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Dracaena Has Black / Brown / White Spots on Leaves

Dracaenas, or “dragon trees,” are a tropical variety of trees that are easy to grow in your own home. However, many people have trouble growing them and often encounter discoloration of their plants along the way, such the formation of brown, black, or even white spots.

If your dracaena leaves start to get spots that are brown, black, or white, this is a sign of three potential problems: dehydration, root rot, and mealybug infestation.

These issues may seem hard to handle, but they’re actually easy to solve. Read on for more information on how to salvage your dracaena and get it back to health.

Dracaena Leaves Have Brown Spots

What’s the Problem?

It’s never a pretty sight when your plants turn brown. Usually, the brown spots starts at the tips, where they tend to dry up and drop off. On brightly colored plants such as the dracaena, it is much more obvious when the tips of the leaves turn brown. Not only is it unattractive when you’re trying to decorate your home with vibrantly colored house plants – it’s also unhealthy for your plant.

Your dracaena plant is most likely has brown spots because of dehydration. Dehydration is the most common cause of plant death and can be found in almost all plant species. It’s a frustrating issue for houseplant owners to deal with.

Dehydration is generally caused by two different issues. The first of these issues is underwatering. Underwatering means that you’re not giving your plant enough water to survive. Water is essential for plants just like it is in humans – if a plant doesn’t get enough water, then it will be too dry to survive.

The second reason that your plant may be dehydrated is because your dracaena might be getting too much sunlight. It’s important for you to pick the right amount of sun exposure for your plants so you can make sure that they thrive.

How to Cure

Curing dehydration in plants is, fortunately, an easy process. To bring your dracaena back to a place of regular hydration, it’s important that you get back onto a steady watering schedule such as this: 

  • Start by watering your plant very deeply once every day or so until the soil is rehydrated, and the plant starts to perk up.
  • From here, you need to keep an eye on the needs of your plant – what sort of watering does it need, light or deep? Just make sure not to overwater so you can avoid the issues that come with waterlogging. 

Dracaena Leaves Have Black Spots

What’s the Problem?

Spotty brown leaves can often be reversed through rehydration, but spotty black leaves are a bit harder to solve when it comes to rescuing your dracaena. This phenomenon does not occur as often as the appearance of brown spots on leaves, so there’s less people that are familiar with this condition.

In general some have observed that leaves with brown spots are a sign of dehydration, while leaves with black spots are are a sign of overwatering.

Overwatering is just as big of an issue for houseplants as dehydration. Dehydration will eventually break down the cell structure of the plant, leaving the stems and leaves dry as a bone, while overwatering has the potential to kill the plant from the roots up through a disease called root rot.

Root rot is occurs when plants are situated in standing water for an extended period of time. If you overwater your dracaena, it’s very likely that your plant will suffer from a case of root rot. You can tell that your dracaena is rotting because of the gradual formation of slimy black spotted leaves. The plant will also have a lot of “give,” meaning that it will pull up easily from the soil you’ve buried it in.

How to Cure

Root rot is a pesky issue to deal with. It’s more difficult to deal with than a simple case of dehydration, but the process is simple if you have the steps:

  1. The first thing you’ll need to do is take off any afflicted and dead leaves from the plant. If leaves have any hints of black spots, there’s no saving them, and they should just be gotten rid of.
  2. The second step to saving your dracaena is to pull it up from the pot. This is an easy way to see how much of the root structure has actually rotted. You’ll notice that there will be some roots that are soggy and brown, and may even fall off the plant – these have rotted and cannot be saved. Chop them off with a clean pair of scissors or loppers and make sure to sanitize the scissors afterward.
  3. The third step is to repot the dracaena. When you’re repotting after a case of root rot, it’s crucial that you put the plant in a pot with ample drainage and fresh soil. Putting your plant back into the old pot won’t do you any good – the soil is already diseased. Now, water your dracaena less frequently and keep it in the sunshine.

Dracaena Leaves Have White Spots

What’s the Problem?

Even more peculiar than the previously discussed conditions is the potential for your dracaena to get a flush of white patches. Many houseplant owners will be scared when they encounter white spots on their dracaena if they’re not familiar with the potential for pests and diseases.

Though it’s generally a hardy plant, there are very few houseplants that are resistant to one of the most frustrating pests – mealybugs.

Mealybugs are tiny white fluffy bugs that latch onto the stems and leaves of your plants and drink the fluids inside of them. Think of them as plant vampires. They like to hide in the nooks and crannies of your plants, especially in the areas where stems and branches meet, as well as in the center of flowers.

How to Cure

The mealybugs are so small and fluffy that they look like a fungus. However, they are far more insidious than a simple fungus, and they are notoriously hard to get rid of.

One of the easiest ways to get rid of mealybugs on your dracaena plant is to blast them off with a stream of water. While this method doesn’t work for species of plants that are very fragile and have tender flowers, this method should work for your dracaena since the leaves are rather hardy.

When you’re spraying your dracaena, make sure you’re spraying them away from your other plants, perhaps into a sink you can rinse out and sanitize later. Check all the nooks and crannies of your plant and keep it away from other plants for a while to avoid contamination.

Final Thoughts

Dracaenas are some of the most popular houseplants. They are also known as “dragon trees” for their brightly colored pointy leaves. Dracaenas aren’t hard to take care of, but even if you’re an extremely conscientious houseplant owner, you can come across some pesky discoloration of your dracaena.

If the leaves of your dracaena have brown spots, it’s an indicator that the plant is dehydrated. You should make sure to water it deeply and on a more regular schedule. If the leaves of your dracaena starts to have black spots, this is a sign of root rot. You’ll need to cut off the affected leaves and remove the dead roots before replanting the dracaena. If your dracaena gets white spots, it’s likely it has been taken over by mealybugs. Break out the sprayer and rinse those pests off.

With the right tools and some knowledge, you can revive your dracaena and deal with any unsightly discoloration. I hope this helps you take care of your dragon trees.

If your Dracaena leaves don’t have spots but the Dracaena leaves or stems turning black, brown or yellow this article might be helpful to you.