In Brazil you will often find the Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane) at front doors. According to Brazilian folk culture, the plant offers protection against negative energy. On this page you’ll find all information on Dieffenbachia care, from the ideal spot until repotting instructions. Follow these Dieffenbachia care guidelines and help yours live a long and healthy life.
The Dieffenbachia is a real eye catcher thanks to its white-green spotted leaves. But this plant is not only popular for its good looks; it is also a strong air-purifying plant. The plant is originally from the Amazon. After the plant was introduced in Europe, it was named after Joseph Dieffenbach. Mr. Dieffenbach was the hortulanus of the Schönbrunn palace in Vienna during the early 19th century. With proper care, you can enjoy this decorative houseplant for a long time. Read on for all Dieffenbachia care tips.
Dieffenbachia light requirements
During summer, place the Dumb Cane in a spot in partial shade. During winter, you can move the plant to a bright spot clear of direct sunlight. Also make sure that the plant is in a draft-free spot, where it is never colder than 16 ° C. Are the leaves losing their colour a bit? That probably means that the Dumb Cane is in a place that is too bright, and it is best to move it further away from the window.
Dieffenbachia care: water
Regularly give the Dieffenbachia small amounts of lukewarm water to make sure the potting soil is always mildly moist. Never give a large amount of water in one go, and make sure there’s never a layer of excess water at the bottom of the pot. During winter the Dieffenbachia needs less water. Allow the potting soil to dry a bit before watering it again.
Repot the Dieffenbachia once every 2 years, during spring. Choose a pot that is at least 20% larger than the current pot, allowing the roots plenty of room to grow. Be sure to wear gloves when repotting. The milky juice in the stems and leaves is poisonous, and can be released when you remove old leaves, for example. We recommend placing a layer of hydro granules at the bottom of the pot when repotting. That way, it won’t matter if you overwater the plant, as the hydro granules provide drainage.
Dieffenbachia care: Fertilizer requirements
Once you receive the plant, it will not need any fertilizer for the next 2 months. This is because the plant can still obtain sufficient nutrition from the fresh potting soil. After these initial 2 months, the Dieffenbachia only needs fertilizer during spring and summer. For the specific amount of plant food, have a look at the packaging and never use more than recommended. This can lead to damage to the roots. The plant does not need any nutrients during fall and winter.
Is the Dieffenbachia plant poisonous?
All outdoor and indoor plants on Plantler have a decorative purpose; they’re not fit for consumption – unless it is explicitly stated that they are (i.e. a fruit tree). The Dieffenbachia is poisonous to humans and animals when it is touched and ingested. This milky juice is in the leaves and stems, and can be released, for example, when you remove old leaves. Contact a doctor if you touch or ingest the juice.