What is causing the leaves on my dracaena plant to turn yellow and die?

Asked February 14, 2015, 7:01 PM EST

I hope you can help my plant. I do not know the name of this plant, but I have had it for 1 1/2 years. It almost doubled in size and had sprouted new growth. I do not know if it likes water or not, but I was giving it about 3/4 cup water a month, and it did well. Now one side is dead. I almost stopped watering it, and it seems to do worse with water. First, the leaves turn yellow, then brown, then dead.

Mercer County New Jersey houseplants dracaena dieback lrk

1 Response

The plant in your photo looks like a Dracaena and there are many types. The plant looks like it may need more light and possibly less water. Make sure the plant is not located next to heating or air conditioning vents.

Even though they tolerate low light, the plant benefits from bright light but not in direct sunlight. The best spot is one that gets 2 to 3 hours of sunlight filtered through a blind or curtain. Normal room temperatures should be about 65 to 75 degrees. High humidity is necessary so keep the air moist by standing the plant on a tray or saucer of moist pebbles and by occasionally mist spraying the foliage. During the winter months, water to make the potting mixture barely moist and allow the top mixture to dry between waterings. Make sure the pot has good drainage. During the active growth period, keep the potting mixture moist but do not allow the pot to stand in water.

Dracaena is very sensitive to fluoride in tap water. Symptoms include yellowing of the tips or margins of the leaf or dead, scorched areas. You can use distilled water to water the plant. Fertilize during the active growth period only.

See the following link for more information: Dracaena.