One of my favorite indoor plants is the Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata). It provides a fantastic balance of dependability and robust architectural shape. Like other indoor plants, there are a few potential problems, but they are usually always simple to fix. Therefore, if it appears that your Madagascar Dragon tree is fading, this article will assist you restore perfect health to your plant.
Overwatering and inadequate lighting are the two most likely reasons a Madagascar Dragon Tree will die. Problems can also arise from pests, disease, excessive light, improper fertilization, overpotting, low humidity, or underwatering. Finding the problem will enable you to heal your plant.
How can I resurrect my dragon tree?
For a thriving, healthy dragon tree:
- Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and only water once a week or less. While you shouldn’t forget to water it, keep in mind that a dragon tree can bounce back from drowning better than it can from overwatering.
- Put your dragon tree in an area with strong, indirect light. Dragon trees dislike being in the scorching sun directly.
- Make sure the pot has enough drainage holes and that it is the right size for the plant. Moreover, select a potting mix with good drainage.
- Avoid overfertilizing while feeding and only fertilize a few times per year.
- Avoid letting your dragon tree get too cold; doing so will destroy it. Keep your dragon tree somewhere where the temperature stays between 65 and 80 degrees.
Will my Dragon Tree grow new leaves?
Simply remove the dead leaves and the tops of the stalks. If these stems are still alive, which they appear to be in your photo, they should produce new growth.
My dracaena plant is dying; why?
Dracaenas develop new leaves from their crown, which eventually wither away to form a stem or trunk. If the plant’s top cannot obtain the nutrients it requires to create new stems, it will start to die.
Crown dieback is believed to be exacerbated by overwatering, malnutrition, or poor lighting. However, illness or under-watering are other potential causes of these symptoms.
Why are my dragon tree’s leaves falling off?
A problem exists if a lot of dracaena leaves are dropping off the plant. But since the reason for the dracaena leaf loss is probably something you are doing on your own, it can be simply fixed. The main suspect in leaf loss on dracaenas is not bugs or illnesses. Instead, it’s the universal houseplant bane: overwatering. When a plant’s leaves start to droop slightly, gardeners grab the watering can. The droop, though, might have been brought on by too much water in the first place.
Dracaena plants can’t tolerate to be in moist soil, and they’ll let you know by shedding their leaves. It is highly recommended to avoid wet soil because it can result in rot and/or fungal problems. How can you detect whether too much water is the reason of dracaena leaves falling? Just glance at it.
- Planting the tree on soil that drains adequately is recommended. If a dracaena is grown in a pot, the pot needs to have lots of drainage holes, and any saucer underneath needs to be cleaned out frequently. Remove the pot from your plant and examine the roots to confirm whether it is receiving too much water. You’ve identified the cause of the leaves dropping off the dracaena if the soil appears to be wet and the roots appear to be rotting. Cut out the damaged roots and repot the plant.
- The first thing to check for when a dracaena is losing leaves is overwatering, but the issue can also be brought on by inadequate watering. You can check if this might be the case by touching the soil at the bottom of the pot.
- A cool wind or too much heat may also be the reason for dracaena leaf drop. Move the container away from a window or heater after checking its location.
How can a Dracaena be revived?
Give the soil a good soak, spritz the leaves to boost humidity, and place the dracaena’s pot away from any source of indoor heat that could cause the soil to dry out too rapidly in the range of 60F to 83F to revive a dracaena with drooping leaves caused by drought stress (15C to 28C).
- Every seven days, give dracaenas with drooping leaves a generous soak. Always give dracaenas a good watering so that any extra water drips out the bottom of the pot. By doing this, you can make sure that the soil is consistently moist, allowing the dracaena’s roots to get the moisture they need.
- Every day, mist the falling leaves. It is possible to mimic the humid conditions of the dracaena’s natural environment by misting the leaves. This aids in fending off the dry air that dehydrates dracaena leaves, causing them to droop.
