Why Dracaena Leaves Curl?

Hi there, I have this plant which I believe is some kind of Dracanea but I am not positive and it was moved in a trailer for a 16 hour last year and then I repotted it and now it seems to be slowly loosing its leaves and curling. Any suggestions on what I should do? I have washed the leaves and water it about twice a week.


Hi Michelle,

Your plant is a Dracaena reflex (Pleomele). Here is a picture of a healthy one.

How to identify and care for a dracaena reflexa
Dracaena Reflexa


The leaves can curl from too little or too much water. In your case they are curling because you are over watering the plant. When you re-potted the plant into a larger pot, you should have watered less often than you did before because there was more soil and it would take longer to dry out. All dracaenas like to be kept on the dry side, with at least the top 50% of the soil drying out before you even think about watering. There must also be drip holes in the bottom of the pot so excess water can drain out. You should probably be watering the plant well, until the water comes out the bottom drip holes, about every two weeks or less depending on how bright the light is.

I’d recommend taking the plant out of the pot and getting rid of all of the wet soil. Allow the plant to lay out bare root for at least a day. Cut off any soggy or dead roots. Hopefully there are still enough healthy roots left so the plant won’t gradually die. Re-pot in a container (drip holes in bottom!!) that is only a few inches larger than the root ball. You can read all my care tips in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.