A dieffenbachia is a big, beautiful houseplant, that will add an air of elegance and grace to any room you house it in.
If you are wondering how to care for dieffenbachia dumb cane, you are not alone! We have gathered together all the information you will need to look after this stunning plant.
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How To Care For Dieffenbachia Dumb Cane
This is a lovely plant, and one that should thrive happily in your house – as long as you allow it its favourite conditions.
- Dieffenbachias likes bright, indirect sunlight, so place it in a spot in your house where it receives light but is not burned by the sun.
- This plant likes a fertile soil, which is well draining so as to prevent the roots from getting waterlogged and starting to rot.
- As it originates from tropical areas, your dieffenbachia will like to be kept humid – misting can help with this.
- Placing the pot on a tray will with pebbles that you can soak will also help to add to the humidity that dieffenbachia loves.
- Always allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out before you water it. This will prevent problems caused by overwatering.
- As the plant grows, the lower leaves may become weak, spindly and yellow – you can remove these to give the plant a better chance.
- You should rotate your dieffenbachia periodically, to allow the plant a chance to get light on all of its sides.
- In the winter, cut down the amount of watering you do as the weather will naturally be less dry – once or twice a month should be plenty.
- Feed it with a diluted balanced fertiliser suitable for houseplants, around every 4-6 weeks, to give it a bit of a nutrient boost.
- If the plant grows too big for your space, you can prune it from the top with a sharp, sterilised knife or secateurs, to allow it to fill out from below.
This video will show you some basics of dieffenbachia care – it’s not very long, but very comprehensive:
How Much Sunlight Does A Dieffenbachia Need?
These plants are native to tropical areas, which might make you think that they need constant sunlight, day in and day out. This is not the case!
Dieffenbachia need indirect sunlight; that is sunlight that does not shine completely onto the plant, but which still offers a lot of light.
You can achieve this by placing them in an east facing window, or by shading them behind other sun loving plants.
A sheer curtain placed in front of a window will also allow plenty of light that is not too direct for this plant.
If you place your dumb cane in direct sunlight for long periods of time, you will find that the leaves get a scorched, burnt look, and ultimately your plant will not survive.
Unlike many other plants, dieffenbachia will also grow in full shade. It will not grow quite so well or so vigorously in these conditions, but it will still grow!
How Often Should You Water Dieffenbachia?
This plant does like to be kept moist, it’s true, but you should definitely not water it too much, as this can cause major problems.
In the growing season when the weather is warmer, you can water it as often as once a week, but this should be reduced in the winter.
The best thing to do is to feel the soil – if it is dry when you stick your finger in it up to the first knuckle, it’s time for a drink (the plant, not you!)
If the soil is too wet then you should hold off the watering, as too much can cause it to rot from the roots.
This is a plant that likes humidity, so you can swap a little of the water for misting – this way it will still get hydrated, without the risk of root rot.
You could also try some of the “self-watering” devices that are out there, such as watering globes.
These will allow the plant to take on the water it needs, without running the risk of over or under watering.
Does Dumb Cane Clean Air?
All plants release oxygen, to a greater or lesser degree. Dieffenbachia is one of the “greater degree” ones!
It will help to provide oxygen in exchange for carbon dioxide, which makes it a great addition to any home.
As well as adding oxygen, this plant can remove the unwanted toxins from the air, which helps with all sorts of breathing issues.
Dieffenbachia is especially good for heavily polluted areas, because it will help to clean the air that you and your family are breathing in.
Here is a great article explaining the role of plants in cleaning the air we breathe, particularly relating to their role in keeping us healthy during pandemics.
Where Do You Put A Dumb Cane?
This is a slightly tricky one. These plants need light, but it must be indirect otherwise the leaves will scorch and fade.
You should place your dieffenbachia in an east facing window, where it will get the weaker morning sun and avoid the harsher afternoon light.
If you don’t have an east facing window, you should place a curtain between the light and your plant.
Using a sheer curtain to protect your dumb cane means that it will still receive light, but that light won’t be too harsh for it to survive.
These plants can also cope with a little more shade than some others, so it can be placed in a shady corner. It will survive happily, but may not grow as vigorously.
Once you know how to care for this plant, you will be rewarded with vigorous, healthy growth and a really beautiful addition to your indoor jungle.
Now that you know more about how to care for dieffenbachia dumb cane, we hope that you and your plant can have a long and healthy relationship!
Dumb Cane Key Facts
|Bright, ambient light
|Fertile, well-draining soil with a high peat content
|Between 16-25 degrees C, avoid sudden cold drafts
|Water 1-2 times per week in warmer months, less during colder months. Keep consistently moist but not soggy
|Feed once a month with all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, diluted to half strength
|Will not flower until a few years old, rare to flower as a house plant
|Mealybugs, spider mites, aphids
|3-6 feet tall, 1-3 feet wide