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Why Your Dracena Plant Is Growing Sideways

Updated: December 27, 2022

Dracena plants are a popular houseplant due to their vibrant foliage and easy care requirements. However, if you notice that your Dracena plant is growing sideways, it could be a sign of an underlying issue. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons for sideways growth in Dracena plants and ways to fix it.

Lack of Light

One of the most common reasons for sideways growth in Dracena plants is a lack of light. If your plant is not receiving enough sunlight or is placed in a dark corner, it will start to grow towards the light source. As a result, the stem will bend towards the light, causing the plant to grow sideways.

To fix this issue, try moving your Dracena plant to a brighter location where it can receive at least six hours of indirect sunlight per day. You can also consider using artificial grow lights to supplement natural light.

Imbalanced Watering

Overwatering or underwatering your Dracena plant can also cause sideways growth. When a plant is overwatered, the soil becomes too saturated, causing root rot and weakening the stem. On the other hand, underwatering can cause the soil to become too dry, making it difficult for the plant to absorb nutrients and water. This can lead to stunted growth and sideways growth.

To prevent imbalanced watering, make sure to water your Dracena plant only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Additionally, ensure that your pot has proper drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Pot Bound Roots

Dracena plants can quickly outgrow their pots, leading to pot-bound roots. When roots are constricted, they cannot absorb nutrients or moisture effectively, causing stunted growth and sideways growth.

To fix this issue, consider repotting your Dracena plant every two years into a larger pot with fresh soil. Ensure that the new pot has proper drainage holes, and do not bury the stem too deep into the soil.


Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs can also cause sideways growth in Dracena plants. These pests can weaken the stem and cause stunted growth, leading to a sideways appearance.

To prevent pests, ensure that your plant is regularly cleaned, and inspect it for any signs of infestation. If you notice any pests, treat your plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap.


Can I cut the stem of my Dracena plant to fix sideways growth?

Yes, cutting the stem can help fix sideways growth. However, make sure to use a clean, sharp blade and sterilize it beforehand to prevent infection. Cut the stem at an angle just above a node, and new growth should appear within a few weeks.

How often should I fertilize my Dracena plant?

Dracena plants should be fertilized every two to three months during the growing season (spring and summer). Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half strength.

Can I propagate my Dracena plant?

Yes, Dracena plants can be propagated through stem cuttings. Cut a healthy stem just below a node, remove the lower leaves, and place it in water or soil. The cutting should root within a few weeks.

In conclusion, sideways growth in Dracena plants can be caused by several factors such as lack of light, imbalanced watering, pot-bound roots, and pests. By identifying the underlying issue and taking appropriate measures, you can prevent sideways growth and maintain a healthy and vibrant Dracena plant.