Scientific name: Dieffenbachia
Dieffenbachia originally comes from Tropical America. This plant is known for its foliage, dark green with white blotches. They are called Dumb Cane because of their milky sap, which contains a poisonous compound called strychnine, when ingested makes you speechless, similar to alum. It’s not the kind of plant you should buy if you have toddlers, or pets that will chew on them. Dieffenbachia is considered moderately easy to look after.
Bright light is required for these plants, but shaded from direct sun. Place them 1-2m away from a window. The color of the plant will suffer if it has poor light conditions losing its characteristic white patches, and turning into pale green.
Dieffenbachia as a houseplant enjoys warm rooms (20C to 30C). It is important to keep a high level of humidity, therefore let it stand on gravel tray.
Poke the compost with your finger, approximately 2-3 cm deep, to know if the plant is thirsty. Wait for the soil to dry between irrigations. Keep compost gently moist at all times. Be cautious, when watering, that water doesn’t touch the thick stem of the Dieffenbachia, not to take a chance with Botrites – decaying bacteria. Do not spray the leaves, for the same reason.
In winter, be careful not to overwater the plant.
These plants should be fed routinely every 15 days, in the growing season.
Being very fragile, these plants should be kept away from places, that people can accidently bang into. For this reason, place plant away from curtains and small walkways.
Varieties of Dumb Cane available in store