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Why Does My Lemon Lime Dracaena Have Brown Tips?

Some reasons lemon lime Dracaena leaves develop brown tips include over-watering, under-watering, inadequate humidity, low light, fertilizer issues, and pests.

The lemon lime Dracaena, also known as Dracaena fragrans or the corn plant, is a popular houseplant known for its attractive yellow and green striped leaves. Some of the most frequent reasons lemon lime Dracaena leaves develop brown tips include over-watering, under-watering, inadequate humidity, low light, fertilizer issues, and pest infestations.

By understanding the potential causes of this issue, indoor plant owners prevent and treat it, helping their lemon lime Dracaena thrive and maintain its vibrant appearance.

What To Do If Lemon Lime Dracaena Leaves Turn Brown

If you notice brown spots or tips on the leaves of your lemon lime Dracaena, there are several steps you can take to address the issue and prevent it from worsening.

First, determine the symptoms. Does your plant have dry and crispy leaf ends or spongy or mushy brown spots? This will help you narrow down the cause.

Trim the brown tips with clean, sharp scissors if the brown tips are only on a few leaves. This will not only improve the appearance of your plant but also help prevent the spread of any potential disease or pest issues.

What Causes Brown Tips On A Dracaena?

There are several reasons why brown tips develop on a Dracaena plant. Here are the most common causes and solutions:


If a Dracaena plant is overwatered, the soil may become waterlogged, leading to root rot and brown leaf tips. In the case of over-watering, the brown tips may be mushy and you may notice a musty smell coming from the plant.

Solution: Water the plant only when the top inch of potting soil feels dry, and make sure the pot has adequate drainage to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.


Conversely, if a Dracaena plant is not watered enough, its leaves may dry and turn brown and crispy at the tips.

Solution: Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, and ensure the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight, which causes the soil to dry out too quickly.

Overwatering or underwatering can cause brown tips.

Low Humidity

Dracaenas are tropical plants that thrive in high-humidity levels. If the air around the plant is too dry, its leaves may develop dry brown tips.

Solution: Mist the plant regularly, or place a humidifier or tray of water near the plant to increase the humidity in the air.

Low Light

Dracaenas require bright, indirect light conditions to thrive and warm temperatures during the growing season. If a plant is placed in a location with insufficient light, its leaves may wilt and develop brown tips.

Solution: Move the plant to a brighter spot, or use a grow light to supplement its light exposure.

Too Much Direct Sunlight

While Dracaena plants require bright, indirect light, direct sunlight scorches their leaves, causing brown tips and sunburn.

Solution: Move the plant to a location with more filtered light or use a sheer curtain to filter the direct sun. If the plant has been exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period, trim off the browned tips to promote new growth.

Improper Fertilizing

Overfertilization or fertilizer salts accumulating in the soil, its leaves may develop brown tips.

Solution: Use a balanced fertilizer, and follow the instructions on the package carefully. Flush the dirt periodically with water to remove any buildup of fertilizer salts.


Spider mites, mealybugs, and other pests damage the leaves of a Dracaena, causing brown tips and other signs of distress.

Solution: Identify and treat the pest infestation as soon as possible using a natural or chemical pesticide, depending on the severity of the infestation.

Flouride In Tap Water

Brown leaf tips may also be caused by fluoride in tap water accumulating in the soil and damaging the plant’s roots.

Solution: Use distilled water or collect rainwater to water your plant.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot, a fungal disease that appears as dark spots on the leaves, also causes brown leaf tips.

Solution: Avoid getting the leaves wet when watering and ensure proper air circulation around the plant.

Should You Cut The Brown Tips Off A Lemon Lime Dracaena?

Cutting the brown tips off a lemon lime Dracaena plant is generally a good idea. Trimming off the browned areas prevents the spread of any potential disease or pest issues and improves the plant’s overall appearance.

To prune damaged leaves on a lemon lime Dracaena, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the plant for leaves with brown tips or other signs of damage.

  2. Use sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts that won’t damage the rest of the plant.

  3. Cut off the browned tips or damaged sections of the leaves, leaving a small margin of healthy tissue to promote new growth.

  4. Monitor the plant to ensure the brown tips don’t reappear. If they do, inspect the plant for any underlying issues.

Prune brown leaves from Dracaena plants.

Repotting To Revive A Lemon Lime Dracaena

Repotting the plant also improves its health, especially if it has outgrown its current container. When repotting, ensure the new pot has drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix containing perlite. Avoid overwatering, as this leads to root rot and brown or yellow leaves.

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