What Is Causing Tips Of Leaves To Turn Brown On My Janet Craig Dracaena Houseplant?

Filed Under: Houseplants, Watering, Growing Basics · Keywords: Brown, Leaf, Tips, Janet Craig Dracaena, Houseplant, House Plant · 9098 Views
About two years ago I took a beautiful planter home from my grandmothers funeral, I made the mistake of throwing anyway the plant tag which tells me what kind of plant I have been growing since that time. As you can well imagine I have been trying my best to keep this plant thriving and have been doing a good job I would say it has doubled in size and at the beginning of the summer I changed and doubled the container size as was suggested my plant sat on my kitchen table right in front of a window, in September I moved from Ohio to Tennessee I placed my plant right in front of my French doors in my new apartment but since that time have noticed that several of the leaf tips are starting to turn brown.
After reading some information online and watching a few YouTube videos I at first thought I was over watering my plant and even put it outside for a few days when the sun was nice and bright to try and dry up some of the soil I then went a week and a half in between waterings but the brown tips have just gotten worse.now I am beginning to think of the opposite side of the spectrum that maybe it is too dry in my apartment or that I am not watering it enough One of the videos I watched suggested misting your plant in case it is too dry in it's environment, after waiting a week in between waterings I watered it on Monday, November 3 and gave it a light misting misted it again on Tuesday, November 4.
Before I go any further in my treatment plan I want to seek the advice of a gardening expert. I want my plant to thrive and grow and don't want my move to Tennessee to be it's ruin. Any advice and help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Hi Jerin-Several conditions can cause leaf tips to brown. Normally its an indication of too much or too little water. Using soft water or over fertilization can build up salts in the soil that can burn leaves also. The amount of light your plant gets can also be causing this browning. If you have softened water, buy distilled water to water your plant with. Always make sure the potting mix is well draining and the pot has drain holes in the bottom for good drainage. Most house plants do no like too wet a soil. House plants should be watered well enough allowing water to drain from the bottom of the pot making sure all the root system is watered well. This also helps to wash or leach out excessive salt build up. If your pot is sitting in a tray be sure to empty the tray of standing water so soil does not stay wet. Most house plants do well when watered thoroughly then allow to dry somewhat before watering again. If you can upload a picture of your plant it would help in identifying it. Not knowing the type of plant and seeing the browning leaves makes it hard to know what type of care it should be getting. Above this and to the right of your name below your question you will see where you can upload any picture you have saved on your computer. If the plant has a flower that isn't shown in the picture you might note this and its color. This may help with identification also. After seeing your pictures we should hopefully be able to identify the plant and the problem.

5 years ago ·
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Jerin Rightmire

Jerin Rightmire · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
while snapping a picture I counted, there are about 20 leaves with brown tips, many they are just starting.

5 years ago ·
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3 Answers

Answer #1 · Gardenality.com's Answer · Hi Jerin - I think the plant you have is a 'Janet Craig' Dracaena. Although it's a tropical plant, it's usually a very easy one to grow as an indoor houseplant.

Brown leaf tips on Janet Craig Dracaena usually indicate dry soil or a build up of soluble salts. Soluble salts come from the chemicals in tap water and fertilizers. These salts can damage both the leaves and roots of the plant. If you've been using tap water to water the plant it would be a good idea to flush the salts. To do so take the plant outside on a warm day in the shade. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and slowly pour it over the soil surface allowing it to drain through the soil and out the holes in the bottom of the pot. As John mentioned, it would be best to use distilled water. Then repeat this process again. If you continue to use tap water you'll need to flush the soil at least one time a year to remove the salts.

If the soil in the pot is drying out too quickly or staying soggy for too long after watering, you might want to repot it using a different kind of potting medium. I'd recommend a good professional grade potting mix...not a potting "soil." A professional at your local nursery and garden center can recommend a good potting mix.

Leaves of the Janet Craig Dracaena can also be scorched by direct sunlight so keep the plant in a spot where it will get some light but not direct sunlight. Too much shade can cause leaves to fade to a light green. I don't think the brown leaf tips on your plant are being caused by sunlight though. Leaf scorching from the sun usually shows up as brown marks on the leaves.

Janet Craig Dracaena likes humidity...around 40-60%. Humidity in homes will not be this high, so misting the leaves regularly should be helpful. Water enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy, trying not to let the soil dry out too much between waterings. Constantly soggy soil will cause leaves to start dropping and roots to rot, which would kill the plant. Before watering, just use the finger test to determine if and when the plant needs watering. If the soil feels moist a couple inches down wait to water until it feels slightly damp.

Regarding temperature, the plant prefers room temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees F so this shouldn't be a problem indoors.

