Why Is My Dragon Tree Losing Leaves

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.

Why are my Dragon Tree’s leaves falling off?

Because of its lovely appearance and delightful aroma, dracaena is adored by everyone. However, poor care practices could cause your dracaena to lose its ornamental appeal.

If you’re concerned about why your dracaena’s leaves are dropping off, read on. Not to worry! I’ll explain the root of the issue and how to save your lovely plant in this article.

The most frequent reason for dracaena leaves is Overwatering or underwatering results in falling off. Additionally, excessive fertilizer use, heat exhaustion, or a chilly draft can all contribute to this issue. Losing dracaena leaves is commonly caused by illness and pest infestation. The issue must be resolved as soon as feasible.

You may already be aware of the dracaena’s hardiness and resistance to numerous environmental factors. Despite this, your dracaena leaves may be dropping off due to care errors.

The dracaena leaf has a two-year lifespan. As a result, dracaena leaves frequently fall off on their own. But the significant loss will result in the plant’s demise.

On a dragon tree, will the leaves regenerate?

All trees and plants periodically lose their leaves and sprout new ones. Any leaves lost as a result of a brief shock should gradually come back if your Dracaena marginata is generally healthy or can be resurrected.

To improve the appearance of the plant, carefully clip any brown or damaged leaves. As the plant heals, new leaves will sprout in their place. The dragon tree should regenerate its fallen leaves if the trunk, roots, and other structural components are in good condition.

Why are my Dragon Tree’s leaves yellowing and dropping off?

If not addressed right away, too much water might cause your Dragon Tree’s leaves to turn yellow, which can be a very concerning problem. Your Dragon Tree’s root system will be harmed by waterlogged soil, which prevents your plant from absorbing the nutrients it requires. Your Dragon Tree’s leaves will start to turn yellow as a result, and they might even start to fall off. Before watering your Dragon Tree again, ensure sure the potting mix is completely dry.

The potting mix is waterlogged

Your Dragon Tree’s yellow leaves are likely the result of overwatering if you observe that the potting soil is drenched and clumpy. Either remove the plant from the pot or use the finger/chopstick method to check the moisture level. If a chopstick with potting mix clinging to it emerges from the first few inches of soil, there is still moisture there.

The potting mix will smell musty

We always advise regularly checking on your indoor plants because soil that has been flooded may smell musty and damp.

Use a moisture meter

You could also decide to use a moisture meter to confirm that overwatering is the root of the problem. These affordable little devices can tell you with certainty how dry or soggy the soil is and make watering a stress-free routine.

How do I fix an overwatered Dragon Tree?

As soon as you realize that overwatering is to blame for the yellowing of your Dragon Tree’s leaves, you must take immediate action to stop further harm. Check the potting mix of your Dragon Tree by removing it from the pot. Trim the worst-affected leaves and any rotting or broken roots from the root system to encourage the emergence of fresh, healthy growth. Replace any soggy potting soil with new, high-quality soil so that your plant can begin to recover.

To prevent overwatering in the future, only water your Dragon Tree once the potting soil has dried out.

How frequently should a Dragon Tree be watered?

Between waterings, allow your dragon tree to dry out. Usually once each week, when the topsoil is dry, water well. Avoid overwatering, and remember that wintertime watering may require less frequent visits. To remove the element of surprise from your watering plan, think about utilizing a gadget like a moisture meter.

How can I tell if my dragon tree is going to die?

When determining the nation of origin of this plant, its name is definitely a bit of a giveaway. In order to accurately reproduce growing circumstances, it is usually helpful to know what kind of place the plant evolved in.

You must exercise caution in Madagascar because it is a diversified nation with a wide range of climatic and environmental variables. The Dragon Tree actually originates from the country’s forested regions, which indicates that it won’t withstand direct sunshine.

Too Much Light

Bright light is necessary for your Dragon Tree to thrive, but even a small quantity of direct sunlight can cause the leaves to droop and turn brown. Browning typically starts on the leaf tips and edges but gradually spreads to the entire leaf. If the plant is not moved to a less sunny position, they will soon stop growing.

If you move your plant to a more shady location, it will probably recover even in the worst-case scenario where it begins to lose leaves. The tall, beautiful stems of this plant store a large portion of the reserves it needs to thrive. The plant should begin to shoot new leaves eventually, though it might take some time.

Too Little Light

Problems can also arise from insufficient lighting, though they are far less severe. The margins of the leaves of many dragon plants are pink or white. The plant will lose that color and turn completely green if it senses that it is not receiving enough light. Usually, it is possible to locate a brightly lit area indoors that does not actually receive any direct sunlight.

Your Madagascar Dragon Tree will grow more slowly in low light conditions, becoming more sparse and stretched over time. The risk of overwatering issues will rise due to the low lighting, which can also make the plant more vulnerable to pests and diseases that can quickly kill it.


It’s very likely a watering issue if the lighting is ideal and your plant is exhibiting signs of stress. Most indoor plants prefer their soil to be moist but not wet, especially those that are native to tropical or subtropical environments.

