The Q&A Archives: Droopy Leaves On Dracaena Marginata

Question: I have had a Dracaena Marginata for about two years. He always stayed by the window until a few months ago when his lower leaves started turning yellow and he became droopy all over. I moved him further from the window and he was healthy again for a while but every so often the same thing happens. I thought he was maybe too dry but when he has more water he gets worse. I am coming to the end of my tether, please help!

Answer: I have one of these sitting on my desk as I write! Here's what I've found. The lower leaves get yellow when the plant gets too dry. However, they don't show up right away, so you might water it, then a few days later the leaves turn yellow. You might think it's overwatering, but really it's just a delayed reaction to drying out. Overwatering leads to brown tips on the leaves, and I've found it's just about impossible to prevent this, especially if the plant is in a relatively low light area. Your best bet is to place the plant in a bright spot, where it will get little or no sun, and try to keep the soil moist -- neither wet nor dry. I've never seen a really, really full Marginata, so I think it's the nature of the plant to occasionally lose lower leaves and develop a "trunk," rather than staying really bushy.

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