Brown Edges - Knowledgebase Question

Stroudsburg, Pe
Question by mwolter8
November 10, 2009
I have a Dracaena / Drago. Recently it has gotten brown edges on the leaves and now has little gnats flying around it. What can I do to fix these problems. I like the way the plant looks and I don't want to throw it out.

Answer from NGA
November 10, 2009


Some dracaenas are more sensitive to chemicals in tap water than others. The browning tips can be a result of chlorine or fluoride in your water. Or it could indicate that the air is too dry. You can try watering with bottled water and misting the plants to increase humidity.

The little gnats are fungus gnats. They breed in moist potting soil, and you can break the breeding cycle by allowing the surface of the soil to dry out. If you have plants that need moist soil simply place a quick draining and fast drying layer of gravel or sand on top of the potting soil. This will act as a barrier to the soil. Or, you can drape plastic wrap over the soil (cut a slit so you can place it close to the stems of your plant, then overlap the cut ends so the pests cannot find a way to the potting soil). You have to be a little patient with this method because you have to wait through the next generation's maturation before they are gone for good. In other words, once the generation now already in the soil become adults and die off without being able to reproduce, there should be no more gnats. Another method is to use a product called Gnatrol as a soil drench, another is to use an insecticidal soap as a soil drench. Of course, always follow the label instructions carefully. I hope this helps!

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