- Avoid rapid temperature changes and keep the dracaena in a temperature range of 60F to 83F (15C and 28C). The temperature may quickly change and the leaves may droop due to drafty regions of the house caused by open doors or windows, air currents from forced air conditioning, indoor heating, or air conditioning.
- Find the dracaena in a place with more light (but avoid direct sunlight which can scorch the leaves). The dracaena should have enough energy and resources from bright, indirect sunlight to grow and rejuvenate its wilting leaves.
- Don’t overwater dracaenas, check that the soil drains adequately, and make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom. A dracaena typically benefits from weekly watering, however this should be done in conjunction with the proper drainage setup.
- After watering, remove any extra water from saucers, trays, and decorative outer pots to ensure strong roots. After a week, if the potting soil still feels damp, I advise replacing it or supplementing it with a mixture of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 horticultural grit or orchid potting mix to improve the soil’s structure and drainage. The conditions for root rot are encouraged if the soil is still wet or saturated one week after watering (instead of equally moist) (which causes the leaves to droop, turn yellow and drop off).
A dracaena with drooping leaves typically recovers within a few days of the conditions being changed for the better, especially if the cause of the drooping leaves is dry soil and drought stress.
- Overwatering and inadequate drainage are frequently to blame for dracaenas that die. Dracaena plants like well-drained soil and cannot endure constantly wet or bog conditions. Due to root rot, dracaena leaves will turn yellow and appear to be dying if the soil is too wet.
- Due to excessive exposure to direct sunlight, dry soil, and low humidity, dracaena leaves turn brown. Tropical plants like dracaena prefer to flourish in direct, bright sunshine with weekly watering and frequent sprinkling to improve humidity. The leaves droop and get brown if the soil entirely dries out.
- Low humidity caused by air conditioning or indoor heating causes the browning of dracaena leaf tips. Tropical plants like dracaena demand regular spraying to maintain a humidity level of about 40%. Fluoride in tap water makes dracaenas extremely sensitive, and it also makes their leaf tips dark.
- Dry soil, low humidity, and high temperatures are frequently to blame for dracaena leaves drooping. Once a week, give dracaenas a good bath to ensure that the soil is evenly hydrated. Low humidity robs the leaves of moisture, while high temperatures can dry out the soil too soon, causing the leaves to droop.
- A dying dracaena can be brought back to life by simulating the conditions of its natural habitat, which includes spraying it frequently to increase humidity, watering it once a week, and placing it in a location with strong indirect light. Any brown leaves should be cut down to encourage fresh development. To prevent root rot from causing the leaves to turn yellow and droop down, make sure there is excellent drainage.
How may an overwatered dragon tree be saved?
You just need to repot your Dragon Tree with new soil and make sure it has correct drainage if you’ve discovered it early enough and determined that it’s just a simple case of overwatering with no rot.
The time to cure your plant is now, though, if there are obvious signs of root rot.
Step 1: Rinse Out Your Roots
You may have already completed this step, but I’m going to go over it again because at this point you want to have complete access to the root system. Now is the moment to thoroughly rinse your roots if you simply removed a small amount of dirt to uncover a few signs of rot. This will help you locate all the rotting areas within the root mass.
This is crucial since any remaining rot can spread quickly, and you’ll need to repeat this process in a few days.
Step 2: Prune Back Rotted Roots
At this stage, you want to get rid of as many of the mushy, brown roots from the root system as you can. A pair of garden shears or sharp, clean scissors is required for this.
It is crucial to emphasize the importance of using clean tools! Ultimately, your goal is to keep your Dracaena healthy, thus using soiled utensils will only make matters worse. I take extra care to prevent fungus or decay by immersing my shears’ blades in a bleach solution that is diluted (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) and cleaning them in fresh water after each cut.
Remove any roots from your plant that are obviously rotting or that are discolored. Even though it may seem like you are cutting a lot off, it is vital to give the plant the best shot at regenerating a healthy root system because infected roots will never recover.
