Dracaena Marginata older leaves yellowing – House Plant Journal

Dracaena Marginata older leaves yellowing

Plant: Dracaena marginata

How long have you had the plant? 6 months to 1 year


The leaves are yellowing and falling off in large numbers maybe 6-8 leaves per week. It started maybe in the past 1-2 months.

I noticed some white webs on the stem where the leaves are attached. I have sprayed the plant with insecticidal solution three times, last time I did a more thorough spray with soap water first and then sprayed. I don’t see the webs anymore (spider mites??) but leaves still fall off.

Light Situation: It is under a grow light receiving about 800 FC; no natural light at this spot

How do you determine WHEN to water: I wait for the soil to become just slightly dry.

Describe HOW you water: I fully soak the soil, letting excess drain away.

What fertilizer do you use? I use MiracleGro All-Purpose fertilizer.

Darryl’s Analysis

This is an okay setup for the plant.  Although 800 FC for 12 hours is great light, it’s very localized to a small area directly in front of the grow light.

The WHEN to water should be “when the soil is nearly completely dry” as opposed to “when it’s just slightly dry”.  The HOW to water you are doing sounds fine.

As I look at the overall plant – it looks totally fine.  The long-term experience with a Dracaena (and all plants) is that older leaves die off at the bottom and new leaves grow at the top.  Just look at the lines on your trunk: every line is the scar of a leaf that has fallen off.  The part where the trunk branches is where the growing tip was cut off, giving rise to 3 new branches.

Older leaves *WILL* eventually fall off. Don’t interpret this as something wrong – this plant is completely fine.

The most critical thing you should embrace is this: leaves have a limited lifespan.  That means they will die at some point regardless of how “good” your conditions/care are.  The goal is to ensure you have the best possible conditions and care efforts so the plant keeps putting up NEW growth.

Want to understand both the mindset and care techniques for maximum houseplant enjoyment?

Learn from my book or my online course.

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *