Because of its massive, eye-catching leaves, this houseplant is an excellent choice. Learn how to properly care for your Dieffenbachia, especially if you have small children or pets.
In the wild, these plants may grow to be 10 feet (3 meters) tall, with leaves as wide as 20 inches (50 cm).
In a large container, this plant may grow to a height of 6 feet (2 meters), with leaves of 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter.
Most species of this evergreen plant have wide leaves with varying patterns of spotting and/or extensive variegation.
The white inflorescence of these plants is formed by a spadix covered with a green spathe, similar to that of a peace lily.
Dieffenbachias are popular due to their little maintenance and ability to flourish in partial shade.
Learn more about Dieffenbachia care and requirements to bring the exotic, tropical vibe into your house. When young, they are often confused with aglaonema plants.
What’s a Dieffenbachia?
Dieffenbachia are popular houseplants and office shrubs owing to their grand appearance and capacity to reach heights of 3 to 5 feet when grown in a controlled setting.
They require minimal maintenance, and if you mistakenly over or under water them or abuse the lighting, the plant will recover quickly.
The Dieffenbachia plant, native to Mexico, South America, and the West Indies, is a hero in the office plant world since it thrives in intense, indirect light and can even adapt to fluorescent illumination.
Keep them out of reach of children and pets, as the leaves are somewhat toxic.
Dieffenbachia leaves are known as Leopard Lilies because of their distinctive striped appearance.
Dieffenbachia’s History and “Dumb Cane” name?
The history of this plant dates back to the 1950s.
In earlier times, with very little knowledge, there have been incidences where researchers and common folk have experienced the effects of this plant’s defense mechanism.
These are triggered by the high amount of calcium oxalates and druses within their sap. Some studies have found that other components of the plant have a larger impact on its effects.
The effects of these components when ingested include swelling, intense irritation, and potential inflammation of the skin or any part of the body that comes into contact with the sap.
Rarely this can even lead to asphyxiation.
The name “Dumb cane” is attributed to these effects. It is suggested, the plant was used as a form of punishment.
A thesis recorded that slaves in Jamaica were punished by rubbing the leaves of this plant to their mouths.
Afflicted individuals became unable to speak because of the swelling hence the common name “dumb cane”.
Bringing the Plant Home and Getting Ready for Dieffenbachia Care
The plant has been in operation since the 1950s. Previously, when considerably less was known, both researchers and regular people became victims of this plant’s defensive system.
These reactions are triggered by the presence of calcium oxalates and druses in their sap. According to some study, other plant sections may be more responsible for the plant’s effects.
Ingesting these components causes swelling, acute irritation, and even inflammation of the skin or any part of the body that comes into contact with the sap. Suffocation is an uncommon but conceivable result.
These consequences have given the “Dumb cane” its name. Some speculate that the plant was used as a form of punishment.
According to a thesis, the leaves of this plant were rubbed into the lips of slaves in Jamaica.
A dumb cane is a colloquial word for those who are unable to communicate because to swelling of their voice chords.
Aeration Stones, when put at the bottom of a planter, assist keep the soil aerated and pull excess water up and out of the root zone.
These porous clay stones will help your plant flourish since they are natural, functional, and vital. If your pot does not have drainage holes, you should always utilize them.
Stainless Steel Pruners
The salts and moisture in potting soil are harmful to more delicate metals.
These pruners are composed of stainless steel, one of the most durable consumer metals, and are built to last. This tool is ideal for thinning and shaping trees of all sizes.
If you like to cultivate organically, you should know that Neem Oil may be used as a multifunctional pesticide, miticide, and fungicide.
Because neem oil is systemic, it will be absorbed into the plant’s vascular system and poison the pests from the inside out.
Use with care because overuse can weaken plants and cause discoloration.
Plant development is hampered by a lack of oxygen in the root zone. When you overwater a plant, the ground around the roots compacts because the air is driven out.
The Soil Probe may be used to aerate and inspect the soil for moisture.
Watering cans come in a variety of sizes and styles; select the one you’d be most happy to retain in your own home.
Find containers with long spouts and enough room for your plants.
Fox Farm Ocean Forest features all of the attributes we look for in a medium to ensure a plant’s long-term health: it’s organic, it breathes well, it has texture, and it holds water effectively.
The usage of 10-4-3 fertilizer, which is both effective and safe, may substantially benefit indoor plants.
Put this in your watering can once a week and mix it with water as directed.
Check that your plant is getting enough light, since inadequate lighting might result in burnt leaf tips.
Used to protect furniture and floors from moisture and scratches. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to use with organic materials such as ceramic planters.