Regarding feeding, I'd suggest a liquid fertilizer mixed at half the strength suggested on the product label. Apply fertilizer maybe once a month.

Where happy, Janet Craig Dracaena can grow upwards of 10 feet in height but can be pruned at any height anywhere along the trunk to control size. Wherever you make a cut it will sprout new leaves. The best time for pruning is in spring through early summer.

Hope this info was helpful. Let us know if you need more details or have any other questions. Keep us posted as to how your plant does.

Brent)


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Jerin Rightmire

Jerin Rightmire · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Hi Brent, got a quick question for you if you don't mind, I just flushed my plant soil with half a gallon of distilled water. Wanted to check to see when you thought I should flush it again or should I just go ahead a use the whole gallon now? Thanks again for your help. You too as well John, I hope this works :)
Jerin

5 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
If you only flushed it one time go ahead and do it again. From then on, if you use tap water to water the plant, you can do the soil flushing about 1 time a year to remove the salts. Always flush the soil twice when doing it. Next spring you might want to prune the plant back some so it will flush new leaves that won't have the brown tips and which might help to cover some of the ones that do. If the plant is healthy you could cut it back to almost any height and it should rejuvenate itself. Let us know if you need more details or ever have any other questions. Best success with your Dracaena plant!

5 years ago ·
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Jerin Rightmire

Jerin Rightmire · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Okay I will give it the rest of the distilled water, I plan on just using that kind of water from here on out to water it because that seems like the logically explanation to the cause of the brown tips, using tap water in Ohio never caused this problem. I am also going to make sure I always let it drain well after each watering I use a clear Britai pitcher to water and only fill it a 1/4 to 1/3 full if that to water and when imtook it off the clay plate today the plate was wet from Monday's watering so I am going to be better with that as well, hopefully these two adjustments will correct the issue.
I will definitely keep you updated.
jerin

5 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Sounds like a good plan to me. If you water with distilled water it probably won't be necessary to flush the soil. That being said, if you fertilize with a non-organic fertilizer it still might be a good idea to flush it at least once a year...certainly won't hurt.

5 years ago ·
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Jerin Rightmire

Jerin Rightmire · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thanks again for all my of your help :)

5 years ago ·
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Answer #3 · Jerin Rightmire's Answer · Thank you John, I plan on getting some distilled water and flushing it soon! I can't thank you all enought for your help. I do want to keep it growing but if I ever decide to trim it, I will know what to do.

Thanks again, will definitely keep you posted.
Jerin)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
You're very welcome. As long as the plant stays full, leaves a nice dark green, and the soil drains well your plant should be fine. If the pot is not draining well you may want to replant it making sure it is a quality well draining planting mix as Brent mentioned. Slow draining can also be an indication the plant may need a larger pot to accommodate its root system. If the plant is still draining well it most likely is not root bound. Keep us posted as to how your plant is doing.

5 years ago ·
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Answer #2 · Jerin Rightmire's Answer · Thank you so much, after reading your response, I am wondering if it is the pot that is the problem. It only has one drain hole and I never knew to empty the tray after watering so I will start doing that as well as flush the soil and change the water type.

Thanks again
Jerin)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Jerin-This is a really nice full looking dracaena. It looks as though the tip browning is most likely due to the amount of moisture it is or is not getting and possibly a build up of salts in the soil as mentioned. A few dracaenas I have grown always seemed to have some leaves with this browning which i'm sure was caused by incorrect watering and the lousy highly chemically treated tap water we have in our location. My plants never looked as nice as yours as they never kept as many leaves covering the stems. Most of my leaves were at the top of the stems leaving lower sections of the stems bare. This can also be caused by too much or too little water. As Brent mentioned, you can prune the plant to reduce its height if it gets taller than you would like. I had done this a couple of times which worked out well allowing me to keep the plant in its prefered location at the same time giving me a few tip cuttings to grow a few more nice plants for our home. When or if you decide in time to cut you plant down in size you can plant the tip of the section you cut off to grow a new plant. I just cut 6 to 8 inches of the tip of the stem off, stripped off about half of the leaves from the lower end, and inserted about 4 inches of the lower end of the stem in a pot of peat moss or quality planting mix. Keep the soil moist not wet and in a month or two the tip cutting will have developed enough roots to be replanted in any other container. Although I have never done it they say it is best to cover the newly planted cutting with a plastic bag to keep the humidity high and soil and cutting from drying out too quickly while it is developing a new root system. Just thought I would mention this if you were interested in having another of the same plant some day. I'm sure following Brent's instructions will help to solve the leave's tip browning. I can't see any reason why your move to Tennessee would be this plants ruin. Let us know how your plant is doing.

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