House Plants

Why Is My Dragon Plant Dying? (Signs And Solutions)

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Why is my dragon plant dying ? There could be several reasons such as over watering, lack of sunlight, over exposure for sunlight, lapses in the you feed them, overpotting, low humidity levels, pests and disease problems could also be reasons for the Dragon plants  dying. 

Why Is My Dragon Plant Dying

So, once you identify which root cause has caused this condition, it would be easy for you to treat them and revive them.

Before proceeding further, if I briefly explain on Dragon plants , many people are fans of these plants. Their unique attractive looks make them wonderful additions for your garden. However, there could be certain things which may go wrong when looking after them.

So, if you own a Dragon plant and if it seems to be dying, you will find this article useful for you. This article will teach you how to get back to its healthy, perfect life.

Dragon plants are originally from Madagascar. If I further elaborate on the natural habitats of the Dragon plants , they are used to grow in forested regions of Madagascar.  So, when you cultivate them, I recommend replicating the same conditions so that the plants would find it easy to thrive and stay trouble-free.

Why is my dragon plant dying: Reasons 

Light condition

Too much

Dragon plants would perform well in bright indirect sunlight. Keep in mind that  even a little exposure for direct sunlight would scorch the plants leaves and it would make them wilt. Besides, it may even make the plant’s leaves brown too.

Once you expose them to too much sunlight, it would make the plant’s leaves turn brown too. In fact,  browning would start to develop at leaf edges which will spread all over the leaves at the end. Further if you don’t act fast to rectify it, they would end up shedding their leaves.

Too little

Just like too much sunlight, too little sunlight may also cause the plants to die. However, the lack of sunlight becoming a reason for the plant to die would be less dramatic.

Usually, Dragon plants develop pink or white margins on their leaves and if they grow deprived of sufficient sunlight, chances are that they would lose their colors and the leaves would remain green all over their surface.

Further if you keep growing the plants under low lighting for too long it would make the plants grow slower too.

Further they would tend to lean towards any direction where they can gain ample sunlight. Lastly it would make the plants more prone towards fungal and bacterial infections which would turn out to be fatal on them in the end.


If you are sure that you had exposed the plants to sufficient sunlight and if they seem to be in stress, it would most probably be due to lapses in watering. Dragon plants are hailing from tropical countries hence they don’t prefer to be in wet conditions.

Many people end up watering the plants in excess assuming that they need more water and it becomes the root cause for all water related issues of the Dragon plants.

Fertilizer problems

The oversupply of fertilizers could also be a reason for the Dragon plants to die. It is very unlikely that lack of fertilizers will be a problem for the Dragon plants though. If you apply fertilizers on them on a regular basis chances are that the fertilizer salt  would build up in the soil.

Ultimately it would end up damaging the roots too. In fact, it would prevent the plants absorbing water which would ultimately affect the ph. of the soil.

Over potting

If you over pot the Dragon plants, it will make the soil retain more moisture in the potting medium. Once you grow the Dragon plants in too large pots it would make the soil medium absorb more water. Ultimately it would create waterlogged soggy conditions in the pot which would make the plants rot.

Many gardeners tend to make this mistake and often end up creating issues for the plants. In fact , even if you water them infrequently it would still make these plants go through this condition if you have grown them in pots which are larger than the root ball of the Dragon plants.

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Soil condition

If you grow these plants in a poor-quality soil medium, it will also turn out to be troublesome for them. Dragon plants would opt to grow in an excellent draining soil mix. So, if you provide a poor draining soil mix, it will also make the soil mix damp and soggy which would not be healthy on the Dragon plants.


If your plants are over growing from the pots, the root ball of the Dragon plants would be expanding in the pots and ultimately there will be less space for the soil

Once there is a little amount of soil, it would retain only a little amount of water as the water would easily drain out of the pots from the draining holes. Once this keeps happening, Dragon plants would tend to grow weakly and deteriorate in health as well. 

Pests and diseases

If you are confident that none of the aforesaid reasons had factored your precious dragon plants to go through stress, it would be most probably due to pest’s attack or due to any other disease.  Just like the rest of other houseplants,  dragon plants may also encounter these pests’ infestations.