Dieffenbachias are popular houseplants because they survive in partial shade; nevertheless, they benefit from more direct sunshine throughout the winter months.
Throughout the growing season, dappled shade or indirect light is good for this plant.
It is critical to rotate the plant on a frequent basis to ensure uniform development, as the plant will naturally favor the side exposed to light.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant thrives in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Low temperatures (below 60°F) and drafts can cause the plant to lose its lower leaves and have a palmate appearance.
Dust the leaves using a cotton swab, microfiber duster, or other soft cloth.
If you have a persistent dust film on your leaves, remove it by adding a drop of castile soap to a bowl of water, putting your cloth or cotton pad into the solution, and wiping the leaves twice or three times in the same direction.
Avoid using the same cloth on many plants to avoid transmitting pests or disease spores from one to another.
Commercial leaf shine products should not be used to avoid leaf damage.
Remove dead leaves
Trim or pluck off the plant’s bottom leaves if they begin to brown. Raking up fallen leaves is usually a good idea.
Types of Dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia is a genus that comprises a number of beautiful tropical perennials. Some of the most common species produced in greenhouses are D. sequine, D. oerstedii, D. maculata, and D. amoena.
Because certain Dieffenbachia species have recently been renamed, there may be some confusion over the exact nomenclature of distinct cultivars.
Dieffenbachias are commonly referred to as dumb canes as a group.
True, only a few Dieffenbachia species are widely available commercially.
D. seguine, the most popular Dieffenbachia species, is a native of Brazil with wide, oval leaves with green margins splotched with yellow or cream. It may reach a maximum height of 10 feet.
D. maculata , ‘Perfection,’ with heavily variegated 8-inch leaves, ‘Rudolph Roehrs,’ with fully yellow leaves with ivory splotches, and ‘Superba,’ with thicker leaves with white variegation, are all good cultivars of D. maculata (previously known as D. picta). ‘Camille’ has 3-foot-tall stalks and delicate golden leaves with white borders.
D. amoena may reach a height of 6 feet and has leaves that are 20 inches long. Because of its smaller leaves and higher diversity, ‘Tropic Snow’ is a popular cultivar.
Dieffenbachia plants can be propagated using one of three techniques.
For a deep division:
- Offsets may be transplanted into new containers by dividing them when you repot your plants in the spring.
- If you take this route, make sure to use a clean instrument to avoid spreading disease and to avoid damaging the parent plant’s root system.
With the intention of spreading a stump:
- Dieffenbachias with tall and spindly tops can be trimmed and transplanted in fresh soil enriched with rooting hormone.
- New leaves will sprout from the old timber.
- Remove the old leaves as soon as fresh ones appear.
When propagating from cane cuttings, remember to:
- By placing cane sections horizontally in damp potting soil, sprouted cane is generated.
- As the particles settle, leaves will begin to emerge.
- Set up a fresh potting soil container for each rooted part.
Potting and Repotting Dieffenbachia
When it comes to Dieffenbachias, it is normal practice to replace them every year.
If the plant is displaying signs of stress, such as congested roots, losing leaves, or roots pushing through the soil, repotting may be necessary.
Lift the entire plant, shaking off any extra soil and dead roots, then repot in a larger container with new soil.
After you’ve repotted a dieffenbachia, give it some time to adjust to its new surroundings.
You should wear gloves if you don’t want sap on your hands.
Though Dieffenbachias rarely require attention, they, like many houseplants, are susceptible to spider mites. One method is to apply a horticultural oil to them.
Common Problems With Dieffenbachia
The state of your dieffenbachia’s leaves will reveal a lot about the plant as a whole. Keep a watch out for discolored leaves, which may suggest the need for assistance.
Leaves Turning Yellow
If your plant is over or under watered, the leaves will turn yellow. It’s not uncommon for them to separate from the plant as well.
Put a finger down to the first knuckle to test the ground. If the ground is wet, don’t water for the next week or so.
You may need to dig a little to determine whether the soil is too dry, in which case you’ll need to water the plant. You can remove the yellowing leaves for whatever reason you like.
The plant may be nitrogen-starved, causing the leaves to yellow. While making a firm diagnosis may be difficult, utilizing a plant fertilizer will not hurt.
Dieffenbachia thrives in partial shade. A plant that receives too much sunlight may droop. Place the plant somewhere that will only receive indirect sunlight.
Insufficient light, on the other hand, may cause the leaves to yellow and droop. To solve the problem, move it to a brighter location.
Drooping leaves may suggest that the plant is too far away from a heat source or that it is exposed to a draft.
