Herself's Houseplants

Killing plants so you don't have to

Dieffenbachia




( aka Dumb Cane )

Inexpensive and easy to grow, these plants can grow to room height in about five years. But most will only reach 6′ tall. The leaves will get larger as the plant grows, becoming several inches across as it reaches room height. If it grows too quickly you’ll need to give it a post or string for support. Rotate it as needed to be sure it grows straight. If your plant is growing quickly and too weak to hold itself up it probably wants more light.

They want medium to bright light so east or west facing windows work wonderfully. The brighter the light the more white will appear in the leaves. Depending on your home it will take southern window exposure, especially during cloudy months.

Dieffenbachia likes the soil moist, water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry.

Chewing the leaves can cause a burning sensation in your mouth and swelling possibly making it impossible to breath so consider this plant toxic to pets and children. The sap causes temporary speechlessness as well, which is how it received the name ‘dumb cane’.

Watch for mealy bugs ( they look like cotton on the plant )

Leaf drop starting at the bottom and working up is usually from too little light.

Leaves turning white, yellow or grey are getting too much light.

Edges of leaves turn brown when there is salt damage. Because these plants get large it may be hard to water them in the sink. If you can do so, let the water run through the pot and out the bottom. If not, you may want to repot it with fresh soil a few times a year.

Soft, squishy areas on the stem or soft squishy spots on leaves are from bacterial damage. Usually this is too much water in the winter when the plant is not getting sufficient sun. Remove damaged areas with a clean knife, repot and give the plant more light or less water.

Spider mites can spot your leaves, or yellow them. Orange oil or washing with soapy water, then rinsing with clean water usually takes care of them.

See also:
Plants for people who hate plants

Useful things:
Dieffenbachia

Credits:
Thanks for the photo