Dracaena Leaves Are Falling Off: What To Do About Dracaena Leaf Drop

dracaena leaves
dracaena leaves
(Image credit: IpekMorel)

Despite its tropical appearance, the dracaena is a wonderful first plant for an unsure plant owner. But take care how much water you offer or you may see dracaena leaf drop. Read on for more information on why a dracaena is losing leaves and what to do about it.

About Dracaena Leaf Drop

The leaves of the dracaena are magnificent, long, thin and green as palm foliage, with some types like the striking Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), edged in bright pink. These Common houseplants are also spiky and can scratch you if you aren’t careful. If your dracaena plant starts dropping leaves, you may be alarmed. But some dracaena leaf drop is completely natural. Like other plants, the dracaena drops older leaves as it matures. So if your dracaena is losing leaves that have been around awhile, it’s probably just a healthy self-cleaning.

Leaves Falling Off Dracaena

If lots of dracaena leaves are falling off the plant, something is definitely wrong. But the cause of the dracaena leaf drop is very likely something you are doing yourself, so it’s easily corrected. When leaves are falling off a dracaena, the primary suspect is not pests or diseases. Rather, it’s the curse of houseplants everywhere: overwatering. Plant owners see a plant’s leaves drooping a little and reach for the watering can. But too much water might have been what caused the droop in the first place. Dracaena plants can’t stand sitting in wet soil and they let you know of their discomfort by dropping leaves. Wet soil can lead to rot and/or fungal issues too, so it’s a great thing to avoid. How can you tell if dracaena leaves are falling because of too much water? Just take a look. •The tree should be planted in well-draining soil. If a dracaena is planted in a container, the pot must have lots of drainage holes and any saucer should beneath should be emptied regularly. To double check whether your plant is getting too much water, pop off the pot and look at the roots. If the roots seem to be rotting and the soil is soggy, you’ve found the reason for leaves falling off dracaena. Cut off damaged roots and repot in a better situation. •When a dracaena is losing leaves, overwatering is the first place to look, but the problem can also be caused by too little water. Touching the soil at the bottom of the pot will let you know if this may be the case. •Dracaena leaf drop might also be caused by a cool wind or too much heat. Check the location of the container and move it farther from a window or heater.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.