Why Is My Dracaena Leaves Turning Black

According to the University of Vermont, dracaena marginata plants prefer moist, well-draining soil. Although they can withstand some drought, when they don’t get enough water, the plant will attempt to preserve energy by turning the tips of the leaves brown or black. If the soil isn’t moist approximately 1 inch below the surface, increase the frequency of your watering, especially during the warmest parts of the summer.

On the other hand, over watering might cause the leaf tips to turn black. Dragon trees don’t like damp soil, so if necessary, switch to a better-draining kind, like one that contains perlite, or add gravel to the pot’s base to improve drainage.

Why do the black dots on my dracaena exist?

The optimal time to mist is in the morning since we want any extra moisture to dissipate before nightfall.

This will stop the spread of microorganisms that cause sickness. You may also place pebble trays below your dracaena and other tropical plants.

The water in the tray will contribute to making the air surrounding your plant more humid.

Poor Air Circulation

Like humans, plants also require fresh air to survive. Your dracaena will have problems if it becomes trapped in an unventilated space.

One is that a lack of airflow will keep a damp room damp for an extended amount of time.

We are aware that many diseases thrive in damp environments. When this situation is tolerated, pathogens expand and develop.


To let air in, open the windows. Turn on your exhaust fan if you have one so that the suspended air can begin to move.

It’s also a good idea to prune your plants to reduce crowding. More air will enter the spaces in this manner.

Pest Infestation

Pests that could hurt your dracaena and spoil its leaves include fungus gnats, mealybugs, scales, and thrips.

These creatures suckingly consume the sap of the plant tissue. They leave behind lesions that resemble little brown patches.

Normal infection levels are bearable. Even in the presence of these organisms, your dracaena will survive. They can, however, become a major pain if they spiral out of control.

Once discovered, manually get rid of the bugs. Take off the highly affected leaves and stems. Use a forceful stream of water to rinse them off.

Spray horticultural oils or insecticidal soap diluted in water if they persist. You might also use cloth dipped in alcohol to clean them off.

Bacterial Leaf Spot Disease

Bacteria from the genera Erwinia, Xanthomonas, and Pseudomonas are responsible for bacterial leaf spot in foliage plants like dracaena.

The plant’s leaves develop lesions as a result of this disease. Depending on the type of bacteria present, some spots are black, yellow, or reddish-brown in color.

How to Treat:

Pinch off and remove any leaves or stems with bacterial leaf spots right away. The sooner you identify the issue, the better.

As much as possible, keep the plant’s foliage dry. So that water has time to evaporate, water the plant in the morning.

Fusarium Leaf Spot Disease

Over time, the spots typically grow larger, turn red or tan, and are surrounded by a yellow halo. If badly harmed, infected leaves can pass away.

F. moniliforme is a pathogen that causes fusarium leaf spot. The dracaena species D. marginata, D. marginata ‘Magenta,’ and D. reflexa ‘Song of Jamaica’ are especially vulnerable to fusarium leaf spots (Pleomele reflexa). (Reference: IFAS/University of Florida)

To stop the spread of illnesses, remove the affected plant parts. If you can, separate your dracaena from the other plants and space out your other plants.

Ensure that there is adequate airflow and that the foliage is typically dry.

As a preventative step, spray fungicides like Daconil, mancozeb, or benomyl on the surrounding dracaena plants.


The inner and lower leaves of the dracaena plant may have red, orange, yellow, or brown patches that are indicative of rust.

The unattractive appearance is a result of a fungal disease that may have affected the plant.

Rust spores will begin to spread to the leaves as soon as they are introduced to the plant.

In order to survive, they eat the plant tissues. If their number does not spiral out of control, the presence of rust poses no major danger.

Always look underneath the leaves to check for any signs of rust. Cut off the diseased leaves and properly dispose of them.

To promote proper air circulation and lower moisture levels surrounding the plant, leave enough distance between plants.

When the environment is unfavorable, pathogen growth will slow down.

Fertilizer Problem

The overuse of fertilizers is one of the common causes of brown patches on many plants.

Fertilizers are beneficial, but only to a certain point. Your dracaena plant will suffer if you overdo it.

Salts from fertilizers typically accumulate in the soil over time. Your plant’s roots will be drained of water by these salts, resulting in a drought situation. Dehydration will cause the roots to shrink.

The roots’ ability to perform will be hampered by the harm fertilizers cause to them. The roots’ capacity to deliver water and other nutrients to the plant’s other components would be hampered.

After fertilizing your dracaena plant, if the leaves begin to develop brown spots on the tips and margins, wash the fertilizer off with water. Half of the salts in the soil will be eliminated by the application of 6 water.

Examine the roots to see if there are any severe wounds. If none, keep the plant in its container until it has recovered fully. Simply delay fertilizer applications while the roots recuperate.