These plants frequently experience stress because well-meaning owners mistakenly believe that extra water will make their indoor plants happier. Rarely is such the case.

In contrast to many other home plants, your Dragon Tree can endure quite dry circumstances. That is because the prickly stems have a limited capacity to hold water. Allowing the plant to gradually dry out in between waterings is okay.

By touching, you can verify this. The plant probably needs water if the top inch of the potting soil is dry. Give it a good soak until water begins to drain from the holes in the pot’s base, and then let it air dry once more. Avoid leaving the plant submerged in a water saucer.

Watering Frequency

In comparison to winter, summer requires more frequent watering because the plant is growing more quickly and more water evaporates due to the warmer weather. The amount of water a plant needs will vary depending on its size in proportion to its pot, the material of the pot, the underlying temperature, and the humidity level.

Over time, you will become much more skilled at determining the moisture content if you learn to rely on feeling the top inch of soil. For additional useful watering advice, read my guide to watering houseplants.

Drooping leaves can be caused by both excessive and insufficient irrigation. The difference is that the leaves will turn dry and brittle if there is an excess but insufficient water. The leaves will turn limp and wet if there has been an excessive amount of watering, and root rot is considerably more likely. The long-term health of your plant is considerably more seriously impacted by overwatering.

Fertilizer Problems

Problems with fertilizer are significantly more likely to be caused by too much than not enough fertilizer. If you give your plant food on a regular basis, fertilizer salts may accumulate in the soil and harm the roots physically, obstruct water absorption, and negatively impact the pH of the soil.

Look for indications of salt buildup from fertilizer on the soil’s surface if your Madagascar Dragon Tree is wilting and producing brown leaf tips and edges. Put an end to fertilizing and thoroughly rinse the soil with water to help remove extra fertilizer. Repotting your plant into new soil should only be done as a last option because it can put the plant under more stress.

These plants only need a balanced general-purpose liquid house plant food. Since they develop slowly, you will only need to feed them once a month or less in the summer and you can completely stop feeding them in the winter when they are dormant.

By reducing the fertilizer to half its recommended strength, fertilize with caution. Giving your plant a little fertilizer on a regular basis is preferable to giving it a lot of fertilizer seldom. For help with this crucial part of houseplant maintenance, read my guide to fertilizing houseplants.


In homes with air conditioning or in the winter when central heating dries the air while keeping us warm, low humidity can be a concern.

Your plant may dry out more quickly and develop brown leaf tips and edges due to low humidity. Although it won’t harm your plant, it could detract from the Madagascar Dragon Tree’s attractiveness.

Here are some helpful suggestions to increase the humidity in your house:

  • Maintain the plant upright in a dish filled with water and rocks. Instead of resting in the water, the bottom of the pot should be on the pebbles. The amount of local humidity will rise as a result of the water evaporating.
  • Put your indoor plants in a group so that their combined transpiration will raise the humidity level for all of them.
  • To rapidly and simply increase the humidity in your house, use a humidifier.
  • Get a digital humidity meter to monitor the humidity levels. This allows me to view the range of humidity in my home and make adjustments as needed, which I find to be quite useful.


The plant might have been overpotted or outgrown its previous container, which might both have an impact on the potting soil’s ability to retain moisture. When the plant is put in a pot that is far larger than the root ball, overpotting develops. The plant becomes saturated due to the excess potting soil absorbing a lot of water, which causes root rot.

This is a pretty typical reason why a Madagascar dragon tree dies since you may really trigger root rot by only watering your plant sparingly. Most indoor plants require appropriately sized pots, especially Madagascar Dragon Trees, which detest being overwatered.


The root ball will fill the pot if the plant is growing too large for it, leaving little room for soil. Water will just flow through the pot if there is no soil to hold onto moisture, starving the plant. Your Madagascar Dragon Tree will sluggish down over time, getting less and less colorful and healthy.

Use a general-purpose houseplant mix to repotter the plant into a pot that is marginally bigger than its present container. A third of perlite added to the mixture will significantly improve drainage and alleviate many overwatering problems.


One of the causes I’ve already discussed is most likely to blame if your plant begins to appear unhappy. These plants are susceptible to assaults from mealybugs, spider mites, or scale insects, much like all indoor plants. It is doubtful that the bug itself is the reason your Madagascar Dragon Tree is dying because typically these pests attack plants when they have been weakened by other environmental issues.


Vigilance is the first and most crucial line of defense against pests. These people don’t just materialize out of nowhere. They cannot accomplish this if you are committed to regularly monitoring your plants because they gradually accumulate over time.

Nevertheless, they are skilled at hiding, so you won’t be able to identify them at first glance. To be sure they are not covertly assembling their forces, you will need to look carefully inside leaf joints and underneath leaves.

Early detection will likely allow you to simply blast them away with a water jet or wipe them off with a moist towel. You could require additional firepower if they are more firmly established than that.

Any infestations should be quickly eliminated by spraying the plant with diluted neem oil (95% water). But keep in mind that the plant was likely stressed when they arrived, so that problem will need to be resolved. A healthy plant can fight itself against pests much better.