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Dieffenbachia

I recently received one of the most beautiful dieffenbachia I’ve ever seen. It’s name is ‘Tropic Honey’. I don’t want to lose this plant, but don’t know how to care for it. Can you give me some suggestions?

You are in luck because dieffenbachia is one of the easiest houseplants you can grow. They will tolerate dim light as well as the dry conditions of our homes during the winter.

For the best results place your dieffenbachia in moderate light and away from direct sunlight, which can cause the leaves to burn or yellow.

When it comes to water, this plant prefers moderate moisture. So only water when the soil is dry to the touch and don’t let the plant sit in water because this may lead to root rot.

Feed your plant during the growing season (spring through late summer) with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer about once a month.

The common name for dieffenbachia is dumb cane and this name should be a warning to you. The leaves and stems are poisonous. If consumed they can cause a temporary loss of speech and painful swelling of the mouth and lips. A chemical in the leaves called calcium oxalate causes this reaction. This characteristic is particularly important to note if you have pets or small children.

If you’ve ever grown this plant, you know it can get tall and leggy as it matures, losing many of its lower leaves. If this occurs I recommend cutting the stalks back to about 8 to 10 inches. Everywhere you cut it, it will flush new growth. And with all of those pieces you cut off the top, just stick them into some moist soil and they will root. In no time you’ll have a lot more to share with friends and family.