Common Name: Dumb Cane
Botanical Name: Dieffenbachia maculate, Dieffenbachia Seguine, Dieffenbachia amoena
The large and showy Dieffenbachia is an excellent tropical houseplant and can be the perfect living decoration for the office or home. The lush plant from the tropics of South America, and the West Indies is also known as “Dumb Cane” due to its toxic sap.
This plant is not ideal for places with curious pets and small children. If ingested, it burns the mouth, numbs your throat, and paralyzes the vocal cord. But it poses no significant threat if you take precautionary measures.
The Dieffenbachia genus consists of a large group of striking tropical perennial species. The most commonly grown species in cultivation include:
Dieffenbachia is a vibrant and easy-to-care-for plant that will adapt to different environments and requires little attention from you. It means you do not need to bother much about the plant. The plant features ovate, pointed leaves in a variety of combinations of cream, green and white colors. As far as the height of the plant is concerned, the plant can reach 10 feet. The leaves can grow 20 inches long. In indoor conditions, Dieffenbachia will rarely reach this size.
Make sure that the plant gets enough bright light to grow. Here we do not mean that you should keep the pot in direct sunlight as it can cause damage to the plant. Keep the pot in a place where it gets indirect sunlight.
The plant produces flowers, but they usually remain hidden under the showy foliage.
Dieffenbachia is poisonous if ingested, so you need to be very careful if you have kids and pets in the house.
How to take care of Dieffenbachia?
Here is how you can take care of Dieffenbachia:
Everyone knows how important light is for a plant’s growth.
Most varieties of Dieffenbachia do well in low lights, but some of the varieties need a little more indirect sunlight to grow. The plant will grow in low light as well, but the growth will be slow.
To facilitate healthy new leaves, you should provide them more indirect light to the plant but bear in mind that direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.
The plants need water but overwatering the indoor plants can destroy them. Dieffenbachia plants like to neither sit in the water nor dry out completely. You need to figure out when the plant needs water. Make sure the soil does not dry out completely, as it may ruin the plant. Also, ensure that the plant never sits in the water.
The plant loves moisture in the air. You should have 60 percent humidity level in the air. You can also use a humidifier to maintain the humidity level. Place the plant atop the tray filled with pebbles and water if you do not have a humidifier.
It is highly important to know the right temperature Dieffenbachia plants need to grow. The plant needs a temperature between 60-850F. Bear in mind that if the temperature drops below 500F, Dieffenbachia will stop growing.
If you are planning to grow Dieffenbachia, you should know when the right time to feed the plant is. You should not feed them in winter. In case you have put the pot in a place where the plant is getting enough bright light, then you should feed it more frequently. Feed the plant half-strength complete liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
Some pro tips:
Here are a few additional tips that can help you grow this tropical plant in your home or office:
- Since the plant is toxic, you should keep it away from kids and pets. It is better not to grow it in the house if you cannot keep an eye on curious pets and kids.
- Cut the lower leaves down at the base as leaf loss is common.
- If you notice droopy leaves, then you should check the soil. It happens due to underwatering the plant. You should know when the right time to water the plant is.
- Uneven watering can cause browning tips, so make sure you water your plant regularly.
- You should report the smaller desktop pots every 12-18 months.
- For large floor plants, it is suggested to repot them every 18-24 months.
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