Dracaena Marginata, also called the DRAGON TREE, is the perfect combination of beauty and vigor that makes it an excellent houseplant even for beginners.
Dracaena is an indoor plant that is also a great air purifier. It bears magnificent green leaves with pink edges. At first, one might confuse this beautiful plant as a Spider plant due to its similar appearance.
But, on closer look, you can easily find some significant differences. These ornamental houseplants are also spiky. Often we see the leaves of the Dragon tree falling off due to several reasons, but we can fix it with a little bit of care.
Reasons For Dracaena Marginata Leaves Falling Off
The biggest reason for Dracaena to drop leaves is due to distress. Though dropping the bottom leaves is quite common.
But if you notice that the leaves are dropping from the upper part of the plant, it means there is something wrong with your care routine.
Some of the reasons for dropping leaves include:
1. Faulty Water Schedule:
A bad watering routine has been seen to be the most common reason for dropping leaves in many households. Dracaena Marginata is drought-resistant, which enables it to survive without water for a week or two.
The plant will thrive well if it’s watered once in 10 days, considering the humidity of the place. Overwatering the plant may lead to the rotting of the roots as they will be too wet.
This causes drooping of leaves and which might eventually kill your plant. But you should be careful not to keep your Dragon tree thirsty for a long time as well.
If your plant stays dry for a long time, that will also lead to the dropping of leaves. In short, you should maintain a proper watering routine for your Dragon tree. Just water it once a week and your Dragon Plant will love you.
2. Poor Water Quality:
For Dracaena to grow properly, the quantity as well as the quality of water matters. Generally, people water Dracaena with tap water, but it is important to keep in mind that Dracaena is incapable of tolerating salts and minerals present in the tap water.
The chlorine in tap water makes things worse. how? It creates salt deposits which further causes the leaves to slowly fall off from the plant.
So, make sure to use filtered or rainwater for your beautiful houseplant if you want to see it grow.
In most cases, the dropping of leaves is an indication of fungal infection. There are quite a few reasons how your plant may get infected by fungus. The fungus generally travels from the roots to the stalk, stems, and eventually the leaves.
Insufficient sunlight and placing your plant in damp or extremely humid places may cause fungal infection.
To know if your plant has contracted a fungal infection, squeeze the stem. If it feels slimy and soft, there is a possible chance that fungus has come from the roots into the other parts, which may be due to overwatering.
Dracaena, like many other house plants, cannot thrive in direct sunlight as the sun rays are too harsh for the plant, which may become the cause of dropping leaves.
Indirect sunlight is necessary for the survival of the plant.
If a sufficient amount of indirect sunlight is given to the plant, it will not droop or wilt and consequently will not drop leaves.
Dracaena does not like temperature fluctuations. Constant temperature is better for the plant. If the plant is placed near air condition drafts or heating vents, it can be a reason for leaf drop in Dracaena.
If the temperature is extremely high, then the plant won’t be able to intake as much water as it should.
Why? That’s because the water dries out quickly when the temperature is too high. Due to this, the leaves will slowly start to fall off.
The leaves of the plant can start dropping when the roots become too big as compared to the pot they are planted in.
If you see the roots coming out, then it is an indication that the plant has outgrown the pot. For the survival of the plant, it is better to plant it in a pot 2 inches bigger than the root.
One of the crucial reasons for falling leaves is pests which are very common.
Pests like Mealybugs, Aphids, and Mildew get their nutrition by feeding on the sap of Dracaena and causing stress to the plant that further leads to the dropping of leaves.
Sometimes, due to pest infestation, discoloration also happens, which ruins the aesthetic appearance of the plant.
Due to overwatering, the soil becomes soggy, which will lead to the rotting of roots and consequently the dropping of leaves. So, you should use well-draining soil or a mixture of garden soil and sand so that the water is not retained in the soil for long to rot the roots. 3. 4.
Every plant requires fertilization for growing. A plant that is not fertilized properly will lack essential minerals and nutrients which the soil alone can’t provide.
Some important minerals are iron, Manganese, Magnesium, etc.
Moreover, improper fertilization will force the plant to drop off the leaves to survive during harsh conditions.
Will The Leaves Grow Back On Dracaena?
