Dracaena plants are super-cool because they’re easy to take care of, inexpensive, come in a range of different sizes and shapes, don’t require much light or water once established (which takes approx. 30 days), get rid of air toxins around your home and remove formaldehyde from paint!
However, although they are tough, their leaves turn brown for no apparent reason. In this article, we will discuss what causes a dracaena’s leaves to turn brown and how you can save your plant with a few simple steps!
Why Are My Dracaena Leaves Turning Brown?
Your dracaena plant is turning brown as a result of overwatering or leaf burn. While both types give browning to the leaves, overwatering tends to make the leaves damp, whereas leaf burn usually results in dry brown spots.
I will now go more in-depth into these causes and what you can do to prevent them from happening in the future.
Brown Dracaena Plant Leaves from Too Much Water
The main reason your dracaena’s leaves turned brown due to watering too much was that its roots were unable to get enough oxygen and started dying off as a result.
For that reason, it’s vital that you do everything possible to prevent overwatering, such as ensuring proper drainage and aerating heavily compacted areas before planting. Here is an article on dracaena watering techniques.
Dracaena plants should only be watered when the top 50% of the soil is dry. This is unlike other pants that can be kept moist at all times. In fact, I tend to water my dracaena every 10-14 days, which extends to 3-4 weeks during the winter months.
You can test the soil by sticking your finger deep into the soil. If it’s dry, then you can water. Using a moisture meter makes this process even more accurate and is highly recommended.
If root rot has already taken a hold on your dracaena, then you should re-pot the plant into the fresh potting mix that drains well. During the re-potting process, allow the roots to dry out and prune any roots that are black.
Also, make sure to use tepid or room-temperature water when watering your plant as cold or hot water can shock its roots and cause leaf yellowing.
Brown Dracaena Plant Leaves from Too Much Sunlight
Unlike yellow dracaena leaves that change color due to lack of sunlight, dracaena’s leaves can turn brown when they receive too much sunlight or the plant was burnt by leaf burn.
A simple way to protect your plant from leaf burn would be to place a sheer curtain between it and any windows that allow direct sunlight during the daytime hours. This will reduce the amount of direct sunlight it receives.
You should also be aware that your dracaena requires some light in order for photosynthesis to occur, which is why indirect or filtered sun is best. For this reason, you can keep an eye on its leaves and make sure they don’t turn brown as a result of receiving too much light.
This tends to happen a lot in summer when the sun is powerful. So while you may have to use grow lights during the winter, the priority is to be careful of the sun during the summer months (if you own a dracaena plant).
Brown Dracaena Plant FAQs
Dracaena plants are super-cool, but they can be hard to manage. As such, I will now answer some of the most frequently asked questions I get about this plant.
Will brown dracaena plant leaves turn green again?
No, it is unlikely that the leaves will turn green again. The good news is that you can easily keep them nice and healthy by following the care instructions in this article.
Should I remove brown leaves from my dracaena plant?
Yes, you should remove any brown leaves that are dead. Doing this will encourage the plant to grow new foliage and not waste resources on dying leaves. Plus, your plant will look a lot better.
Will too much water cause my dracaena plant to turn brown?
Yes, dracaena plants are fine with dry soil. If you water them too much, it can cause root rot and make the leaves turn brown.
Will direct sun cause my dracaena plant leaves to turn brown?
Yes, it is true that too much direct sunlight can turn brown from leaf burn. This tends to also cause crispy leaves that are dry to the touch.
Do Dracena leaves grow back?
Yes, dracaena leaves grow back quickly and easily, which is why this plant makes such a great houseplant. They store energy in their stems, so they can easily grow new leaves when they’re ready.
In conclusion, dracaena’s leaves turn brown for several reasons, including overwatering or leaf burn.
If you want to save your plant, make sure it has proper drainage and aeration in the soil, and then place a sheer curtain between any windows that allow direct sunlight during the daytime hours.
Doing this is the best way to keep your plant looking healthy and green! It takes a bit of getting used to, so don’t be too discouraged if it doesn’t work right away.
I will now conclude the blog post. I hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful! Best of luck with your dracaena plant care going forward.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.