Step 3: Prune Back Any Rotted Stems or Leaves
You must cut back your Dracaena if you’ve seen any rot that has appeared above the soil line. You won’t commonly find rot that high because the stems are a little more resilient than other houseplants, but if you do, it can still spread to other sections of the plant, so trimming it back is your best option.
Although it can be discouraging, keep in mind that by taking such extreme measures, you might just be rescuing your plant.
Step 4: Disinfect or Replace Your Pot
You’re ready to repot your Dragon Tree into fresh soil once you’ve taken out all the suspect root, leaf, and stem material that might be harboring rot. However, you must first check that the container into which you are transplanting is spotless.
The best option is to get a new container for your plant because the old one may still be home to the same bacteria or fungus that first caused the rot. If you decide to transplant to a new pot, pick one that is the same size as the old one and check to see if it has a drainage hole.
To repot your Dracaena, you are free to continue using the old container, but you must sterilise it first. I advise immersing the container in the same diluted bleach solution you dipped your shears in to accomplish this.
Before cleaning the interior and exterior of your pot with your bleach solution, you can scrub it with soap and water first. Or, you could really soak your pot in the bleach solution for approximately 10 minutes, which is what I advise.
Although it might be a little excessive, that is the point. Make sure any pathogen-causing microorganisms are actually dead! After removing the pot from the solution, thoroughly rinse it with fresh water.
It doesn’t matter if you use an old pot or a new one; now is the time to check that it has good drainage. It could be necessary to increase the size of an existing drainage hole or add additional to the pot’s bottom.
Step 5: Replant Your Dracaena
It’s time to replant once your pot is organized and your Dragon Tree is clear of rot. Put the old soil in the trash first! Simply throw it in the trash because it is rife with sickness.
In order to replant your Dragon Tree, use new potting soil. Increase the amount of pumice or perlite in the soil to maintain it light and airy if you don’t want poor drainage to be a future cause of root rot. You want a mixture that will hold onto moisture but won’t easily compress.
Place the Dracaena in your pot at the same depth as before, fill your pot with the fresh soil, and then pack extra soil around it to cover the remaining roots and support the stems. Making sure the pot has sufficient drainage, thoroughly water the plant.
Step 6: Don’t Forget the Aftercare!
After you’ve replanted your Dracaena and given it its right location inside your house, keep a watch on it. It has just gone through the ringer, and it will need some time to adjust to its new surroundings.
Maintain a consistent habitat for your dragon tree that is free from drafts, has lots of bright, indirect light, and is at a constant temperature. When the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch, only water. Given that the plant’s root system has been seriously damaged, you should be extremely careful with the amount of water you give it.
For the first few months, refrain from providing your plant with any fertilizer. Too much feed may hinder the delicate new roots’ ability to grow, which are now in the process of doing so. Additionally, the fresh soil in which your Dracaena was planted has a lot of nutrients to support the plant’s current needs.
Finally, practice patience. Expect your Dragon Tree to heal over several months, so don’t count on it to develop much during that period. The good news is that you just saved its life!
What does a Dracaena look like when it is overwatered?
- The dracaena’s leaves become pallid and lose its green hue.
- They start to feel soft and limp and lose their clear, rather stiff bearing.
- They drop down and droop towards the floor instead of rising for the sky.
- At the center and borders of leaves that wither and dry out, yellow-brown patches appear.
- Compared to older, lower leaves, the highest, younger dracaena leaves are less impacted.
- The roots are swollen, transparent, and mushy or squishy to the touch when you remove the plant out of its pot. This is the beginning of root rot.
- Even the stems of the dracaenas begin to become floppy and pliable if nothing is done.
These alarming symptoms typically appear over the course of a few weeks to a month.
Be aware that plant necrosis caused by fluoride and salts in water is another issue unrelated to overwatering that may be causing the browning of the tips of dracaena leaves.