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Dieffenbachia species & cultivars

Care Tips

Habit: Medium to large single-stemmed to clumping perennials producing bamboo-like stems up to 1.5 m tall indoors with either solid green or variously green, white or yellow variegated leaves and generally insignificant flowers.

Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 10ᐤ C may result in damage to leaves while temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.

Light Exposure: Green leaved varieties can stand full shade but the variegated varieties need bright, indirect light but not exposed to direct sunlight which will burn the leaves.

Watering: Dieffenbachia likes a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 5 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once or twice a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and twice a week in the hot dry season.

Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once every five weeks during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant). Plants are sensitive to over fertilisation and will begin to decline if fertilised too frequently.

Pruning/Repotting: Remove any yellowing leaves as necessary. Dieffenbachia may need repotting every three or four years depending on size; repot in spring as new growth is starting.

Pests/Diseases: Aphids, mealybugs and spider mites may attack plants; while a number of fungal pathogens cause various leaf-spot diseases and a viral mosaic infection.

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