Ways to Save a Dying Dracaena Plant

It is the Dracaena group of plant species, which includes the Corn plant as well as the Dragon Tree is tough and robust.

But, plants are just as unpredictable as life form. The sudden onset of illness or death could shock the caregivers.

Dracaena varieties are especially susceptible to excessive watering, which could cause the death of the plant. So, they should dry completely in between irrigations.

The fungal disease, inadequate lighting, and inadequate watering are all contributing factors.

Let’s take a close look at how your Dracaena may express displeasure, and what you can do to address it.

Dracaena Dying After Repotting

Dracaenas are plants that grow slowly and prefer to remain in the same pots for long periods of time. But, even these tough plants will require replenishing each two to three years.

There are a variety of possibilities for repotting dieback to occur. A common cause is the repotting of shock.

The process causes a shock to the root system of the plant, and it could take a couple of days or one week for the roots to return to their normal activity.

If your Dracaena isn’t recovering the way it did, then your new medium could be the reason.

A plant that has been potted recently could also be relocated to a higher-profile location in which it is exposed to excessive or not enough sunlight, which isn’t common.

Dracaena bright red

Dracaenas dying from top down

Dracaenas develop from their crowns, forming new leaves which eventually fall and re-emerge to form the stem or trunk. The top of the plant will begin to die if it is unable to obtain the nutrients it requires to develop new stems.

Insufficient nutrition, excessive watering or insufficient light are all believed as contributing factors to the dieback of the crown. However, these signs could be caused by a disease or insufficient watering.

Dracaena Leaves Turning Yellow and Falling Off

They shed their leaves when they grow. This is how they develop the distinctive trunk that is bare.

Don’t worry if the new growth is healthy and those older leaves shed from the crown. This is normal and a part of the development for the plants.

Insufficient light and a lack of water are other causes that could make lower leaflets turn yellow and then fall off.

If resources are scarce, Dracaena prefers to sacrifice its oldest leaves first.

Overwatered Dracaena Marginata Is Dying

A stunning Dracaena species, D. Marginata (dragon trees) is especially prone to excessive watering.

They are indigenous to Madagascar’s deserts, and they’ve evolved to thrive in sandy soils with very little or any water.

In the end, they are not able to handle excessive watering well. The yellowing, limp as well as soft, soft foliage of an overwatered Dragon Tree indicate this.

They won’t grow as properly and will shed their leaves starting from the bottom upwards.

Dracaena Marginata Soft Stem

The stem on your Dracaena is softening it means that your plant is suffering by a fungal infection.

This is particularly true if your stem has been damp throughout the entire length of the stem.

The majority of the time, fungal pathogens that infest normally healthy plant species are caused through excessive irrigation.

Even even if you’ve lost all the leaves on your plant and it’s now just a stalk do not give up hope.

They are real survivors who overcome adversity with an incredible rate. to believe.

It may require a little watering and a bit of time in bright lighting in order for it to recover , if it’s dry, but solid when it is touched.

If the plant’s stalk is wet or damp, your image gets more bleak. It is possible that you have overwatered your plants , or suffer from fungal diseases.

The likelihood of recovery is lower however, If your Dracaena is big enough, it could be living within it.

It’s possible that the new soil and lighting could help it to recover.

What To Do If Your Dracaena Plant Is Dying?

In the beginning it is important to determine what is the reason for your Dracaena to exhibit symptoms of stress. Keep in mind the requirements it has and what might be lacking from its current treatment program.

Certain varieties of Dracaena require bright indirect light in order to flourish. Let the soil completely dry out between waterings in order to keep them well-nourished.

They require soil that drains well, and is ideally an aggregate which is suitable for desert plants. They don’t require a lot of fertilizers.

If you’re planning to apply liquid fertilizers, it’s best to apply it during the summer months when soil is the most fertile.

Brown leaflets on Dracaena won’t change color This is something to think about. The damage done to a plant is irreparable.

It is safe to take out the damaged or severely damaged leaf which is darker brown than green. With a sharp knife, take the brown leaf off the stem.

In general I do not bother with mostly green leaves. But, what if some leaves on the Dracaena contain pigment.

In this case they could be utilized to photosynthesis, using sunlight to transform air and water into energy-producing sugars. This energy could be the most important thing in the world for a sick plant.

How to Save a Dracaena That Has Been Overwatered or Has Root Rot

To save the overwatered Dracaena start by repotting it. The removal of the Dracaena from its current home lets you inspect the root system for indications of rot, or other damages.

First, select the right pot, and then prepare new soil. Drainage holes with more drainage holes are preferred and you should ensure that the new pot you choose has at least two drainage holes.

A succulent or cactus mix is ideal since it is loose-draining and coarse. (Check for prices at Amazon right here)

Cutters or shears that are clean should be available in case sickened or rotting roots need to be removed.

