

Combine 1 part bleach with nine parts of distilled water to create your bleach solution.

What can you do to Save Your Dracaena from Root Rot

Step 1: Stop Watering

The plant is struggling and you observe that the potting medium is damp, but theres no swelling or smelly stems, or any other typical signs of dracaena root rot.

In these situations it could appear as easy as stopping the watering and carefully watching your Dracaena.

The mild cases of dracaena root decay can be treated by changing your watering routine and allow your soil time to dry out.

It is possible to avoid major interruptions to the already damaged root system by repotting it this method.

Encourage evaporation by removing all fallen plant matter and dirt out of the soil.

Also, ensure you have plenty of airflow around the plant.

Step 2: Remove the Infected Leaves and Other Plant Parts

It is important to prevent the spread of disease by eliminating the affected stems, foliage and other plant components.

You should consider using a fungicide that is preventive on your plant, particularly one with copper. (Check the most current cost at Amazon right here).

Step 3: Unpot the Plant and Dry out the Root System

You must strip activated pathogens from the water they require to flourish so that they are unable to multiply.

It is recommended to temporarily remove the plant from the pot and put it on newspaper or in old magazines.

This technique will help in the drying of soil and also increase the amount of oxygen in the roots. Installing a fan close to your Dracaena can also aid.

It will also allow your Dracaenas natural defense system plenty of time and space to fight any pathogens that remain.

Step 4: Trim off the Infected Roots

It is imperative to adopt drastic measures in order to protect the plants. If root rot has already begun to spread but there are healthy white roots. First, eliminate any affected root from your plant.

The roots of rotten have a soft, spongy feel to the touch. They appear to be a darker brown, or even black hue.

The aim is to eliminate any weak and healthy roots.

If the roots are affected, dont be scared to get rid of the majority of the roots.

Additionally, you must take away all the vegetation that is damaged.

To ensure that your plant is not stressed in its recuperation You should ensure that you be sure to match the cut roots and proportion of foliage. Yellowed, wilted, and brown foliage are all examples of this.

Step 5: Repot Using New Soil and Pot

Pot your Dracaena in an unclean, sterile pot with fresh, dry well-drained, well-drained and nutrient-rich potting mixes (Check the most current prices at Amazon right here)

Step 6: Watering after Repotting

Start light watering again with care. Prior to the next irrigation let the first 3 inches of dirt to become dry.

Every 7 to 7 days, test the soils moisture using the aid of a meter or finger test.

Step 7: Care after Repotting

Keep the right temperature and humidity conditions to your Dracaena to encourage rapid growth and recovery.

It is ideally suited to temperatures that are in the 65-degree range (18degC). For at least 8 hours, put it in an area that is exposed to moderate to bright indirect light.

Do not fertilize the plant until it is completely recovered from root decay.

Step 8: Propagating Dracaena

In the case of severe root rot in dracaena, when the roots are all turned into the consistency of mush, it is time to remove the plant.

Avoid coming into the contact of other plants. Clean all gardening tools and container that has come in close contact with plants.

The only way to do this is to begin from scratch by placing healthy canes on humid, warm soil. Air layering is also efficient.

Treatment of root rot using Chemical Fungicide

I would not suggest the treatment of the Dracaena with chemical fungicides.

One thing to note is that there is no one chemical fungicide that is efficient against all kinds of root-rotting fungi.

Additionally, the illness could be caused by bacterial or viral infections.

It is also necessary to bring your plant to a certified laboratory or nursery to determine the fungus that causes the decay.

It is typically expensive and laborious and time-consuming, not to mention costly chemical treatments.

More importantly, chemical fungicides may cause harm to beneficial organisms living in the soil which can make your Dracaena more prone to rot diseases.

Homemade Fungicide for Dracaena Root Rot

If youre looking for an organic method Here are some home-made products to think about:


Charcoal activated is an offering of God to gardeners such as us and you.

Apply a thin layer of the coating over the top of the container to soak up excess water, repel insects, stop mold growth and eliminate the odors. The layer also deters insects.


The plants can take advantage of cinnamons antifungal properties due to its low toxicity levels.

Sprinkle on the affected stems, roots, and other areas.

Make sure to include cinnamon in the growing medium to provide an antifungal effect that lasts for a long time.


The most effective method to utilize the chamomile plant is to drink it as a tea that is liquid. The antifungal properties and the natural antimicrobial properties will make it worth the effort.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)