Yellow leaves on Dracaenafragrans'Massangeana' - Knowledgebase Question

Los Angeles, Ca
Avatar for petrablum
Question by petrablum
March 12, 2009
Hi Gardening Experts -

I am having trouble with my Dracaena, which lives outside in a partly shady area. I have had it for about 4 years and lately the leaves are going yellow and brown. I repotted it about 2 years ago...I saw you listed it as a houseplant, should it maybe not be outside? I am thinking of bringing it inside or onto my balcony, which is mostly shady ...will it like it?
Thank you

Answer from NGA
March 12, 2009
Dracaena is a frost tender plant and in most areas of the country it is used as a houseplant. In southern California, it grows outdoors without problem so you won't need to bring it indoors, unless frost is predicted. If you have had the plant for 4 years and it has been healthy up to now, I'd look for pests, for changes in watering or feeding practices, or changes in its exposure to sunshine or reflected heat.

Dracaena generally loses its lower leaves as the plant grows, so what you describe may be a natural process. If the newer leaves are the ones that are turning yellow, it could indicate over- or under-watering, or under-feeding. Your plants might also be telling you that the water you're using has too much salt in it. Try watering with distilled water, and watering only when the top of the soil has dried out. Then water thoroughly, ocassionally immersing the pot in a larger container of water until no more bubbles rise to the surface. This will drive out any air pockets around the roots. Feed your Dracaena during the growing season with a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer. The above suggestions should help your plants regain their health. Best wishes with your Dracaena.

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