Dracaena Marginata Dying – Please Help

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Hi, I am a first time home plant owner. My dracaena marginata is getting brown tips, bottom leaves falling off. I think it is dying! I water about once every 3 weeks with a pot that has a drainage hole that I open when I water. I appreciate any help and guidance!


Hi Ed,

The leaf tips on a dracaena marginata can turn brown for a couple of reasons, and it doesn’t mean the plant is dying. Usually, it’s the quality of the water you are using that causes it. Never use water that has passed though a water softener, it is too salty. If your household water contains a great deal of fluorine or chlorine, allow it to sit out over night before using it or use water from an outdoor hose.

Too much plant food also causes brown leaf tips. Dracaenas are slow-growing plants that do not require a large amount of fertilizer. Feed monthly in the spring and summer with a water-soluble, well-balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Do not feed a dracaena in the fall or winter. You can read all my care tips for a dracaena marginata in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

Also, remember that a dracaena marginata is a stalk plant so it is natural for it to lose its lower leaves as long as it is getting new leaves at the top.