Indoor Houseplant “Tree” Needs Your Help! Dracaena Marginata

Greetings Judy. I’m in Ohio, bought this plant and a “snake” plant from a guy on the side of the road about 4-5 weeks ago. It was cool and windy out that November day. When I got the plant home, the leaves began to brown and drop. I was thinking it was just from the shock, or maybe the draft from the window I sat it in front of. i moved it away from the window and near my turtle tank, which had a UVB bulb. It’s been about 3 weeks now and it just doesn’t seem to be getting better. Please ID this for me, helpful hints would be appreciated as well. The snake plant died and I’m at a loss…~Chelle

Hi Chelle,

Your plant is called a Dracaena Marginata. It is normal for it to lose its bottom leaves as long as it is getting new leaves on top.

Long narrow green Dracaena Marginata
Dracaena Marginata

If it were my plant, I would cut one of the stems about 12-18 inches above the soil line. New leaves will branch out right below the cut in the stem. Once this stem starts looking better do the same to another stem. In this way you’ll have a bushier plant. Here are care instructions for a Dracaena Marginata and a picture of what it should look like when it’s healthy.


Dracaena marginata has long, thin pointed leaves and the woody stems
Dracaena Marginata
Madagascar Dragon Tree