The Q&A Archives: Dracaena Marginata Yellowing Leaves

Question: My Madagascar Dragon (Dracaena Marginata) leaves are turning brown and drying out, about 4 inches of the ends of the leaves. Plus a lot of the leaves are turning brown and falling off, mostly on the lower trunks. Is this normal? Three plants in the pot and one has already died. Am I overwatering or not watering enough?


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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