Your plant will grow in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Classic balanced plant food, whose three numbers all read the same, such as 20-20-20.
Because winter is a slower season for plant development, it is preferable to reduce fertilizer application, especially in northern zones.
Plants suffer from stunted development and fewer leaves when they are under-fertilized.
How and How often should you water Dieffenbachia?
A constant watering plan is required for proper dieffenbachia upkeep. The frequency with which you should water your dieffenbachia is determined by a variety of factors.
The tag that came with the plant is entirely superfluous.
Water dieffenbachias when the top inch (or 2 cm) of soil is dry.
Once it has dried out, thoroughly water it.
Try not to over-dry the soil. If the soil becomes too dry, the roots of these plants will rot.
If your plant is extremely big or maintained in a particularly bright location, you may need to water it more frequently than twice weekly.
A plant put in partial shade will need less watering. Watering requirements are determined by a number of variables other than soil (pot, humidity, etc.).
Although Dieffenbachias thrive in damp conditions, overwatering will cause the plant to wilt.
There’s no need to water if the top inch of soil is already moist.
Because your plant will become dormant in the winter, you may minimize the quantity of water it gets (its growth will slow down).
If your watering schedule is off, it will be noticeable. Yellowing can be caused by excessive or inadequate watering.
Learn what your plant need by getting your hands dirty. Overwatering plants frequently results in root rot.
Normal tap water may be drank at room temperature without harm (let it sit overnight). Rainwater, filtered water, or even distilled water will help your dieffenbachia grow.
Pruning and Cleaning Dieffenbachia Leaves
When cleaning your plant, it’s a good idea to use gloves to keep the sap from getting on your skin. Dust on the leaves may be readily removed by cleaning them with a soft, damp cloth.
Remove any leaves that have become a sickly yellow color. Because there are various probable reasons of yellow leaves, it is critical to analyze each one.
Mature plants frequently shed their lower leaves to focus their energy toward future development, revealing a can-shaped stem.
If you wish to propagate your plant, remove the entire top rather than just the old leaves.
How often should you fertilize Dieffenbachia?
It is important to feed your Dieffenbachias on a regular basis.
When your plant is actively growing, don’t forget to fertilize it. A general purpose liquid fertilizer can be used to fertilize the leaves of house plants. Take it as instructed by the manufacturer, but no more often than prescribed.
When to repot dieffenbachia?
A dieffenbachia requires repotting on a regular basis, especially if you started with a little plant.
You should not repot a new plant simply because you brought it into the home.
Repotting is a difficult operation since it causes the plant to adjust to yet another new environment. Most new plants won’t need to be repotted until their roots begin to rot the soil.
It’s conceivable that when the plant grows, you’ll need to repot it into a larger container.
Repotting should be done with care to prevent damaging the roots (do not remove too much of the original soil).
Repot into a somewhat larger container, but without burying the roots with earth.
The plant’s pace of development will most likely slow as it focuses on creating a deeper root system.
Is Dieffenbachia safe for cats, dogs or humans?
That plant over there is toxic. If you have young children or pets in the house, use extra caution and keep the plant in a secure position out of reach.
Because cats can readily access any plant, it is not suggested that you maintain this plant in your house unless you can safeguard it from your feline companions (e.g., in an enclosure or a room they cannot enter).
In addition to other components that cause allergic reactions, the plant’s Calcium oxalate crystals, which resemble tiny needles and penetrate the skin, cause substantial inflammation and irritation.
When the leaves are ingested, they can cause an obstruction in the airway and, in severe cases, asphyxiation.
How to Grow Dieffenbachia
These typical houseplants come in a range of hues and sizes, adding a tropical feel to any space. This page contains information on how to care for and develop dieffenbachia.
- You may grow it either inside with lots of indirect light or outside in zones 11 and 12.
- Dieffenbachias thrive in Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix, so use it to plant them.
- When the top two inches of soil have dried up, it is time to water.
- It is advised to apply Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food one month after planting.
- Remove any dead or diseased wood and prune the plant when it becomes too tall.
- Root cuttings can be used to propagate Dieffenbachia plants.
Dieffenbachia is a low-maintenance houseplant with a tropical appearance. If this plant’s sap comes into touch with a person’s lips or tongue, it can temporarily silence them.
As a result, he was given the nickname “dumbcane.” Wearing gloves and keeping the plant out of the reach of children and animals is essential.
There are several varieties to pick from, with most having speckled, spotted, or loosely striped leaves in colors of white, cream, or green.
Dieffenbachia is mostly grown for its leaves, but when it blooms, the bloom resembles a peace lily.
