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Drooping leaves

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

The leaves are drooping on this dragon plant (common name). I expect the lower ones to droop, but seven of the inner leaves are drooping. I looked at similar plants and they are not drooping this much except for the lower leaves. Does it need more water? Or what?

Thumbnail by venice62
Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

This is what is looked like when I got it in early fall. I think I cut off some of the drooping lower leaves.

Thumbnail by venice62
zone 6a, KY

I'm not sure if you have dracaena, cordyline or yucca, but I think they all will tolerate bright indirect light if they aren't over watered. I have my spikey plants like those in pretty high light, and still let them almost dry off before watering. I see some salt build up in your soil, and the little tip burning may be from the salt, or possibly dry conditions. Try a good flushing of the soil by running water through it several times, let it drain and repeat, that's a good time for a shower for the plant. Then if it is still drooping, start gradually moving it into more light. The leaves may be growing longer/droopier from being in less light than when you got it.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

It is a dracaena. It is mainly in indirect light but direct sun depending on the weather and that is the most I have.

I read that if the tips are brown, it has too much fertilizer. And I just gave it fertilizer the other day!

The plant had many brown tips when I got it. It was one of my 75 cent bargains!

I let it dry out pretty well before watering it, up to my second knuckle.

How do you flush a plant that size? That sure would be a mess doing that in the bathtub! Soil would be floating all over the place. I can see a stopped up drain already. Let me know how to do that.

zone 6a, KY

I don't pour enough water to overflow the top, just enough to get it all muddied/puddled on top, then let it drain, repeat. How far to a door? Carry pans of water on a warmer day when we get one soon. Can you believe spring is almost here? I do use the shower and put a rag or something to let water pass but no solids. If I don't let it pour over the top of the pot, there isn't that much dirt but I put the rag over the drain just in case. Then I can scoop everything out before it causes trouble. I figure the smaller particles of dirt aren't that different from the normal stuff we are washing down the drain. I'm in the same boat as far as having a lot of cloudy days lately. Do you move yours out for the summer? I can hardly wait to get everyone out on the porch :).

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

OK! My humble opinion----

IF it is a Dracena marginata (Yes, they now come in many forms and shapes)--Dracenas do not tolerate too much salts and chlorine in the water you use. Since most of municipal water treatment plants use Chlorine to sanitize their drinking water--I would think thew browning tips may be a result of that.
Fill a gallon jug with tap water and let it sit out for a couple of days. Chlorine is a gas and will evaporate.
OR--Use bottled water for all your Dracenas. There are 100's of forms of Dracenas. look into all of them!
Even the ones they call "Lucky Bamboo" are Dracenas! So are Spider Plants!

From your picture, I cannot really tell if it is a Dracena. Could be a Cordilyne of some sort? However--the stem looks very much like a Dracena.

Now--as for the leaves drooping---there may be a couple different causes.
1--Too much watering. Dracenas like to dry out a bit between watering.
2--a fungus in the roots/stems. Go as low as you can and squeeze the stem. Does it "give"? Is it soft"
Does the "skin" slip off if you tug on it? In all these cases--it will be a Fungus and not much you can do at this
stage. The plant is pretty much gone!

The fact that you got it at a bargain price may be the culprit. Was it from a Big Box store? They, often, do not have qualified people taking care of their plants. Everything gets watered from the hose--whether they need it or not!
These stores are NOT like an independent Nursery where there are knowledgeable people re plants.

I have been in both situations....BUT-I DO know my plants!


Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)


I always let my water sit out at least 3-4 days. I fill up my jugs after I water my plants and leave them open until the next watering.

Most of my plants are bargains I purchased from Lowe's and repoted them after I got them.

Do you mean "Cordilyne?" It could be that because this is the comparison photo I got off of DG Dracena marginata page. But the photo is titled cordilyne! However, I look up cordilyne and they seem to have a wider leaf.

I don't think it has been getting too much water, too little if anything.

The stem is as hard as a hardwood trunk!

3jsmom31, yes, most of my plants will be going outside this summer! I guess I will wait for a warm day to flush the larger plants.

Thumbnail by venice62
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


I have one more question.....
When you re-potted your plant were you sure to plant it in the new pot so that the top of the soil was at the same level it had been growing?
I ask this because many people, when they re-pot plants, just put the plant in a bigger pot and then fill it up with soil.
Plants cannot tolerate this! The base of the plant has to be exactly as it was. The extra soil is added to the bottom of the new pot and around the sides of the root ball.

I do not know your plant expertise--but this might be just another reason for the droopy leaves....
Please forgive me if you already knew this......

I see there is a tag on your plant. What does it say the plant is???


Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

The plant at 7:19 is the comparison photo I got off of DG Dracena marginata page. But the photo is titled cordilyne! However, I look up cordilyne and they seem to have a wider leaf.

zone 6a, KY

Gitagal? have you seen the dracaena marginata that has more burgundy all across the leaf instead of red at the margin? Do you guess that is a cultivar or a cultural condition? I almost want one...

Cordyline and dracaena require similar care, or at least the spikes do. I think they are both very sensitive to fluorine which is also dumped into municipal water, but a good flushing of the soil will keep it from building up to dangerous levels. Also you can collect snow or rainwater or AC drippings for free water.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

You know--we have had a new D.marginata at out HD and it sure looks a lot different from the usual one.
These are almost all green and the leaves stick up straight and seem a bit more stiff. There seems to be ever so slight cream coloration along the spine of the leaves.

They are "messing around" with plants all the time and making new varieties. Might be a really new variety and no one has yet posted it on PF.
Remember the variegated Peace Lily a few years back? It was all new!

I think 3j's mom has the right idea. good advice!


zone 6a, KY

I try to save my money for new plants, not water, lol. Now you know my secret :).

Keaau, HI

It is Dracaena angustifolia.

Don't cut the leaves off; let them fall off on their own.

Give the plant plenty of sunlight. Don't over-water.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Dave, I haven't cut off the leaves. The pot was looking really dry a couple of days ago and I gave it some water. I was wondering how the roots were doing, so I lifted the plant out of the pot. I could see some roots at the edges but I don't think it was root bound. The water only stayed at the top, so I watered it some more. A lot of the leaves are drooping from the middle, not just the lower leaves.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

This is what it looks like now.

Thumbnail by venice62
Keaau, HI

Hi Carol!

The plant looks fine. It is normal for the leaves to bend.

Thumbnail by Metrosideros
Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

The leaves of my plant are more narrow and longer than the one you posted. Is that just because it is not growing in its natural environment? I sure will be glad when our weather is warmer so my plants can get more sun.

Keaau, HI

The plant is variable, but having a lack of light would make it stretch.

Mine is growing under other plants but gets plenty of light.

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