dieffenbachia – dumb cane

the diffenbachia is a very popular houseplant and there are a lot of cultivars with leaves spotted or striped from white to yellow or green available. the common name dumb cane is based of the poisonous nature of their sap. the genus diffenbachia belongs to the araceae family and is native to the tropical america.

as indoor plants often used are cultivars of dieffenbachia amoena, d. bausei or d. seguine.


dieffenbachias like bright light without direct sun but do also good on a half shady place. if placed to dark they will grow a bit slower and the extreme white colored cultivars will show more greenish leaves.

they can be cultivated in a good regular potting mix which has to be kept constantly moist but not wet. overwatering can cause root rot. they also shouldn’t completely dry out.

a water soluble fertilizer can be given at a half strength monthly during spring/summer and every six to eight weeks in fall/winter. re-potted or fresh bought plants don’t need to be fed for the first eight weeks.

dumb canes like a warm place throughout the year with a winter minium of 15 °c (59 °f). if sprayed over with water regularly this keeps their leaves free from dust.

cuttings from d. oerstedii


dumb canes can be propagated by cuttings.