Why Dracaena Leaves Turn Brown and Yellow

For years my dracaena has the classic browning tips but was otherwise healthy. A few months ago I came to believe I was overwatering, and so started watering only when the soil felt dry when I stuck my finger all the way in. Now it is in much worse shape!! Too little water? Something else?


Hi Engund,

It sounds like there are a couple of things going on with your dracaena janet craig. The dark brown and yellow leaf tips are caused by: too much fluorine in your household water, using water that has passed through a water softener (too salty), or too much plant food (dracaena need very little plant food). Try allowing your water to sit out 24 hours before using it, never use water that has passed through a softener, or purchase distilled water to use.

You are also under-watering. Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out, then water. When you water, water well enough so that it comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Do not allow the plant to sit in water.

Trim the yellow and brown leaves with a WET scissors. This prevents more yellowing on the leaves.

You can read all my care tips for a dracaena janet craig in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.