After you have removed the unhealthy Dracaena from the pot and thoroughly wash the old medium in clear water. Then, examine its roots for evidence of decay.

You’re looking for white, fibrous root system on your Dracaena. The roots are rotting if they’re soft and mushy , or becoming black or brown. It is necessary to sharp scissors or shears that are clean to get them out.

It’s an issue of moving the Dracaena into a new pot, and then returning it to the original spot.

I hope that your Dracaena will return to normal within about a week or two.

Whatever varieties of Dracaena you have it is essential to allow them to dry completely between irrigations.

It is possible that watering every two weeks – or even more! It is enough during the winter months, when growth slows.

If you’re located in the South or even Dracaenas just require a couple of good soaks every month to remain healthy.

The moisture gauge is an essential device for those who cannot be able to leave the plants they have for so long at stretch.

You can monitor the level of moisture in the root mass by using this device that can give you an assurance of security. (Check for prices at Amazon right here)

Reviving A Dracaena That Hasn’t Had Enough Water

It’s much simpler to fix – just soak your Dracaena completely!

Dry plants respond best to water coming from below. It pumps water directly into the roots, which is where it is the most required.

A tub or basin to store your thirsty Dracaena is essential to perform this method. Also, you will require pure water, which is best either filtered or distilled rainwater.

To get water from below:

  • Remove your Draceana from its saucer or drip tray.
  • The basin should be filled with water, then place the plant inside it.
  • The basin should be filled with water until it is the halfway mark on the side of the pot.
  • Let the Dracaena to sit within the pool for at most 30 minutes.
  • If needed, replenish the level of water.
  • Let your Dracaena to run out for minimum 15 minutes prior to returning it to the container.

Dracaena regardless of the type, should be dry prior to being again hydrated.

You can water it above if your Dracaena is too large to fit into the basin.

Dry-growing media are often hydrophobic over time. In the end, they are unable to hold water and will instead refuse to accept it.

When watering a dry-out soil from above, be patient. I add only a quarter cup or more at a time and evenly spread across the soil’s surface. I allow it to slowly peculate through the soil.

A dozen of these small amounts could be needed for larger pots prior to the soil being ready to soak – wait until you can see tiny drips escaping from drain holes.

Add enough water to soak the mix. Let to allow the Dracaena to drain before returning to its original position. Let it dry completely before watering it once more.

Restoring a dying Dracaena From the Top Down

If the crown of your plant is badly damaged or is dead, it’s recommended to eliminate it completely. Whatever the reason the dead crown stops the Dracaena from forming new leaves, and ultimately kills the plant.

Luckily, Dracaena are robust and capable of generating new growth points after the dead, old one has passed away.

Find a point about a couple of inches beneath the dead crown, and just cut it off completely using clean shears. Discard the dead crown.

All you need to do is to wait. If that the light levels are sufficient as well as the media is well supplied with water.

If that’s the case you’ll notice new buds appearing on the top in the plants. I’ve seen up to three new shoots emerge from the same trimmed Dracaena throughout the spring.

How to Save a Soft-Stem Corn Plant

Similar measures are needed to save the Dracaena (or corn) plant that has an elongating stalk. The roots below are likely to be dying or dead.

You are able to save the crown of your plant through propagation of the healthier portion. However, when it’s time to cut off the head and begin again.

Clean shears that are sturdy enough to slice into the stem are needed. For larger pieces it is possible to make use of an alternative saw.

Also, you will require an unclean water container sufficient to accommodate the plant’s stem and crown. A bottle or jar is usually sufficient for smaller plants, however it is possible to use a bucket for larger specimens.

To keep your corn plant alive Follow these steps:

  • Cut a few inches over the top of softness of the stalk.
  • Then, you’ll have to submerge everything in water.
  • Set the vessel in a bright, well-lit location that isn’t in direct sunlight.
  • After a couple of weeks, you will notice that roots are growing. It is possible to put it in the soil once the roots are three or four inches in length.

Some people plant their cut-off Dracaena immediately before the roots get the chance to grow.

I like to apply water on plants that are sick. It allows you to see what the roots are performing, and it also makes water propagation resistant to soil-borne diseases.

Additionally, by using water propagation, you stand an incredibly low likelihood of spreading the disease on the plant.

When in water, the Dracaena develops slowly , but it is a joy to watch. Actually this genus contains Lucky Bamboo that is entirely grown in water and a lot of them are not potted in soil.

If you are happy with your water-propagated plant as you like it, then there’s no reason to transfer it to soil.

Dracaena which have lost almost all of their lower leaves as a result of water deficiency could also benefit from this propagation technique. The shedding process can lead to an excessively tall and ‘leggy appearance.

The removal of the crown and allowing water to propagate it could result in two plants. A crownless base can simply grow new shoots and will resume growth.

Dracaena are commonly called “unkillable plants” for a good reason. Even if a plant becomes seriously injured or sick the plant will heal and flourish more than ever before with prompt intervention.



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