Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves Turning Brown [How to Fix]

The Dracaena marginata, or Madagascar dragon tree, is a low-maintenance and beautiful houseplant. However, even the most low-maintenance plants require some attention and proper growing conditions.

You may be concerned that your dragon tree is deteriorating if you notice it drooping, shedding leaves, or becoming brown or yellow.

Fortunately, the investigation into the cause of your dilemma is complete, and you now have all the information you need to save your dwindling dragon tree.

Why Are Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves Turning Brown?

The two most common causes of dragon tree leave turning brown are overwatering and overexposure to sunlight. Only water your dragon tree once a week at most.

Rays from the sun become quite harsh for dragon trees. Excessive or too small amounts of light, water, fertilizer, or pests can all harm your dragon tree.

Thin, bright green leaves with red margins characterize a flourishing Madagascar dragon tree. There’s a good chance your dragon tree is on its last legs if it doesn’t retain its vibrant appearance as it did when you initially got it home.

The plant may be in trouble if its leaves turn a sickly yellow, brown, or grey and lose their signature red edges.

Temperature Changes Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown

Alterations in the appearance of houseplant leaves are a natural occurrence. There is a broad range of potential causes for Madagascar Dragon Tree leaf browning.

These tropical plants can have leaf browning if the temperature drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (around 21 degrees Celsius). When Dracaena leaves turn brown, the primary trigger is the water they are watered with.

Also, read: Peacock Plant: 8 Reasons for Drooping Leaves

Not Watering Properly Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown


The most likely reason for discolored leaves is overwatering the plant. Let some time pass between waterings so the soil around the dragon tree can dry out significantly.

Most of the time, you should not have to hydrate your dragon tree more often than once a week and probably even less frequently.

Water Quality

It’s possible that the browning of the leaves on your Dracaena is due to the quality of the water you’re using.

Plants of the genus Dracaena are hypersensitive to the chemicals that are present in most tap water. Before watering, either use water that has been filtered or let the water from your tap sit out in the open for at least one whole night so that chemicals like chlorine can evaporate.


Under-watering, or letting your Dracaena lie dry for long durations, is the foremost significant reason for browning leaf tips among Dracaena plants.

When the dirt in the top 75% of the container is dry, give your Dracaena a good soaking. Never let the soil get too moist or soggy.

Low humidity and dry soils are the culprits behind leaves becoming wilted and brown around the edges.

This is followed by leaves turning yellow, brown, and falling off. Frequent sprinkling of your Dracaena’s foliage with water can raise the relative humidity.

You might also use a humidifier or a pebble tray to enhance the humidity in the air over a longer period.

During the colder months, you can let your plant go longer without water, but you should still increase humidity by spraying it, using a humidifier, or placing it in a pebble tray.

Be sure to give your Dracaena a good soaking every time you water it, to the point where water is dripping out of the drainage hole and into the tray.

It would be best to drain the tray often to prevent your plant from sitting in water. It would be best if you didn’t water your Dracaena because doing so will end up causing the roots to rot and kill the plant.

Improper Drainage Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown

In addition, you need to ensure that your dragon tree has sufficient drainage. Enough drainage holes are required in the container, and you should be sure to use an absorbent potting mix.

It is proposed that a mixture consisting of one part perlite, one part soil, and one part peat moss be used.

Not Using the Right Fertilizer Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown

Fertilizer is not required in high amounts for dragon trees. You should only apply fertilizer to your dragon tree a few times yearly, throughout the spring and summer months.

However, it would help if you refrained from using any fertilizer during winter. If you are concerned that you may have excessively fertilized your dragon tree, you should thoroughly water the soil and stir it around to remove any excess salts.

The overabundance of fluoride is toxic to Dracaenas. Too much fluoride in the water supply is toxic to Dracaena plants, and this problem occurs in several communities where the water supply is fluoridated.

As it accumulates in the soil through irrigation water, it can cause the tips and edges of leaves to turn yellow and eventually brown.

Potting soils containing perlite and superphosphate fertilizers are two other potential sources of fluoride poisoning. A balanced liquid fertilizer and non-fluoridated water are recommended over potting soils containing tiny little white pellets (perlite). Soil flushing to remove excess fertilizer salts is another measure that can be taken to reduce the risk of leaf damage.

Explore: Why Is My Dieffenbachia Wilting?

Exposure to Sunlight Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown

It’s possible that the leaf’s browning is due to excess exposure to the sun. Dragon trees thrive in soft, diffused light rather than the intense, direct sunlight that other plants require.

It’s possible that the browning will begin only at the tips of the leaves, but it will soon spread to the entire leaf.

If your dragon tree is now housed inside, close to a window, you should try relocating it to a spot where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight.

If it is currently housed outside in a container, you should look for somewhere shady to relocate it to, or you could bring it inside.

Pest Outbreak Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown

Insect infestations are more likely to occur on dracaenas that have been weakened or under stress. Bugs that feed on plants’ sap, such as spider mites, can cause plants to lose their moisture.

This issue immediately shows its ugly head by turning yellowish leaflets and fronds. Indoor environments typically support a high population of pests such as scale, mealybugs, and spider mites.

If they are not eradicated in the early stages, these little pests will quickly multiply and spread all along the frond portions, hiding in the crevices.

The penetrating mouths of the insects deplete your plant’s energy and hasten the yellowing process.

This is especially true if your Dracaena has already been detrimental to health due to insufficient lighting, a lack of nutrients, or inadequate soil moisture.

Disease Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown

Your plant may have a disease called Leaf Spot if it has some little brown spots with yellow borders. When it’s done feeding on the leaves, the fungus or bacterium that’s destroying them will leave behind little brown dots with yellow borders.

These dots can be found in various shapes, colors, and sizes. The best way to treat it is to remove the diseased leaves as soon as you notice them and to keep your Dracaena separate from your other houseplants for the duration.

Removal of Leaves Can Cause the Madagascar Dragon Tree Leaves to Turn Brown

Remove any brown spots or tips off the leaves using clean shears. Only the defective tips or spots should be lopped off, and you should leave a tiny margin of brown around them.

This will prevent any damage to the plant’s good health vegetation. Eliminate individual leaves by cutting them off at their stems if the entire leaf has turned brown.

Take care not to rip the leaf apart; it can fall by itself. If plucking the leaf gently doesn’t cause it to split from the stem, use some clean shears to cut through the stem.


The Dragon Tree is a distinctive statement plant. They are an excellent alternative for anyone trying to add colorful and dramatic flora into their room without necessitating a severe plant care regimen.

It is accurate to say that they are an exceptionally low-maintenance plant. Since they are very effective at cleaning the air, it is not an exaggeration to claim that Dragon Trees give you a lot ofS value for your investment.

Switching to care practices that are more suitable for a Dracaena, which may have brown or even black leaves, is an easy way to rescue the plant.

Utilize a humidifier to maintain optimal health and a high level of nutrients and humidity.

In addition, you ought to relocate your plant to a warmer location within your home or garden. Finally, it would help if you only hydrated it with distilled or filtered water when you do so.

You may also like: