14 Reasons for Dracaena Yellowing Leaves | Dracaena Yellow Leaves


Dracaena Plants are easy to grow but may develop yellowing leaves if the growing conditions like lighting, watering, feeding, temperature and humidity are not met.

The Dracaena plants grow best in bright, indirect light, average warmth and moderately moist soil during the growing season.

They also require free-draining soil and monthly feeding inorder to thrive.

If the required conditions are not met, some problems may arise like yellowing leaves.

We have herebelow outlined 14 reasons for yellowing leaves in Dracaena and their solutions.

Dracaena fragrans

14 Reasons why Dracaena leaves are turning yellow (with solutions)

1. Age

Naturally, the older lower Dracaena leaves will turn yellow and die to give room for growth of new leaves at the top of the crown of leaves.

This characteristic of Dracaena Plants, gives them the false palm appearance.

Solutions

Cut the yellow leaves at the base to maintain the Dracaena plant neat and tidy.

2. Overwatering

Overwatering Dracaena results in excess water in the soil, that is, ssoggy soil.

Too much water in the soil reduces the oxygen concentration in the rootzone which causes the roots to die.

When roots die, they cannot take up water and nutrients to the upper parts of the plant including the leaves.

Lack of water and nutrients in the leaves implies that they cannot make enough food needed for growth and energy.

Therefore, the plant begins to die and death begins in the leaves which turn yellow and die.

Solutions

To avoid getting soggy soil, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is loose and free-draining.

In addition, cut down on watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.

Song of India Plant, Dracaena reflexa

3. Poor Quality Soil

Poor quality soil does not drain easily and therefore it easily becomes compacted or soggy which can negatively impact the growth of the plant.

Dracaena requires loose, free-draining soil that does not hold excessive amounts of water as soggy soil can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.

Solutions

Pot the Dracaena in good quality soil that is loose, free-draining and rich in organic matter like this quality Potting Mix on Amazon.

4. Underwatering

Underwatering Dracaena implies that there is too little moisture in the soil. As such, there is no water in the soil for the plant to take up to the leaves and other parts.

Therefore, the plant cannot make enough food for growth and energy. As such, the plant begins to die from the leaves which turn yellow, then brown and they die.

Solutions

Water the Dracaena plant liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Decrease watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

5. Cold draughts (drafts)

Dracaena plants require average room temperatures with a minimum of 130C inorder to thrive.

Extreme cold temperatures due to cold draughts will cause the plant to stop growing and begin to die which starts with yellowing leaves.

Solutions

Keep the Dracaena Plant away from cold draughts (drafts) like windy doors, drafts windows and other cold areas to prevent cold temperatures.

Maintain an average room temperature with a minimum of 130C. Usually, a room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for the plant.

6. Low Humidity

Dracaena will grow in ordinary room humidity but a humid environment is necessary for lush growth especially where the temperatures are extremely high.

Too low humidity (little air moisture) causes dehydration of the leaves which causes brown leaf tips and edges. Eventually the leaves turn yellow, brown and die.

Solutions

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to increase humidity for the Dracaena. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow Dracaena in the moist areas in the home like the bathroom and laundy area if the lighting is adequate.

Dracaena deremensis

7. Too Little Light

Dracaena requires bright, indirect light to make food that is required for energy and growth.

Insufficient light implies that the plant cannot make enough food for energy and growth.

In an attempt to save energy, the plant begins to die. The death of the plant begins from the leaves which slowly turn yellow and eventually die.

This way, the energy available is saved for the plant's vital functions inorder to keep alive.

Solutions

Move the Dracaena to a brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light or instal grow light if you do not have adequate natural lighting in your home. Take a look at these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Regularly clean the Dracaena leaves by damp wiping with a soft cloth to ensure that it absorbs enough light for photosynthesis.

8. Overfeeding

Overfeeding Dracaena will cause the roots to die due to fertilizer burn. When the roots die, they cannot take up water and nutrients to the leaves.

The lack of nutrients and water needed for making food for growth and energy signals death for the plant which begins from the leaves. The leaves turn, yellow, brown and eventually die.

Solutions

Take care not to overfeed your Dracaena. Follow the instructions on the label of the plant food to avoid overfeeding.

Regularly flush out the salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes and repeat the process several times.

9. Accumulation of Salts in the Soil

Dracaena plants are sensitive to excess soluble salts in the soil from the water or excess feeding.

Excess salts in the soil prevent the roots from taking up water due to the high concentration of salts.

Plant roots absorb water by osmosis, therefore the high concentration in the soil prevents water and nutrients from moving from the soil into the plant system.

Inadequate water and nutrients in the leaves results in lack of sufficient food needed for energy and growth. This causes the to turn yellow, brown and die.

Solutions

Flush out the salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes and repeat the process several times.

Dracaena draco, Dragon Blood Tree

10. Pest Infestations

Dracaena are prone to mealy bugs, scale insects and spider mites.

These pests attack the new growth from where they suck the plant sap. This causes the plant to become dehydrated which results in yellow leaves.

Solutions

Regularly inspect the Dracaena plant for the pests and take timely control measures.

Treat the plant appropriately for the pests with appropriate products like neem oil or insecticidal soap among others.

To discourage pests infestation, regularly clean the leaves by damp wiping with a soft cloth.

Also, raise humidity for the Dracaena to discourage pest infestaions, by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

11. Root-rot Disease

Dracaena plants are prone to root-rot disease. Root-rot disease is brought about by soggy soil. The disease is indicated by wilted, discolored and yellowing leaves which eventually drop and die.

When the soil is soggy, the oxygen concentration in the soil is reduced which causes the roots to die.

Once the roots die, they cannot take up water and nutrients to the leaves. The leaves begin to yellow and eventually die.

Solutions

Take the Dracaena out of its pot and inspect the roots where brown-black mushy roots indicate root-rot, trim them off and treat the healthy roots with a fungicidal solution.

Disinfect the pot or use a fresh pot to repot the plant in fresh free-draining soil.

Do not water the Dracaena immediately but keep it dry for some time before resuming watering. Read more on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.

12. Root Bound Plant

If the Dracaena plant is root bound, the roots have filled the pot and there is very little soil to hold water when you water.

Therefore, the plant cannot take up water and nutrients needed for making food for energy to the leaves.

Lack of adequate food causes the plant to begin dying which starts from the leaves which turn yellow and die.

Solutions

Check the bottom of the pot for roots growing through the drainage hole.

Repot the Dracaena into a pot one size larger than the current one to provide adequate room for growth.

13. Repotting Shock

Repotting Dracaena will cause it some shock which may lead to some leaves wilting and turning yellow before it can adjust the new growing conditions.

Solutions

To minimize repotting shock for the Dracaena plant, water the plant thoroughly one day before repotting as a well hydrated plant experiences less shock and is easier to divide.

Do not make too many changes at once. For instance, after repotting, maintain the plant in the same location until it is well established before moving it to a new location.

14. Underfeeding

Underfeeding Dracaena implies that the plant is not getting enough nutrients need for growth and energy.

Inadequate nutrients in the actively growing tips causes nutrients to be withdrawn from the older lower leaves which begin to yellow and die.

Solutions

Feed the Dracaena at least once monthly during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer but do not feed it during the cold period.

Take care not to underfeed and follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label of the plant food.

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