Why Is My Dieffenbachia Flowering?

These plants don’t flower very often, so if you are here because you’re wondering “Why is my dieffenbachia flowering?” Then chances are you’re doing something right!

We’re here to tell you all about these elusive flowers, and what you can do to encourage them as well as how to take care of your flowering dumb cane.

Why Is My Dieffenbachia Flowering?

Why is my dieffenbachia flowering

Your dieffenbachia is flowering? First of all, well done you – this is no easy feat to achieve on these houseplants!

Dieffenbachia is notoriously difficult to make bloom indoors. They are native to he Tropics, where they are consistently warm and humid, and are pollinated naturally.

If your dieffenbachia is flowering, it is a sign that the plant is very happy and it has everything it needs.

You are clearly giving the plant all the right conditions, so if your dumb cane flowers then just keep doing whatever you’re doing because it is working!

These plants do not self-fertilise, so they will not bloom unless you have at least two around the place – and even then it is not guaranteed.

The flowers are pretty nondescript, a little like Peace Lily flowers – they are a white upright bloom, without much bright colour or scent.

In their native habitat, the plants are pollinated by beetles, so their smell is not particularly noticeable – or pleasant – for people!

What To Do When Dieffenbachia Flowers?

Well, firstly you should give yourself a pat on the back and tell yourself “well done” – some people spend years trying and failing to get this plant to bloom!

You don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary to support your plant – by flowering it is telling you that you are already giving it all the right conditions.

Just keep its favourite conditions going, and congratulate yourself for this unusual phenomenon.

You can leave the flower on the plant to admire and show off to your houseplant friends, and it will not affect the plant in any way.

If you love your dieffenbachia for the leaves and are not too fussed about the flower, then removing it will also not cause the plant any problems.

It will generally only flower once a year, and sometimes not for years, so you won’t have to worry too much about what to do with these unusual blooms.

This little video will tell you everything you need to know about dieffenbachia flowers:

Should I Remove Dieffenbachia Flower?

You can, or you can leave it – it is completely up to you whether you take the flower off or just leave it to do its thing.

The smell of the flower varies – some describe it as having no scent at all; others say it has a distinct smell of the forest floor!

Either way, this flower is not encouraged for its delightful smell or beautiful colours, there’s no doubt about that.

If you like how it looks on the plant then you can leave it well alone until it is done blooming.

If you are growing your dieffenbachia solely for the foliage, you may want to remove it to encourage the plant to put its energies into its leaves.

You should definitely remove it once it has started to dry up and fade – leaving it after this point may encourage mould, which will be no good for either you or the plant.

Always remember, when you are doing anything to a dieffenbachia, to wear gloves and wash your hand thoroughly – the sap is poisonous and can cause problems if ingested or left on your skin.

Dispose of any parts that you remove – including the flower – safely in the bin. This will prevent any curious children or pets giving it a nibble.

What Color Is Dieffenbachia Flower?

When we think “flower” we generally think of pretty coloured petals and pollen – think of a child’s drawing of a flower.

The bloom of dieffenbachia, however, is slightly different – it is more similar to the flower of a peace lily than a pretty daisy.

The flower itself is a white or off-white colour, and it will not generally be as impressive as your dumb cane’s foliage.

Like the peace lily, dieffenbachia’s flower looks more like an upright spike, surrounded by a fold of leaves.

The short, blunt spike of the flower is called a spadix, and the modified leaf that surrounds it is called a spathe. The whole thing is known as an inflorescence.

The spadix is the part that is actually the “flower”, though the spathe is more noticeable, being a lighter green than the rest of the leaves.

They generally won’t flower as houseplants, so you won’t see it too often – but now you know what they look like you won’t be surprised if yours does unexpectedly bloom!

How Do You Pollinate Dieffenbachia Flower?

How Do You Pollinate Dieffenbachia Flower?

These plants are not self pollinators; in the wilds of the native habitat they are generally pollinated by a certain type of beetle.

They will not, like some plants, be pollinated by the breeze blowing pollen about the place – it is a more specific process than that.

You can pollinate your dieffenbachia yourself, as long as you have two plants as they cannot do the job alone.

Take a small paintbrush and run it over the sticky part of the stigma to wet it enough to pick up the pollen (the male flowers are near the top, the female ones near the bottom).

Next, run the brush over the pollen part, then dab the brush inside the female flower and you should have managed successful pollination.

This little article shows you, with pictures, the best way to pollinate your dieffenbachia.

As you probably know, if you have been growing this plant for a while, it is very unusual that they flower as houseplants.

Now you know that they can, hopefully you are armed with all the information you need, should yours start blooming unexpectedly!

2 thoughts on “Why Is My Dieffenbachia Flowering?”

  1. Nicky, just to let you know that your article has made a difference to me, I need to write to you in the wee hours before I lose my excitement! I just watered my plants and noticed my dieffenbachia needed water badly. But I also found eight—really, 8!—blooms on it! It’s the only plant like this in the house, and according to your blog, I need 2 for flowering. Not sure how that happened, but you made my evening by writing it’s hard to get them to bloom. I believe it. This plant was a wedding gift from a friend over 32 years ago, and I have pruned regularly. Not sure if I’ve ever repotted it, though. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement to my neglectful green thumb. You have great articles. :0) I’m in Iowa, by the way, and this plant has not been outside since 1991, but it’s gotten awesome indirect light on the south side all its life.

    • Hi Diane, wow that’s amazing! I’m so pleased for you – you must have been thrilled to count all those flowers! It sounds like you’re doing everything right – keep up the good work on your Dieffenbachia. And thanks for the feedback – you’re so welcome, it’s really nice to know my articles are well-received 🙂


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