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Dieffenbachia was cultivated in England before 1759 and upper Amazon indigenous groups are known to have used their calcium oxalates to make poison arrows. Dieffenbachia flowers can generate large amounts of excess heat which botanists believe attracts potential pollinators to the flower's warmth. 🐝
Also known as
Dumb Cane 'Mars'
How to care for Dieffenbachia
How often to water your Dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
Finding light for Dieffenbachia in your home
Dieffenbachia can tolerate being far from a window and light source.
Place it less than 6 feet from a south-facing window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪.
We wouldn’t recommend testing its limits during this time of reduced sunlight intensity in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ⛅.
How to fertilize Dieffenbachia
Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.
By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.
To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Dieffenbachia after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.
Dieffenbachia is generally considered an easy-to-care-for plant and makes a great choice for beginners!
Dieffenbachia prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.
Dieffenbachia can tolerate being far from a window and light source. Place it less than 6 feet from a south-facing window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.
Dieffenbachia is extremely dangerous if consumed. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian immediately. Dieffenbachia is not recommended for homes with children, cats, or dogs.
Dieffenbachia doesn’t require additional humidity. Plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves, so the best way to provide humidity for your plants is through watering the soil.
Dieffenbachia does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!
Dieffenbachia should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!
It’s common for Dieffenbachia to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.
Dieffenbachia is native to the Caribbean and tropical South America.
Yes, you may see your Dieffenbachia bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.
Dieffenbachia grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Dieffenbachia can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12a. Find your local hardiness zone here.
Dieffenbachia can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:
- Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
- To get the cutting to root, you can either:
- Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
- Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.
Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.
Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Dieffenbachia, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.
Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!
Care Summary for Dieffenbachia
0.5 cups every 9 days
< 6ft from a window
Repot after 2x growth
Based on your location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.
What other plant parents say
Needs to be watered at least once a week. I keep it by my sink in the kitchen and it seems to love the humidity as well when I am doing dishes I feel the soil and just soak it through and then forget about it!
I am by far not the most dedicated plant parent but this is doing great and it gives great confidence to plant parents who are just starting out.
I was given mine as a prop and it just took off!