Dying Dracaena

by Beth
(Easton, MD)

This plant looks like a type of dracaena to me. I've had it in the same spot for the past 15 years and it's always done well and grown to about 4 ft. A few months ago the leaves started to turn yellow and fall off. I repotted it but it didn't solve the problem. There's a tiny piece of new growth at the bottom, but other than that, the leaves are still turning yellow. I'm at a loss as to what to try next. I've included a before and after picture.

Comments for Dying Dracaena

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Jan 15, 2022
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

This is actually the typical growth habit of Draceana. If it just started after the summer months, this means that it's not getting enough light. Possibly in the past, as you say it did really well, it was enough light, but now it's not as the plant is soooo tall!

So don't just 'try the next thing' willy nilly. Sometimes, you have to wait. Repotting it was probably not really what it needed, even though it's a big plant in a small pot. Spring time is the best time to repot. Right before it springs into growth (see what I did there?)

For now, it is best to allow it to lose all the leaves it's going to. Maybe provide it with more light. Then, in the spring, cut that glorious top off, and re-root it to make a whole brand new plant.

In non-perfect conditions, these are not long lived plants. They require a lot more light than what they get in our homes. I'm actually impressed with how good it looks, so you're doing it right!

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