Dracaena Marginata Brown Tips

Dracaena is a popular indoor plant. This plant is known for its beautiful foliage and form.

Besides looking great, the plant is easy to maintain and can survive in various conditions. However, you are not alone if you witness your Dracaena tips turning brown.

Dracaena tips can turn brown for several reasons. Repotting, underwatering, overwatering, and humidity issues are the most common reasons.

In this blog post, we will look at these reasons individually, and we will also look at ways to troubleshoot the problem of brown Dracaena tips.

Reasons Why Dracaena Tips Turn Brown


Dracaena can survive with little water, but it doesn’t like remaining underwater. The moment the top two inches of soil feel dry to your touch, that is when you must water your Dracaena.

Ensure poking into the ground every few days to determine the moisture level. If the upper layers of soil feel dry, moisten them with water, but don’t make the soil soggy.

The soil can dry out for many reasons, some of which are as follows.

  • Warm conditions.
  • Porous pot.
  • Rootbound plants.

When winter bids farewell and spring arrives, it is common for people to accidentally underwater their plants.

Underwatering is easy to figure out. However, there are other symptoms, such as wilted leaves, droopiness, and a pot that feels light because of a lack of water.

The best thing to do is to check your plant from time to time. It is relatively normal for plant owners to forget. Try setting a periodic reminder on your phone.


As discussed above, the soil should be moist but not soggy. Make sure to water your plant enough, so water starts to escape from the hole at the bottom of the pot.

Once you achieve that, don’t water until the top two inches of soil run dry.

Never allow water to accumulate in the saucer. After watering the plant, ensure emptying the draining saucer beneath the pot. If you overwater the plant, its leaves will turn yellow and soggy.

If you notice the tips of your Dracaena turning brown, it could be due to overwatering. The worst consequence of overwatering is root rot.

Overwatering limits the flow of oxygen to the roots, thus suffocating them. As a result, the root starts dying out.

If you diagnose root rot, changing the pot is what you need to do. Make sure to use fresh soil. Also, prune the roots while you change the pot.

Sometimes, root rot can be much worse than brown leaf tips. In extreme cases, the plant fails to survive.

Impure Water

Like other living creatures, plants also need clean water, and the Dracaena isn’t an exception. In their natural habitat, the Dracena receive their water from rainfall.

Sadly, they aren’t always ready to deal with the chemical-infused water in municipal systems.

Chlorine and Fluoride are two of the most common culprits in this case. They started adding chlorine to water sources in the 1960s.

Despite being in small doses, over time, they can accumulate in the soil, thus having a toxic impact on the Dracaena.

Some people leave the water to stand in a bucket for 24 hours before watering their plants. This method undoubtedly decreases chlorine levels in the water, but it does little to reduce fluoride levels, so the problem stays.

You mustn’t use tap water if you have access to a clean water source like a stream or a well. If not, you must store rainwater or use bottled water.

When you start using pure water, you will no longer struggle with chlorine or fluoride levels in your water.

It is possible to flush away such impurities, but if these chemicals persist, you will have to change the pot.

Some potting mixes have perlite in them. Perlite, in itself, is a significant source of chlorine. Your job is to find a potting mix that doesn’t have perlite. A sig


The symptoms will be pretty evident if your plant is dealing with malnutrition. The leaves will appear floppy and lifeless.

The Dracaena aren’t heavy feeders. Most new gardeners mistake applying too much fertilizer on their Dracaena, which usually backfires.

Consequently, unused chemicals start accumulating within the soil. These chemicals prove toxic with time. The most common symptoms of chemical toxicity are brown tips on Dracaena leaves.

If you are new to Dracaenas, don’t fertilize them more than once a month. A single monthly feeding is all it needs.

Furthermore, the Dracaena remain healthy during the cold winter; during these months, they don’t require fertilizers.

Humidity Problems

Most houseplants are fond of high humidity, and the Dracaena isn’t an exception. However, maintaining a healthy humidity level is illusive with fluctuating heating or air conditioning.

Low humidity levels result in ample water loss, which is unhealthy for a plant’s growth. Lack of humidity can dehydrate the leaves quicker than the roots, providing them with a freshwater supply. As a result, the tips of your Dracena leaves will turn brown.

If humidity is an issue, try keeping multiple houseplants together, with the Dracaena being one of them.

The transpiration from each plant will result in a microclimate that is healthy for indoor plants like the Dracaena.

By doing so, you will overcome the humidity shortage haunting your plant’s survival. Sometimes, grouping the plants isn’t in the cards.

The good news is that you can always use a water tray to compensate for humidity deficiency.

First, fill up the water tray with pebbles. Then, pour water, and continue pouring until. The surface of the water should be lower than the pebbles.

Then, place the pot right on top of the rocks. Please ensure the base of the pot doesn’t come in contact with the water, or it will get wet.

The evaporating water from the tray will provide the humidity that your plant needs. You can also use a humidifier near the plant to give it the moisture it needs to grow and stay healthy.

The humidifier is an excellent solution for your plant’s humidity needs. However, you need to fill it with water now and then. Also, the humidifier needs to be cleaned every once in a while.

Pest Infestation

When other conditions weaken a Dracaena plant, it becomes more prone to pest infestation. The most common pest attacking your Dracaena plant is the Spider Mite. These mites are sap-sucking pests that dehydrate your plant.

To solve this problem, take your plant outside, and spray it with water. By doing so, you will eliminate these pests that feed off the juices from the sap. Then, apply neem oil or alcohol to the plant.

Neem oil and alcohol serve as pest repellants. Also, remove the damaged leaves so that new ones may grow.

Salt Buildup

Salt buildup in the soil happens if you use fertilizers with superphosphates. These fertilizers have a higher concentration of salts that are unhealthy for the plant.

Instead of using these fertilizers, opting for a balanced liquid fertilizer is better. Before using these fertilizers, read the instructions mentioned on the packaging.

Remember, as discussed earlier, this plant doesn’t need too much fertilizing. Moreover, you don’t need to use any fertilizer in the cold winter months.

If you suspect salt buildup, flush away the built-up salts using clean water. All the water drains through the drainage holes in the pots.

Should You Remove the Dead Tips

A dracaena with brown leaf tips is very unsightly to the human eye. Interestingly, different gardeners have different views on this matter.

Some people cut away the dry brown ends from their leaves. By doing so, they can maintain an even and healthy green color.

This method is helpful since the brown tips are dead anyway; they add no real value to the plant. If you take this route, you will need a pair of scissors. The tips will be removed, but the leaves will appear slightly deformed.

Some people cut too much, thus damaging healthy leaf tissue. The trick is only to trim away the brown ends of the leaves, leaving a little brown line towards the end of the green leaf tissue. As a result, the newly cut leaf won’t turn brown.

If you remove the whole brown part, you will find yourself in the same way after every few days. Then, some gardeners leave the brown tips until the plant regenerates the leaves.

However, when you wait for leaves to regenerate, you must watch the older leaves turn yellow and die.

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Final Word

Dry brown ends are a problem. However, they can do no long-term harm to your plant if you take timely remedial actions.

Ensure watering your plant to the point where the soil remains moist but not soggy. Moisture is necessary for hydration, but soggy soil can suffocate the roots, thus resulting in root rot. Also, make sure to maintain healthy humidity levels near the plant.

You can either use a water tray with pebbles or a dehumidifier. Moreover, don’t ignore any pest infestation. Moreover, only use clean water for your plant. Try not to use tap water. Either use bottled water or leave tap water in a bucket overnight if you don’t have any other option.

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