Dieffenbachia Care
Plant Care

Dieffenbachia Care

Dieffenbachias are easy to care for – just give them a misting regularly to keep them humid.

Dieffenbachia Care Summary

Light needs:Low to medium.
Watering needs:Let the plant’s top layer dry out between watering. Check weekly.
Fertilizer:Use a balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks in the hotter months
Soil:Keep them moist but not sitting in water.
Temperature:17-30°C (67-86°F)
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Dumb cane.
Common issues:Overwatering


Dieffenbachia, also known as dumb canes, originate from the Central and South American tropics and are part of the Araceae family. Their patterned leaves have lead them to become a much loved house plant. Welcome to our Dieffenbachia care guide.

Dieffenbachia Light Needs

Dieffenbachia will do just fine in low light conditions, so are great for homes that don’t get loads of sunlight. It can even tolerate very low shady areas of your home. If given more indirect sunlight it will grow faster though. No direct sunlight though, as this can burn the plant.

How Often to Water A Dieffenbachia

Let the plant’s top layer dry out between watering, test it with your finger to make sure the soil is dry for half it’s length. It will need more in the hotter months where the plant grows more.

Dieffenbachia Care

Dieffenbachia Fertilizer

Use a balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks in the growing season to encourage the plant to grow quicker and bushier.

Dieffenbachia Soil

Dieffenbachia’s like wet soil, but they do not like to sit in water, which may seem like a contradiction, but the best thing to do is to give them a well-draining potting compost with plenty of perlite that will help keep the soil from water logging.

When To Repot A Dieffenbachia

Repot your plant in spring if it’s roots are so big that some are growing thought the drainage holes. This will ensure it will grow well in the coming season.

Dieffenbachia Humidity

Aim for 60%. These tropical house plants are big fans of humidity, they will do ok in normal household humidity levels, but will appreciate a misting at watering time too. You can make your plant more humid by putting it’s pot inside a a bigger pot with a layer of pebbles in the bottom. Fill the pebble layer with water (but no higher, roots or soil should no sit in the water). This will keep the humidity levels higher around the plant.

Dieffenbachia Close Up Leaf

Dieffenbachia Temperature

Normal home temperatures are good for dieffenbachias. Don’t let them get too cold in winter – anything below 10ºC or 50ºF could cause the plant damage.

How To Propagate Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia is easy to propagate, you can plant sections of talk without any rotos or even leaves on them. Take off one of the stems, and chop it into sections. Let the cutting callous over for a day so that the wounds heal over. Get a pot of soil and lie the cuttings on tp of it, then press them down so that they are halfway submerged. Cover the pot with a plastic bag, leaving a hole for air to get in and out, but closing most of it so that it raises the humidity around the cutting.

Keep it in medium indirect sunlight, warm and moist. Fully open the bag every couple of days to make sure fresh air gets in. The plants should root in about a month and then start to put out new leaves.
For more on dieffenbachia propagation see our guide: Dieffenbachia Propagation.

Where To Cut Dieffenbachia For Propagation?

Cut it into 2 or 3 inch (6 or 7 cm) sections, along the stem. There are a lot of rooting points on the stem and you will definitely have rooting and growth points on a 2 inch section of seem.

See also: Dieffenbachia Propagation.

Where To Buy Dieffenbachia

Lots of small plant stores and garden centers will stock it, if not try Etsy.

Other Names for Dieffenbachia

Dumb cane.

Dumb Cane

Dieffenbachia Care FAQs and Common Issues

The most common issue with dieffenbachia is overwatering – they like to be wet, but do not like to sit in water.

Do Dieffenbachia Flower?

They flower a little bit like to a peace lily – with a sword-like flower sitting in a scabbard.

Do Dieffenbachia Grow Fast?

They grow really fast and can grow over half a meter a year (2 feet).

Do Dieffenbachia Like To Be Crowded?

They are ok to be a little bit crowded but separate them out and pot them up a size if needed to the best out of them.

Can Dieffenbachia Grow In Water?

They can be rooted and grown in water alone, and kept there indefinitely as long as you keep the water topped up and change it if it goes cloudy.

Can Dieffenbachia Grow Outside?

Yes you can grow them out side, but if the temperature dips below 10°C (50°F) then bring them in.

Why Is Dieffenbachia Called Dumb Cane?

It’s called dumb cane due to the toxins in it which can cause your mouth to numb and stop you being able to speak. Do not eat this!

Dieffenbachia Vs Aglaonema?

Dieffenbachia leaves are bigger and oval shaped, where as aglaonemas have more slender elongated leaves. Aglaonema are much smaller with dieffenbachia being a lot taller when mature.

Why Are The Leaves Drooping?

Dieffenbachia leaves droop due to not enough water. Make sure to water it regularly, especially in the spring and summer growing months.

Why Are The Leaves On My Dieffenbachia Turning Brown?

Their leaves can brown from irregular watering, or overfeeding. Try watering more regularly and dilute the fertilizer. Mist the plants too incase the browning is due to low humidity.

Is Dieffenbachia Toxic?

It is toxic to both humans and pets if eaten, so don’t eat it! The sap can cause skin irritation too, so be careful.

Is Dieffenbachia Toxic To Cats?

Yes it is toxic to cats, it contains calcium oxalate. Seek vets advice if eaten.

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Hope you found this Dieffenbachia Care guide useful. You might like our other Plant Care articles, Prayer Plant Care, Bird Of Paradise Plant Care, Monstera Deliciosa Care, Pothos Plant Care, Pilea Peperomioides Care, and Neon Pothos Care.

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