Where to Grow Dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia, a tropical plant, thrives indoors with plenty of indirect light. It can live in low light, but its growth is greatly hampered.
If you give it additional light, it will grow swiftly again. Dieffenbachia is a lovely landscape plant that grows well in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12.
How to Plant Dieffenbachia
Choose a container that is no more than two-thirds the width of the plant’s former habitat to avoid overcrowding.
Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix, which is lightweight and particularly prepared to be less prone to gnats (a common problem with houseplants), should be used to fill the bottom third of the container.
The combination also contains coconut coir, which allows it to be readily re-wetted. When planting, make sure the top of the root ball is approximately an inch below the lip of the container.
This allows you to water the plant without worrying about it spilling over the side of the pot. Around the root ball, more potting soil should be added.
Before transferring the plant to its final location, soak it thoroughly and allow it to drain.
How to Water Dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia prefers somewhat dry soil conditions for growth. Water the plant well at the base once the top two inches of soil have dried out. Drooping leaves are a frequent sign that a plant requires water.
How to Feed Dieffenbachia
A month after planting, begin fertilizing your dieffenbachia once a week with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food, following the recommendations on the container.
Spread it out on the ground and water it in normally. One pump for smaller containers, two pumps for larger containers (over 6 inches in diameter).
How to Prune Dieffenbachia
You may not want dieffenbachia to grow since it loses the lowest leaves on its stem as it ages, depending on your aesthetic tastes.
If this is an issue, or if you simply don’t like how tall the plant is, you may cut it down to size with some sharp secateurs, and it will rapidly start sending out new branches.
How to Grow More Dieffenbachia
The most successful way to cultivate dieffenbachia plants is to take stem cuttings. Trim the growth point and leave the top two leaves on the plant.
Apply some Miracle-Gro® FastRoot1® Dry Powder Rooting Hormone to the trimmed end, then place it in a small container of moist Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix.
Water the new plant just when you notice roots growing.
How to Grow Dieffenbachia: Recap
Are you eager to start your dieffenbachia plants? Simply click on the related link above to learn more about a product, make an online purchase, or find a local retailer.
Is dieffenbachia easy to grow?
It’s not difficult to care for a Dieffenbachia plant inside, but it’ll thrive if you give it enough light, moderate to high humidity, and constant watering.
How fast does dieffenbachia grow?
A healthy Dieffenbachia plant may reach a height of 2 feet in a year.
How long can a dieffenbachia houseplant live?
Dieffenbachia houseplants may be kept alive for many years by watering regularly and repotting when the leaves begin to fade.
Does overwatering affect dieffenbachia?
Overwatering may be harmful to your plant. Root rot, which can harm your plant, can occur if the roots are unable to absorb enough water.
Can brown or yellow-ish leaves turn green again?
If you allow your dieffenbachia plant to dry out, the leaves will become a different hue and never return to their original shade.
Stop allowing them to have an effect on others by simply cutting relations with them.
Why are my Dieffenbachia leaves drooping?
Waterlogging usually results in drooping leaves. Examine the soil by touching it; if it appears dry, the plant will most likely require watering.
If the soil is wet yet the leaves are withering, the problem might be too much water, not enough light, or too cold temperatures.
My plant is developing brown tips on the leaves, what’s going on?
Browning tips are commonly caused by inconsistent watering. Water your plant on a regular basis. Keep your plant’s soil slightly dry to avoid root rot.
Furthermore, there should be no protracted periods of soil drying out. Adjust the watering and cut off the brown tips with clean shears, following the natural curvature of the leaf.
How do I keep my plants growth even and full?
Dieffenbachia produces a lot of new growth. If you don’t rotate your plant on a regular basis, it will develop a barren area on one side since it will grow toward the light source.
A sufficient amount of fertilizer fed to the plant will stimulate new growth. Pruning your plant on a regular basis will keep it from getting top heavy.
It’s critical to clean your hands promptly after pruning, so wear gloves or do it anyhow. At all costs, keep the sap away from your eyes and mouth.
Dieffenbachias are nicknamed as “Dumb Canes” because their toxic sap can cause tongue swelling. Keep animals and children away from the pruning area, and always wash your hands afterward.
Dieffenbachia plants are found in the tropics of Mexico, South America, and the West Indies.
This plant is often known as “Dumb Cane” because to its irritating toxic sap, and it is not advised for a home with curious children or dogs. However, with just a little caution, there is no significant danger.
Bright indirect light is good for this plant, but direct sunlight will harm its leaves. Though it may take some time, the Dieffenbachia can adapt to the fluorescent lighting used in offices.
If you’re unsure about the lighting in your home or business, read our guide on how to measure light in a room.