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Why Is My Dragon Breath Plant Dying? | 5 Distressing Reasons!

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Dragon breath plant is also known as Celosia argentea (var. cristata); its bright, colorful plumes look beautiful in all kinds of gardens.

Dragon breath plants are popular among gardeners because they are simple to grow and make an exciting addition to any landscape. They are also usually very productive.

Unfortunately, the color of these lovely flowering plants might occasionally start to fade. You might be here as you own it in your garden, wondering why is my dragon breath plant dying.

You are not alone if you’ve ever tried growing Dragon breath plant, only to discover that the vibrant colors you were looking for faded too quickly.

Whatever your degree of gardening skill is, it’s a common issue.

The good news is that there are only a handful of leading causes for this. If you act right away, you can often solve this problem.

Let’s look at the causes of your Celosia’s fading and then get into some suggestions for reviving them.

Why Is My Dragon Breath Plant Dying
What happened to my poor Dragon’s Breath celosia – via Reddit

Why Is My Dragon Breath Plant Dying?

Celosia species adore heat and direct sunlight; hence bloom delicately in the warm season. Depending on the species, their blossoms can resemble a fuzzy brain, a fan, a fiery plume, or a spiky, wheat-like appearance.

In the summer and fall, their blazing, vibrant colors add a burst of spiciness to the garden, and if left to their own devices, they’ll readily self-sow. Their blooms are frequently seen in shades of pink, red, and orange.

Your Dragon breath plant might be dying for several reasons.

While some of the reasons can be treated and revived if discovered early, some can cause permanent damage. Let’s discuss these causes and the most effective solutions for them!

1. Diseased Plant

Even though Celosia species are usually resistant to diseases, under some circumstances, a few diseases can affect plants and result in fading or dieback.

Buds and flowers may develop unnaturally or become brown due to botrytis blight, often known as grey mold, as you might have noticed, a greyish mold on the plant when the environment is unusually cool and wet.

Another disease that can make your Dragon breath plant die is Rhizoctonia Root Rot or Stem Rot. In this disease, there’s a fungus called Rhizoctonia in the soil. You can find brown lesions on the stem close to the earth as it first attacks the plant at the soil line.

The plant tissues above the lesions will wilt and die back as the lesions grow until they encircle the plant.

Rhizoctonia can occasionally infect leaves that come in contact with the soil and result in aerial blight. In times of excessive humidity, this disease will spread from leaf to leaf, making the leaves seem yellowed and eventually turning brown as the plant tissue dies.

If your Dragon breath plant is caught by disease, remove the infected parts immediately!

Transfer the plant into a new pot if you see root and stem rot. If your Dragon breath plant is wilting after the transplant, mix the old pot soil into the new pot.

2. Drought

Like most plants, Celosias like dry environments but cannot survive a lengthy drought.

In the garden, extremely dry circumstances can wilt plants, brown the edges of their leaves, and ultimately cause the plant to die.

Even if you give a plant water as soon as wilting is seen after it has experienced difficult drought-like situations, it may not always fully recover.

3. Overwatering

Why is my Dragon breath plant dying, you say? Too much wetness is another factor contributing to the dying Dragon breath plant.

An overwatered plant may display symptoms like yellowing, dead tissue often brown, and eventual dieback from a lack of oxygen.

Overwatering and poor drainage can cause waterlogging, ultimately leading to root rot infections.

Related article: What Does Root Rot Look Like? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

4. Lack of Sunlight

For Celosia plants to flourish in the garden, they require full sunlight.

Full sunlight is having at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunshine daily.

Lack of flower buds and blossoms, “leggy” plants (tall and lean with more space between nodes), fallen leaves, and pale plants with pale green, yellow, or white plant tissue are all signs of inadequate sunlight.

5. Seeding Celosia

Plants eventually dedicate all of their energy to creating seeds at some point.

After all, that is what mother nature calls for in every plant.

Your Dragon breath plant will ultimately initiate seeding and lose its color if you leave it alone; these plants frequently become yellow or brown as they age.

The lowest florets typically become papery and tan. As the seed develops, this will continue up the flower head. You might even see that when you shake the flower head, small black seeds fall from it. These seeds indicate that your plant is prepared to fulfill its reproduction activity.

Watch this video to learn more about saving your Dragon breath plant:

Why is my Dragon breath plant dying? | Celosia Leaves Turning Yellow Solution

How Long Do Celosia Plants Last?

Celosias are tender annuals, as they are perennial in Zones 10 to 12.

  • When the first fall frost arrives, the season for Celosia will be over because the plant thrives and blooms in summer, which is why it is also known as a summer-blooming plant.
  • From mid-summer to the fall, many Celosias, particularly the Cockscomb types, will reach their peak beauty.
  • Ice crystals will grow inside plant tissues and harm plant cells, which will then cause frost damage.
  • Frost typically affects leaves or fragile young plants first.
  • The damaged plant tissue will shrink and turn brown or black.
  • When the first frost occurs, it may just affect a small portion of the plant.
  • However, after a few touches of frost or a harsh freeze, the entire plant may eventually submit to Mother Nature’s whim.

That’s all!


Why is my Dragon breath plant dying? If you have come along this far, you no longer have to worry about that now.

As Celosias are vibrant, entertaining plants that add color and texture to any garden.

They are largely free of disease and relatively simple to grow. But occasionally, you might see your cherished Celosia losing its vibrant color.

Once you diagnose the problem with your plant, then treat them accordingly.

As you see, proper diagnosis is also required to treat the plant correctly.

Consider placing your plant in full sun and supplying water regularly throughout the season to maintain these beautiful heat-loving plants’ vibrance.

Happy planting!