Dracaena Marginata Yellowing Leaves - Knowledgebase Question

Butler, Pe
Question by rayrichter
February 18, 2008
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?

Answer from NGA
February 18, 2008


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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