The Q&A Archives: dracaena marginata

Question: I received a dracaena marginata as a gift. It is not doing well in our house. The leaves are curling under and turning brown before they fall off. Now the new growth is falling off prior to turning brown. I water when the surface is dry to the touch, house is 78-83 degrees, and it gets low-moderate light. What am I doing wrong?


Answer: It sounds to me as though you are doing everything right. Dracaena can be picky when it comes to cold drafts from air conditioner vents so make sure yours is not getting direct currents from the A/C. Aside from that, low to moderate light is fine, and allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings is a good idea. About the only other suggestion I have is to unpot the plant and inspect the root system. It may have arrived with root or crown rot. Just unpot it over some newspapers and tease the roots with your fingers to separate them. If all looks fine, repot with the same potting soil. If you find mushy roots or a foul odor, rinse the potting soil off the roots, cut away any mushy roots, then repot in fresh potting soil. Hope this helps!

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