How to Save a Dying Dracaena Plant in 5 Easy Tasks 

The beauty of a plant lies in how healthy it looks, which depends on the care it gets. Dracaena plants are generally easy to care for and don’t need much attention to survive.

But they still have bad days when they seem to struggle a bit. The most common reason a dracaena plant dies is overwatering or overexposure to sunlight. Rarely are they affected by diseases or suffer from nutritional difficulties, but they, too, can be the cause of their death.

So, it becomes important to learn how to save a dying dracaena plant in a correct manner to tackle this issue.

Well, there is a solution to every problem. And you can save a dying dracaena plant if you are careful enough. All you need to do is find the root cause of its struggle and then eradicate the disorder. 

How to Save a Dying Dracaena Plant
Saving a Dying Dracaena Plant

But, there is no single most effective way to revive your dying plant. The exact solution depends on the reason for its suffering. So, let us now discern the reason why your Dracaena plant seems to be struggling and find the solution for it to heal and regain its health.

How to Save a Dying Dracaena Plant

There can be several symptoms to tell you that a Dracaena plant is struggling with its health. For one, they would start to lose their natural appearance and beauty. You might notice yellowing or browning of its leaves, softening of its stems, scorching marks on its leaves, or drooping a little.

And whenever you observe symptoms in your Dracaena plant, it’s time to be a little concerned. Find out the exact reason for its occurrence immediately, then jump directly to the solutions to bring the plant to life again.

So, let us now discuss the reason why a Dracaena plant may die and the possible solutions to revive it. 

Fixing the Incorrect Watering Schedule

Incorrect Watering seems to be the most common reason that causes a Dracaena plant to die. More often than not, the plant tends to suffer from overwatering. But under-watering can also be the reason why it might die. So, you must observe the correct watering technique to see your plant alive.

Dracaena is a drought-resistant plant, which only needs a little water to survive. Hence, overwatering can kill the plant. So, you need to ensure that the soil around it is completely dry before you water it.

Incorrect Watering
Incorrect Watering

Except for people living in a very hot and humid area, watering a Dracaena plant should not occur more than once a week. For colder, moisture-laden places, Dracaenas are meant to be watered every 2-3 weeks. But most people seem to water it every 10-15 days or so, depending on the climatic conditions of the place they live in.

Overwatering a Dracaena plant makes its roots rot, and the leaves start to fall off since it makes the stem hang as well. So, when you notice any of these symptoms, you are overwatering your plant. And the solution is to stop watering it immediately and wait a week or two before resuming once the soil is completely dry.

However, you must also ensure that you don’t underwater your Dracaena. No matter how hard it seems, the plant still needs a regular supply of water for it to grow, thrive, and stay healthy.

If the plant doesn’t get sufficient water, the roots won’t have the medium to soak up the nutrients from the soil. Hence, you must water the soil when it seems too dry and continue until the excess water comes out of drain holes below its pot.

Therefore, it is necessary to strike a balance when it comes to correctly watering your Dracaena plant.

Preventing/Solving the Root Rot Problem 

Root Rotting is another major cause of death of a perfectly healthy Dracaena plant. Overwatering is usually the reason that makes the roots rot. If the roots of Dracaena are allowed to sit in water for a long time, they start to decay. 

So, the most effective way to prevent root rot is to keep the watering schedule in check.

How to Prevent or Solve Root Rot Problem
How to Prevent or Solve Root Rot Problem?
  • Ensure that there are enough drainage holes in your pot to drain excess water so the roots don’t sit in water. 
  • Avoid keeping the pot directly on the water. While using a pebble tray for humidity, keep a good space between the bottom of the pot and the water around the pebbles.
  • Keep the pot in a place where it can get enough sunlight and the soil can get enough heat to dry itself.

Still, stop watering the plant immediately if you start to observe the symptoms of root rot like blackened tips, soft stems, or shaggy leaves. Give it a rest for at least a week, wait until the soil gets completely dry, and keep checking if the plant has recovered. This method usually solves the root rot problem.

However, if it doesn’t, re-potting your plant can be another effective solution to stop the root rot problem. 

  • First, check the plant to see whether its roots’ tips are blackened, indicating that the roots are rotting. If it has, immediately remove the soil around the roots and trim the decayed roots with a pair of garden scissors. Ensure that only the healthy roots remain at the end of the procedure. 
  • Next, fill another pot with rich, loamy soil and peat to provide proper draining. Now, re-pot your Dracaena plant into this pot after ensuring that it has enough holes to drain out the excess water.

Once you get your plant properly re-potted, ensure that the soil does not become too wet this time. This will prevent the roots from decaying further due to too much moisture.

