Bacterial leaf spot on dracaena
Updated: March 13, 2023

Bacterial leaf spot symptoms

  • There are several species of bacteria that attack indoor plants.

  • Some of these bacterial infections become systemic throughout the plant while others will remain as localized lesions.

  • Bacterial disease symptoms range from black to brown, often watery leaf spots or lesions to total collapse of the tissue.

  • Collapsed tissues usually are soft and mushy with a rotten smell to them.

  • Leaf symptoms will often be observed between the veins and may be contained between leaf veins and appear angular or V-shaped.

  • Some plants will characteristically develop lesions along the leaf margins where the bacteria enter through hydathodes (small openings along the leaf margins). Often these infections will cause leaf drop.

  • Other symptoms may include yellow margins around leaf lesions, small blister like spots that run together, or spots where the center falls out.


  • There are no cures for systemically infected plants and these plants should be discarded.

  • Individual leaves with spots can be picked off and destroyed.

  • Any method that will lower the humidity, decrease leaf wetness or increase air circulation will help to lessen the chances of infection.

  • Watering should be done early in the day to allow leaf surfaces time to dry quickly.

  • Space plants so that air can circulate between them to help reduce moisture.