The Dumb Cane Plant

Growing Spotted Dieffenbachias

About the growing and care of the dumb cane plant. Propagating the dumb cane houseplant. Rooting all varieties of Dieffenbachias. Dieffenbachia description, images and repotting info.

Dieffenbachia Pictures

Dieffenbachias used in an interiorscape planting at Central Florida Regional Hospital.
Dumb cane plant growing in the ground at Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Florida.


When young, this handsome evergreen features a single, thick cane. As the plant matures, other canes emerge from the soil giving it a palm-like appearance.

Oblong, pointed leaves spiral around these canes in a variety of patterns depending on the cultivar.

Dieffenbachia maculata Randolph Roehrs displays chartreuse leaves marbled with ivory. Each one is divided down the center by a deep green midrib.

Dieffenbachia seguine Tropic Snow has a broad, dark green edge and midrib with cream and light green markings toward the center.

And D. compacta is so called because of its tendency to remain compact instead of becoming leggy like most other varieties.

A dumb cane houseplant will reach the ceiling in time. It can easily be kept to any height you like. Simply top the plant at the required height. Use the piece of can you remove for propagation.

Mature plants will produce arum-like flowers which should be removed if you feel they detract from the showy leaves.

Dieffenbachia Care

Delightful Dieffenbachia Plant

Send a Delightful Dieffenbachia Plant

An excellent indoor plant, it can be kept inside year round. It will survive in reading level light but a bit more brightness will be beneficial. Place it in a northern or eastern exposure.

Average indoor humidity is fine.

Water your Dieffenbachia thoroughly, then allow it to dry between waterings.

Feed monthly during the growing season only. Wash the leaves occasionally and pick off any yellowed leaves.

Propation of the Dieffenbachia Plant

Father's Day Spathiphyllum and Dieffenbachia -

Father's Day Spathiphyllum and Dumb Cane Plant

Propagating this plant is easy. Insert 4 inch pieces of the canes or stems into warm, moist peat in spring or early summer. Keep track of which end is up as the top will need to be sticking up out of the soil. If you lose track, lay the pieces horizontally on the surface of the potting mix and push them in half way.

Or, root tip cuttings in water. Rinse the leaves in water frequently while the cutting forms roots.

Repotting Dieffenbachia

Serene Retreat Basket

Serene Retreat Basket

Pot root bound plants into a larger container. Use a peat based mix.

At this time, small offsets can be separated and potted into their own containers

Dieffenbachia Turning Yellow

Image of a dumb cane plant in a pot.

This is usually the result of the plant getting too much sun. Give it no more than 2 hours of direct sun in a northern, eastern, or western exposure per day.

Too little light will cause poor coloring.

If the soil is allowed to dry out, the leaf edges will discolor.

If your Dieffenbachia is drooping, it needs water.

Dumb Cane Plant Toxin

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The stems exude a white sap that will cause the tongue to swell painfully if it gets into the mouth. This often renders the victim temporarily unable to speak. It is because of this effect that the plant acquired its common name.

Calcium oxalate crystals are the actual culprits here.

The effect is rarely life-threatening and can usually be treated using analgesics, antihistimines, and activated charcoal.

Still, it is best to keep this plant away from children, cats, and dogs.

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