From The Plant Encyclopedia
15 - 20
- Cultivation: Low-Maintenance, Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun, Dappled, Part-Shade
- Soil: Rich
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium
- Form: Herbaceous
- Habit: Evergreen
- Foliage: Leaves, Variegated, Green, Yellow, White
- Uses: Ornamental, Houseplant
Dieffenbachia () is a genus of Tropical Plants in the Family Araceae noted for their patterned Leaves. The name commemorates Ernst Dieffenbach, a German physician. Members of this Genus are popular as Houseplants because of their tolerance for shade. The common name is 'dumb cane' due to its poisoning effect on the throat due to Raphides.
Favorable conditions for houseplantsDieffenbachia plants can grow outdoors in tropical climates, but specimens kept as houseplants must be kept indoors during most of the year outside the tropics. Temperatures below about 5˚C (40˚F) can kill the plant. The plant needs light but filtered sunlight through a window is usually sufficient. When the plant is brought home from the nursery, it will likely need repotting. The plant needs moderately moist soil. The soil should be fertilized with either regular liquid fertilizing or fertilizer pellets or spikes. Leaves will periodically roll up and fall off to make way for new leaves. Yellowing of the leaves is generally a sign of problematic conditions, such as a nutrient deficiency in the soil. Dieffenbachia responds well to hot temperatures and dry climates.
Popular Cultivated Species
- Schott, H. W. and Kunst, W. Z. (1829). Für Liebhaber der Botanik.
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- Clemson Home & Garden
- Medline Plus: Dieffenbachia
- Dieffenbachia an ideal houseplant
- Botanical Online: Dieffenbachia