Taking Measures to Prevent Dracaena Diseases

A Dracaena plant isn’t prone to encountering diseases. However, at times, it might suffer from certain fungal infections. But it can recover if the problem is nipped right in the bud.

The cause of fungal infection in Dracaena is overwatering with no proper drainage. It happens when the plant roots sit for too long in the water, undergo poor air circulation, and gain excessive moisture, leading to foliage fungus disease.

Dracaena Diseases
Dracaena Diseases

Hence, the best way to prevent fungus infection is to monitor the watering schedule. The method of re-potting is also proven to be an effective solution too. Fungus infection begins in the roots, and the plant starts drooping when the fungus travels from the roots to the stems.

The symptoms can also include the appearance of multiple tiny spots or brown patches on the leaves. Isolating the plant, snipping off the affected leaves, and applying fungicide is the immediate solution to help in the fast recovery of the Dracaena. 

Fixing the Incorrect Nutrients and Soil Mix

Incorrect nutrients and soil mix can also cause the health of a Dracaena plant to deteriorate. The ideal soil for Dracaena is the one that provides it with adequate oxygen and gives its root the ability to breathe.

Incorrect Nutrients and Soil Mix
Incorrect Nutrients and Soil Mix

Hence, a well-drained, peat-based potting mix with excellent aeration is the perfect soil for the plant. This soil has sufficient retention capacity, offers great drainage, and does not become soggy. Hence, it’s the ideal soil for the proper growth of your plant.

Choosing the proper soil also ensures that the plant gets ideal nutrition. Hence, including proper ingredients in your soil, like perlite or vermiculite, and fertilizing it from time to time is also very important to ensure that the Dracaena gets proper nutrients.

Fertilizing the Plant Incorrectly

Fertilizing the Dracaena incorrectly can also cause it to die. While the plant needs a regular fertilizing regime, over-fertilizing can also take a massive toll on its health. Only regular but moderate fertilizers ensure that the Dracaena receives the proper and consistent nutrition needed for its growth. 

Fertilizing the Plant Incorrectly
Fertilizing the Plant Incorrectly

Ideally, fertilizing your Dracaena with water-based solutions during the spring and summer months is the best technique. Avoid fertilizing in winter; since the dormant state of the plant during the season can lead to the accumulation of fertilizers that can stunt its growth and even kill it.  

And by all means, avoid over-fertilising your plant. Avoid using more than required and always leave some time gap between two fertilizing sessions. If you over-fertilise it by mistake, immediately flush out the excess fertilizer from the soil by placing the plant under running water.

What does an overwatered dracaena look like?

An overwatered Dracaena plant has a drooping appearance with a soft stem and leaves turning yellow, brown, or even black and falling off. This is the early and most obvious sign that the plant has been overwatered. 

Rotting roots and brown trunks are other signs of an overwatered plant. It indicates that you must stop watering it immediately and wait for at least a week before resuming your watering schedule.

Hence, the best way to identify an overwatered Dracaena plant is to check its leaves—whether they are changing colors and whether the roots are decaying.

How long does it take for an overwatered plant to heal? 

The exact time your overwatered plant would need to heal depends on the circumstances and the severity of overwatering. It also depends on factors like the type of soil, amount of sunlight, drainage procedure, etc.

But if you take immediate action, it doesn’t take much time for an overwatered Dracaena plant to recover.

How long does it take for an overwatered plant to heal
How long does it take for an overwatered plant to heal? 

In most cases, it takes one or two weeks to bounce back to life, provided they receive proper care. It includes stopping the watering procedure immediately and moving the plant to a warmer place where it can receive ample sunlight to dry its soil.

How do I encourage new growth in dracaena? 

If you wish to encourage new growth on your Dracaena plant, you must ensure that you provide optimal care.

  • Place your Dracaena where it can receive plenty of bright but indirect sunlight. Low sunlight stunts its growth, while direct sunlight can burn its foliage. So, this is the best trick.
  • Monitor the plant from time to time and ensure that it doesn’t get attacked by pests or suffer any infections.
  • Regularly clean its leaves so that it remains dust-free and stays healthy.
  • Maintain a strict watering schedule and strike a balance between overwatering and underwatering.
  • Ensure that your plant receives proper nutrition. You can either use fertilizers or use compost to serve the purpose. But do not overdo it. 


Saving a Dracaena plant that seems to be struggling with its survival isn’t too difficult if you put in your time and effort. So, if you want your elegant Dracaena to thrive and enhance the beauty of your house, make sure you take good care of it.

And whenever you catch any early signs of concern, follow the solutions provided in this guide, and your plant will be fine.

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