Dracaena Getting Brown Leaf Tips

Hello,
I bought this plant a couple years ago and I can’t figure out what it is! It seems to be too small to be a Yucca plant (which is what some have suggested ) but it doesn’t seem like a Dracaena to me either? It’s leaves turn brown at the tips. I’d like to figure out what I’m doing wrong and how to take care of it better!

Thank you!

Hi Courtney,

Your plant is called a dracaena arborea. Dracaenas are very sensitive to florine, chlorine, salt in the water, or too much plant food. All of the following can cause brown leaf tips.

Using  too much fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.   is worse than using too little. Feed plants only when they are actively growing and producing new leaves, which is usually in the spring and summer. If the plant doesn’t absorb the food, the salts in the food collect in the soil burning the roots and causing unsightly brown or black tips on the leaves. I always recommend diluting the fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.   to ½ the recommended strength.

Never use water that has passed through a water softener. This is a salt issue again. Water that comes out of a softener has a lot of salt in it which causes the same issue as too much fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.  .

Household water has too many chemicals like fluorine and chlorine in it. Although it’s fine for us if the water we drink has chlorine or fluoride in it, many plants don’t like it, especially dracaenas and palms. Using water full of chemicals is often the cause of  brown tips. The least expensive way to handle the problem is to let the water stand out over night before using it. That gives the chemicals a chance to dissipate and  no longer be in the water. You can also spend the money and buy distilled water or collect rain water.

These dracaenas have the same care tips as the Dracaena Corn Plant listed in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/how-to-grow-care-for-a-dracaena-massangeana-corn-plant