Why Dracaena Plants Get Black Leaf Tips

Dear Judy,
Nice to see your website and appreciate the work you’re doing. I brought a DRACAENA COMPACTA plant last July. We were advised to water it once a week and it was all healthy until two weeks back when a few leaves from the bottom started going black. I have managed to remove the leaves from the bottom but now I see a few leaves tips going black. I also see that one stem is quiet green and the other one is going black.

Please advise on what can be done .

Regards, Vinoy

Hi Vinoy,

Dracaena compacta plants usually get black leaves and tips from too much water or too much chlorine in the water. Automatically watering once a week is a bad idea. You need to check the soil and not water until it has practically dried out. Thee plants like to be on the dry side. Depending upon the temperature and humidity in your home, your dracaena may not need water for two weeks or more. Sadly, it sounds like one of the stalks has died already from over-watering. If your household water has a lot of chlorine or fluoride in it, allow it to sit out over night before using it. To much plant food is another cause of black leaf tips. Always dilute your plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength and only feed a dracaena monthly in the spring and summer and never in the fall. You can read more about draceanas in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.


Dracaena compacta plants are considered  to be slightly poisonous, especially to dogs and cats. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.