Adding fertilizers only when the plant requires them is a good advice. If your dracaena appears vibrant and healthy, you shouldn’t fertilize it.

Inconsistent Watering

Inconsistent watering is another cause of the brown patches that develop on dracaena leaves, particularly at the tips.

Underwatering will result in the entire plant shriveling, while overwatering will cause the roots to rot. The browning of the leaves serves as an indication for both processes. Your dracaena leaf may eventually fall off.

Water the dracaena plant right away if it is submerged. Until the earth is wet, thoroughly and evenly water the area. The plant will revert to its turgid look after being quenched.

It’s better to stop providing water to overwatered plants for a few days. Examine the roots to determine how far the damage has spread. Next, repot if necessary.

Water Quality

Using water of poor quality is another aspect that might cause brown patches to appear.

Additionally, these salts may build up in the dracaena’s leaf edges, causing tip burns.

Fluoride poisoning is especially common in the cultivars “Warneckii,” “Janet Craig,” and “Massangeana.”

These cultivars will probably start to brown their leaves if the water you’re using has 1 ppm of fluoride in it.

If you have a filtration system at home, use filtered water. It aids in the removal of impurities and pollutants from the water.

If this is not possible, let the chlorine and fluorine vaporize in the tap water for at least 24 hours.

Save as much rainwater as you can when it’s raining. Still the finest choice for indoor plants like dracaenas.

How can plants with black leaves be fixed?

Plants with black leaves are a clear indication that something is wrong. These poor plants can occasionally be saved, but more often than not, the damage has been done and it is too late to reverse it. Finding out what went wrong can be a crucial step in ensuring that these issues don’t occur with your other plants, whether or not it is already too late.


Blackened leaves are a result of overwatering plants. Frequently, the plant has irreparable rot by this point and cannot be rescued. Avoid letting your plants sit in excessive amounts of water, and make sure the pot they are in has a hole at the bottom so any extra water can drain. Test the soil before watering by inserting a figure about an inch deep. It doesn’t necessarily follow that the soil isn’t wet underneath just because the top layer is dry. It’s also crucial to avoid letting your plants’ leaves become too wet. While a little bit is usually fine, too much might result in dangerous fungal infections that can spread illnesses and ultimately kill your plant. To try to solve these problems, if you see any standing water on your plants, wipe it out with a cloth or paper towel.


The development of white patches on the soil surface of your plant is typically an indication of salt buildup. Salts can be found in fertilizers, potting soils, and the water you use to hydrate your plants. Regularly flush-watering a plant helps remove any extra salts and minerals. Even after you start to notice black leaves, these harsh deposits may still be able to help you save your plant.

Temperature and Humidity

Tropical regions are where most indoor plants are native. They favor warm, muggy environments. Try keeping your plants in regions where the temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit to keep them comfy. Anything below 55 degrees will not be plant friendly. Additionally, make sure that your green space is sufficiently ventilated and damp.

Rotted Plants

Sadly, there are times when black leaves appear for reasons that are wholly uncontrollable. Bacterial infections can result in rot that turns leaves black and destroys plants swiftly. To prevent the rot from spreading to other plants in your yard, this terrifying scenario needs to be treated right now. Purchasing your plants and cuttings from a reputable source is one of the greatest ways to prevent this. Cheap, big-box merchants sometimes acquire their plants from dirty growing conditions. Make sure the place you buy your plants from is sourcing from an actual, high-quality nursery by doing your homework before you buy!

Although black leaves on your plants can be reversed, in certain situations they are an indication of bacterial, fungal, or disease issues. The best course of action is to remove the plant from your other plants as soon as you find it because of this risk. This move can avert a catastrophe in your collection. Insects like whiteflies should also be avoided because they can infect your plants with germs.

How can I revive my dracaena?

You must first identify the source of your Dracaena’s stress before you can address it. Next, consider what it needs and what may be absent from its existing care plan.

Some dracaena varieties need direct, bright light to grow. To keep them healthy, let the soil totally dry out in between waterings.

These plants demand well-draining soil, ideally a gritty mixture that is suitable for desert plants. Not a lot of fertilizer is required.

The greatest time to apply liquid fertilizer is in the middle of summer when the soil is at its most fruitful.

A Dracaena’s brown leaves will never turn green again, so keep that in mind. Any harm done is permanent.

A severely damaged leaf that has turned more brown than green can be safely removed. Remove the brown leaf from the stem with a sharp knife.

I generally don’t bother with vegetation that is mostly green. But let’s say the dracaena’s leaves are colored.

In that instance, they can be employed for photosynthesis, which turns air and water into energetic carbohydrates with the help of sunshine. For a sick plant, this energy can make all the difference in the world.

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

Repotting is the first step in saving a Dracaena from overwatering. Your Dracaena can be examined for decay or other damage by being taken out of its current location.

