My plant has been having brown spots growing out of nowhere and the whole leaf would turn brown. I tried drying it out and water less (also water more) and it didn't seem to help. I tried using baking soda and it didn't help. I tried misting it and it got worse. I have had this plant for 8 years.

Can someone give me some advice?

brown spots brown spots

  • what are you watering it with, and what material is it potted inside? Jan 6, 2017 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


I have seen the brown spots on dracaenae leaves surrounded by a yellow halo on many plants. The conditions that would indicate that this is a fungus/virus/bacteria are:

  • plant potted up in a soil less mix (look for perlite, white crunchy particles)
  • alkaline water supply (ph 7+) usually found with limestone bedrock in the water table

What is happening is that the soil less mix is delivered at ph neutral (6) or slightly acidic with a large proportion of peat moss. Over time the plant uses up the peat moss and turns it into plant matter and what is left cannot buffer the alkaline water. As the soil becomes alkaline the plant becomes stressed and susceptible to infection.

The best solution is three fold:

  • move to a higher light area
  • repot the plant with new soil less mix or a clay based soil
  • allow the plant to dry out more between waterings
  • what about switching to using rain water? Or water from the dehumidifier? Jan 7, 2017 at 2:48
  • 1
    @GrahamChiu water from a dehumidifier contains a lot more than water. It "can be loaded with biological contaminants and metallic residues that are not safe to drink" alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=29155 So, not for plants either. Rain water is great if you can get it but will not encourage the plant enough to outgrow the fungus/virus/bacteria. After successful treatment rain water would be helpful.
    – kevinskio
    Jan 7, 2017 at 12:40
  • People have had the water from dehumidifiers tested, and it's safe to drink as long it's cleaned regularly. Jan 7, 2017 at 18:48
  • @GrahamChiu I disagree but this topic is worthy of another question. Why don't you ask it?
    – kevinskio
    Jan 7, 2017 at 22:35
  • Already done gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/24690/… Jan 7, 2017 at 22:49

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