Dracaena is one of the most toughest plants that you can get. Even if the leaves are falling off, it will start having baby leaves in some days. how? If you take proper care of your plant, then it won’t take long for new leaves to appear.
The plant has nutrition stored in the roots and stems which will promote leaf growth.
As long as the roots of the plants are healthy, your plant will recover given the proper care and enough watering.
How Do I Bring My Dracaena Marginata Back To Life?
Taking care of a plant is very easy, given you know the right ways. Different plants have different methods of care. Dracaena is a houseplant and is very easy to care for.
The following are the things to be taken care of if you have a Dracaena pet plant:
Dracaena cannot tolerate direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves. Keep your plant in indirect sunlight in which it can grow quickly.
If you don’t have a suitable place to keep your plant, it will do fine in low light conditions given that it is watered efficiently and take care not to overwater it.
So selecting an appropriate place to keep your plant is essential. You can keep it in the garden, terrace or indoors.
Dracaena is drought-resistance which means it can survive for days without water but be careful to neither overwater it as the roots will start to rot nor underwater it because if the soil dries, leaves will start dropping.
Do not use tap water to water your plant as the salts, minerals, and chlorine present in the tap water will ruin the plant.
Either use distilled water or boiled water. Using rainwater is a good alternative too. Water it once every ten days and make sure to have proper drainage holes in the pot.
Plant your Dracaena in a pot that is 2 or 3 inches bigger than the root ball so that the root system gets enough space to grow more.
Use well-draining soil or a mixture of normal garden soil and sand so that the soil doesn’t retain water. The optimum Ph of soil should be 6 or 7, i.e., slightly acidic or neutral. Repotting the plant every 3 to 4 years will help maintain good health.
While repotting, change the soil also if it becomes very hard and dry.
The new soil will provide the plant with nutrition as the old soil would have become acidic due to regular fertilization. Remember to punch in drainage holes in the new pot.
Pest infestation has become very common to houseplants these days. And plant owners seem to struggle a lot with pest infestation.
Dracaena is a very tough plant, but sometimes pests like Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs attack it and ruin the leaves.
Spray the plant with neem oil or Leaf Armor to protect it from insects and pests. If you have insects on your plant, try to remove them by picking them off with a faucet or forceps.
Fertilizers are a vital source of food and nutrition to plants which soil alone cannot provide.
Dracaena mostly grows in spring and summer, so fertilization should be done regularly during this time.
You should be careful enough not to over-fertilize your plant as it may lead to its death and other problems.
Extreme high temperature is harmful to Dracaena. 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ideal for the growth of this plant.
It is highly suggested to keep the temperature constant as any changes can stress out the plant.
Keep your plants away from air conditioning vents as they may dry out the leaves, causing their dropping.
It is the method of trimming your plants by cutting away dead leaves or branches to enhance healthy regrowth. Pruning your Dracaena once in two months will allow the plant to grow healthily.
Not pruning regularly is one of the major reasons why your Dracaena is shedding leaves.
Use clean pruning tools and cut off dead leaves, stems from time to time. Moreover, make sure to give your plant a clean-cut, else it will go into stress.
Dracaena requires well-draining soil for healthy growth. Wet soil will lead to root rot which will further kill your plant.
You can use a mixture of potting soil, natural soil, and some amount of soil from the forest or near a river. Sand will not allow excess water to be retained in the pot and will enhance air circulation.
Dracaena Marginata is found in almost every household as it is very easy to take care of. It is the first plant that beginners adopt. Like any other plant, Dracaena also craves love and attention, under which it will thrive for a long time.
Watering it properly and providing it with sufficient sunlight is the minimum requirement for taking good care of your plant. Now you know what causes the dropping of leaves and how you can save your Dracaena. 2. 5.
- All about Dracaena Marginata: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/dracaena-marginata/
- Growing Dracaena in home: https://meridian.allenpress.com/jeh/article/17/1/49/79494/Growth-of-Dracaena-marginata-and-Spathiphyllum
- Effect of different soil on Dracaena: https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20133337484
- Survival mechanism of Dracaena: https://academic.oup.com/treephys/article/37/9/1182/3867968?login=true
- Effect of pests on Dracaena: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19133456/