Selecting a new pot and getting fresh soil ready are the initial steps. Make sure your new pot has at least two drainage holes because more are better.

It is best to use a coarse, free-draining cactus or succulent mix. (Click here to view Amazon’s price list.)

If infected or rotten roots need to be cut out, clean scissors or shears should also be available.

Inspect the roots for indications of rot after removing the ill Dracaena from its pot and thoroughly rinsing the old media with fresh water.

On your Dracaena, you want pale, fibrous roots. If they’re soft and mushy, or if they’re becoming brown or black, they’re rotting. To cut them off, you’ll need clean shears or scissors.

The Dracaena can then be simply moved to a new pot and placed back in its original spot.

No matter what kind of Dracaena you have, you must let it totally dry out in between waterings.

In the winter, when growth slows, you might find that watering once every two weeks—or even longer—is sufficient.

Even Dracaenas only require a couple thorough soaks per month if you live in the South.

For individuals who can’t bring themselves to leave their plants alone for extended periods of time, a moisture meter is a necessary tool.

With this useful tool, you can monitor the moisture content of the root mass, which might give you a sense of security. (Click here to view Amazon’s price list.)

Reviving A Dracaena That Hasn’t Had Enough Water

The best way to hydrate a dry plant is from below. Where it is most needed, the root mass, it delivers moisture directly.

For this method, a basin or tub is needed to contain the Dracaena’s thirsty plant. You will also require clean water, preferably rainfall, distilled water, or water that has been through filtration.

To the water below:

  • Remove the Draceana from its saucer or drip tray.
  • Put the plant in the basin after it has been filled with water.
  • Water should be poured into the basin until it is halfway up the side of the pot.
  • Give the Dracaena at least 30 minutes to soak in the water.
  • Refill the water as necessary.
  • Before putting your Dracaena back in its container, give it at least 15 minutes to drain.

No matter the kind, dracaena must be entirely dry before being watered once more.

Over time, dry growth conditions usually develop a hydrophobic surface. They are unable to hold water as a result and instead reject it.

Take your time while watering a dried-out mix from above. I just add about a quarter cup at a time, distributing it evenly across the soil’s surface and letting it gently percolate into the mixture.

Before the soil is ready for soaking, it may take a dozen of these tiny dosages in large pots. Just wait till you see tiny drops coming out of the drainage holes.

Then, add enough water to properly soak the mixture. As soon as it drains, the dracaena should resurface in its original spot. Before watering it once more, let it totally dry.

Saving a Dying Dracaena from the Top Down

If your plant’s crown is severely damaged or dead, it’s best to remove it entirely. Regardless of the cause, a dead crown prevents the Dracaena from producing new leaves and eventually kills the plant.

Thankfully, Dracaena are hardy and can create new growth points after the old, dead one has passed away.

Simply use clean shears to completely cut off the point a few inches below the dead crown, removing the old, dead crown.

You just need to wait at this point. Assume that the medium is properly irrigated and that the light levels are sufficient.

In that situation, you ought to see the plant’s top sprouting new buds. The same trimmed Dracaena has given me up to three new shoots every spring.

How to Save a Soft-Stem Corn Plant

To save a Dracaena or corn plant with a weakening stalk, similar extreme procedures are needed. Most likely, the roots there are dormant or decaying.

By spreading the healthy portion, you can still save the growing crown of your plant. But after that, it’s time to remove the head and begin over.

It is necessary to have clean, powerful shears that can cut through the stalk. You might need to use a saw instead if working with larger specimens.

Additionally, you’ll require a clean water container big enough to accommodate the plant’s stem and crown. For little specimens, a jar or bottle will frequently do, but for larger ones, a bucket would be necessary.

To save your corn plant, take the following actions:

  • Cut a few inches above the stalk’s highest point of tenderness.
  • You’ll then need to immerse the entire object in water.
  • Place the vessel in a room with good lighting that is not in the sun.
  • You ought to see roots forming within a few weeks. When many roots are at least three to four inches long, you can plant it in the ground.

Before the roots have a chance to develop, some individuals pot their cut-off Dracaena right away.

I favor applying water to a sick plant. Water propagation actively discourages the spread of disease from the soil, and also allows you to monitor how the roots are doing.

You also have a lot less risk of passing the illness to the next plant when employing water propagation.

Dracaena grows slowly but contentedly in water. In actuality, plants in this genus, such as Lucky Bamboo, are frequently never planted in soil.

There is no need to transfer your water-propagated plant to the soil if you like it just the way it is.

This type of propagation can also help dracaena that have almost entirely lost their lower leaves as a result of underwatering. This shedding could make you look ‘leggy’ and too tall.

A base without a crown will just send out new shoots and resume growth; cutting off the crown and water propagating it can yield two new plants.

For good cause, dracaena are frequently referred to as “unkillable plants.” A plant will heal and grow better than ever with quick treatment, even if it is severely ill or wounded.