For example, pests such as mealybugs, spider mites and scales could be problematic for dragon plants.  if the conditions are in favor of these pests, they would undoubtedly  end up infesting these plants.

Why Is My Dragon Plant Dying

How do I know if my Dry Dragon  is dying?

If you can spot the plant’s roots are soft and mushy it literally means the plants are dying. Furthermore, if you could spot the plants becoming discolored and if they turn brown or black chances are that it may be rotting.

Overall if you can’t spot a significant growth and if they seem to be unhealthy , your plants may be going through stress which would make the plants die at the end.

How do you save a dying dragon plant?

Correct lighting

Exposing the dragon plants for ample indirect sunlight is a crucial factor when trying to save them. If your beloved dragon plants start to shed leaves , I suggest you move the plants to a shady spot so that it would help the plants to recover.

On the other hand, if the plants are starving for adequate sunlight, you should enhance the lighting levels for them. If there are lengthy stem parts, you may get rid of them to  make the plants look neat and pleasant.

Watering and fertilizer schedule

Dragon plants are more tolerant of dry conditions than the rest of other houseplants. This reflects on the fact that these plants have stored water in their stems and that helps them to thrive in those conditions. So, what you could ideally do is allow their soil to wither between two watering sessions.

If you are uncertain whether you need to water these plants or not, you can just place your fingers in the soil mix and feel whether it is moist or dry. If it is dry, you can commence watering them and if not don’t bother watering them.

Furthermore, when you are watering , ensure that you do a thorough watering which will allow the excess water to come out of the draining holes. Do not ever leave them exposed for waterlogged conditions.

Dragon plants are summer growers. Further  the weather conditions would also be hot and dry in summer too.  Due  to that excess water would evaporate rapidly and you would want to water them more often during summer.

That being said , you may have to adjust the watering frequency depending on the plant size and on the pot material as well.  In addition to that, you need to be on alert on the temperature and on the humidity levels as well.

The lapses in watering  could make the plants  droop their leaves be it both under watering and over watering. However the only difference would be if it was under watering which has caused this condition, you could see their leaves are dry and brittle.

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In contrast if it was over watering which has resulted in this condition, you could see their leaves are soggy and limp which would have resulted in rot in the plants. Bear in mind that over watering would bring much more adverse effects on the plants rather than under watering does.

Sufficient fertilizer

As aforesaid, lapses in fertilizing may also make the Dragon plants suffer from stress. Literally you could see how they start to wilt and tend to develop brown lead tips. So, if you come across such a situation, you need to check whether you could spot any sign of salt build ups.

Ideally you need to suspend feeding the plants and flush the soil with water so that it would help you to get rid of the excess fertilizer in the soil. Moreover I suggest repotting the plants if it is really necessary. That said you need to avoid doing as much as you can since it would also make the plants stressed.

Dragon plants would be benefited if you feed them with a well-balanced general purpose liquid fertilizer. Dragon plants are slow growing plants, and you can feed them just once a month. On the other hand, refrain from feeding them when they are dormant.

You need to feed them, diluting them to half strength too. Further it would be safer if you could first apply a small amount of fertilizers regularly without feeding them a lot infrequently.

Choose a correct pot

Growing the Dragon plants in appropriately sized pots are vital when ensuring a healthy growth in the plants. Once you provide right sized pots, it is very unlikely that you will end up over watering the plants. When you repot also, you need to choose a slightly larger pot than the previous one and never use larger pots.

Further you should change their soil mix to a fresh soil mix as well. consider adding 1/3 perlite as then it would increase the drainage of the soil mix which would create a less probability of having any occurrence of over watering.

Solutions for the pests.

The very first thing  when protecting the Dragon plants from pests’ attacks is to be vigilant on your plants on a regular basis. Keep inspecting the plants frequently as it would take some time for these pests to appear on the plants. Once you inspect the plants on a regular basis, you could identify if there are any early signs of any pests’ infestations.  

Having said that, these notorious creatures can hide even in the tiniest spots in your plants, and it is very rare you could identify  them by having a glimpse of them. Instead, you need to watch the plants closely. Check the leaves’ joints, underneath the leaves as these little creatures  tend to occupy these spots  a lot.

