Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia Houseplant Care

Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia houseplant care is very easy. One of the important things to remember is that this plant has toxic sap. If you get it in your mouth, it can cause your throat to swell up and close.  Keep it away from pets as well as away from children. Always wash your hands after you handle the leaves. Some people are allergic to just a little bit of exposure to it. Also, wash your tools after use. This is one of the houseplants that you have to consciously keep away from pets and kids.

Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia Houseplant Care

Varieties of Dumb Cane.

There are many varieties and types of Dumb Cane. One popular variety of dumb cane is green magic. The variety has a beautiful very pronounced white midrib down the center and it’s gorgeous. Other varieties are Camille, Carina, Compacta, Delilah, Exotica, Honeydew, Mary, and Rebecca.

Dumb Cane Light Requirements

Dumb Cane plants are quite adaptable to many different lighting situations. The best is medium-light where the plant gets a lot of artificial light during the day and then has some natural light in the afternoon.

The plants can also grow in low light. However, they’re probably not going to grow as fast and the leaves might not be as big, colorful, and variegated. These plants, as well as many other tropical plants, thrive in medium to bright indirect light.

If you’re placing the plant against a wall, remember to rotate them. Allowing the plant to get light on all sides will help the plant to start leafing from all sides and have a well-rounded plant.

If you notice is that if your leaves are coming out small and not growing at all, move your plant to where it’s getting more light.  

Dumb Cane Soil Requirements

Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia houseplant care also includes providing the plant with the appropriate soil. Dumb cane thrives in well-drained soil. However, the soil shouldn’t be too porous that the roots can’t access the moisture. 60% soil mixed in with 20% compost and 20% perlite or pumice or coarse sand.

The soil should allow for air movement. If it’s too compacted plants don’t do well, they’re struggling to try and find the oxygen. In some cases, they can get root rot when the soil is too compact.

Dumb cane plants prefer to dry out between watering. They will let you know when they’re ready for water because the leaves become a little droopy. If you let them dry out too much, the leaves will start to turn yellow and fall off.

Just to note; if you get any yellow leaves just wait for them to dry out and then pull them off. Avoid using pruners and making cuts on the plant which allows access for bacteria and fungus and pests.

 If you have plants in small containers be prepared to water them more often because there’s not much soil in there as compared to a larger pot.

Fertilizer Requirements for Dumb Cane

Young Dumb Cane plants love to be fertilized because they haven’t established their root system.  Give the plants a little bit of complete liquid fertilizer that’s very diluted. During the growing season you can add the fertilizer almost every time you water them, but during the offseason do it lightly or not at all.

If you don’t use liquid fertilizers, you can top-dress it with worm castings once or twice in Spring. If you over-fertilize your plants, you’ll start seeing curling leaves. If you notice curled edges back off and also leech out the soil to get rid of the salts and the minerals that have built up.

Temperature Requirements for Dumb Cane

Dumb cane plants can live in a wide range of temperatures but they don’t like to go below 600F. They perform well between 650F and 750F and even warmer. However, when it’s warmer you’ll need to water them more often.

Avoid cold drafts because they will get sensitive to it. If you notice your leaves are droopy, move it to a warmer spot in your house.

Propagating Dumb Cane in Soil and Water

Propagating Dumb cane is easy. The plant can be propagated in two ways.

Water Propagation

I like to propagate it in water because I get to see the roots forming.  Make a cutting just below a leaf node and put the cutting in a glass, vase, or jar of water. Make sure your cutting has several leaves and not just one.

Make sure the node is submerged in water. Then wait for the cutting to form roots. After the plant forms healthy roots, you can then transplant it into the soil.

Soil Propagation

The soil propagation process is similar to water propagation. You get a cutting but instead of putting it in the water, you stick it in soil. Keep the soil moist for about a month. Don’t overwater the plant because you will kill it.

Give it a lot of light but not direct sunlight because it will burn their leaves.

Pests, Disease, and Problems for Dumb Cane

There are no plants that are resistant to everything and dumb cane plants are not either. The biggest problem for Dumb Cane is mealy bugs. They can also be attacked by thrips. Their leaves can also get eaten by caterpillars.  

To control the pests, you can do it manually by removing the pests if they are not many. You can remove the pests by hand or by hosing down the large plants. This should be followed by applying neem oil.

However, if the pests are many and it’s a full-blown infestation, you should consider using a pesticide.  

Other problems with the dumb cane include salt build-up and mineral build-up in the soil. Leach the soil and get the excess minerals off. To do so, hold the plant under running water and allow it to flow right through.

Frequently check the overall general health of your plant. Pull it out of the pot if you suspect that something’s going on that you can’t see on the foliage. Look at the roots and see if your plant has been sitting in water for too long.

Dumb Cane Poisonous for Cats and Dogs

Yes, Dumb Cane is toxic to all types of pets and humans. Most pets tend to leave plants alone but if you have a curious pet, you might want to place this plant out of reach.

Check this post on other houseplants that are poisonous to pets.


Dumb Cane is one of the low maintenance houseplants that anyone including beginners should try. It produces beautiful leaves and fills any space with life. I hope you found this post on Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia houseplant care helpful. If so, please share the post and also follow me on Pinterest for more useful posts.

Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia Houseplant Care Tips



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