Once you locate them early, you could get rid of them simply by slashing water at them. Alternatively you could use a dampened cloth and remove them from the plants too.

On the other hand, if they have spread on a massive scale, best would be to use a diluted neem oil solution and spray at those infested places. On that note, you need to identify the root cause for the pests infestation and try to rectify that issue too.

Why Is My Dragon Plant Dying

Will my Dragon Tree come back to life?

You can revive your Dragon plants if you identify  the respective root cause which has made the plants stressed  and if you act faster to remedy them.  Once you do these steps, you could see them producing new growth and flourishing.

Other related problems you might have

Apart from the aforesaid factors, low humidity levels would also be troublesome for the Dragon plants. You could commonly find this condition among the indoor grown Dragon plants which you have placed closer to air conditionings or closer to heat vents.

If there are low humidity levels around the plants, it would make the plants dry out faster. Ultimately it would result in brown leaf tips as well. However, it would not bring any fatal impact on the plants though. Having said that, it could make your plants look less appealing.

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To enhance the humidity levels, you may place the plants in a dish full of water and pebbles. However, when you do this ensure that the pot base is placed on the pebbles and not in water which would allow the evaporation to take place rapidly.

Once the evaporation takes place, the humidity around the plants would increase. . In addition to that you may consider grouping all your houseplants together to increase the humidity levels too.

Moreover, I recommend you use a humidifier if you can afford buying one. It would be a great investment as it can quickly increase the humidity levels in your home.  Lastly you may consider using a digital humidity meter to check the humidity levels at your home too. That would allow you to adjust the necessary humidity levels easily.  

Why Is My Dragon Plant Dying

10 Related questions

Why is my dragon plant losing leaves?

The main reason for Dragon plants to lose the leaves could be  either over watering or under watering. Apart from that over fertilizing , exposure for extreme heated conditions and to extreme colder conditions would also result in this condition. It is very rarely pest attacks and the rest of other diseases lead to this condition.

What does an overwatered Dracaena look like?

The most prominent feature of the Dragon plants would be their soft brown leaves and the soft stem of the plants. Further the trunk may look swollen as well.

How often should a Dragon Tree be watered?

I recommend watering the Dragon plants once a week in general. However, you need to still ensure that their topsoil is dry and then commence watering the plants.  Furthermore, you need to water them less often during winter.

How do I know if my Dracena needs water?

If you think the plant’s top layer of the soil is dry, you could consider watering them. Moreover, you could see the plant’s leaves tend to take a withered look as well.

How long can a dracaena marginata go without water?

Dragon plants can thrive without water for more than one month.

Why is my Dragon Tree drooping?

The lapses in watering could be the main reasons for the Dragon plants to start drooping. It could be both under watering and over watering.

However, most of the time it would be over watering. Besides, poor draining soil mixes, fluctuations in temperature levels and lack of sunlight exposure may also factor in this condition. Lastly pests’ infestations may also contribute to this condition.

Why are my dragon tree leaves turning brown?

Lack of water  could cause your Dragon plant’s leaves to turn brown. Ideally, you need to water them whenever the plant’s top layer of the soil is dry. If you keep them growing starved for water for too long , it would pave the way for this condition.

Why is my dragon plant turning yellow?

Over watering could be the biggest  culprit here in making your beloved Dragon plants turning yellow. Bear in mind that you need to keep the plants moist but not in soggy conditions.

Why does my dragon plant have brown tips?

If you grow the Dragon plants deprived of water for prolonged periods, it may make the plant’s leaves develop brown tips.

How much sun does a dragon plant need?

Dragon plants need to have at least four to six hours of filtered bright sunlight.

Why Is My Dragon Plant Dying


Now you know the answer to the question “Why is my dragon plant dying ?” It literally means there are shortcomings in the way you look after them. So, In that circumstance you need to identify the respective root causes for them and act accordingly to rectify it.

However most of the time, there would be problems with the lighting and watering. However, if you make sure that you look after these plants well you will not have to deal with these.

Credit to : iEden

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.