With their large, colorful leaves, dieffenbachias make striking houseplants that add a tropical flair wherever they’re placed. Dieffenbachias thrive when given suitable conditions. Follow these guidelines on watering, lighting, humidity, and other essential care for dieffenbachia plants both indoors and out.
Provide Consistent Watering for Dieffenbachias Plants
Inconsistent watering causes more problems for dieffenbachias than just about anything else. They require soil that is kept moist but not saturated. Dieffenbachias should be watered at minimum every 7-10 days.
Water less frequently in cool weather when plants are not actively growing. Increase frequency during hot, dry spells, especially if plants are situated in full sun.
Ideally use room temperature filtered or distilled water avoid fluorides and chemicals that accumulate in tap water.
Water until it drains freely from bases when potted. Set outdoor dieffenbachias situated in garden beds on drip irrigation systems or timers to ensure regular moisture.
Boost Humidity For Dieffenbachias
Dieffenbachias thrive when relative humidity levels are kept above 50 percent. Boost humidity levels around these tropical plants by misting foliage frequently with a spray bottle.
Use a gravel humidity tray filled with pebbles and water, making sure plants never sit directly in water.
Outdoors, plant in shaded locations protected from drying winds. Surround with other plants that contribute their own moisture to the microclimate through transpiration.
Bring outdoor container plants indoors or under cover if humidity drops below 30 percent for extended periods.
Provide Bright, Indirect Sunlight
Dieffenbachias flourish best in bright indoor locations near windows where they receive abundant indirect sunlight.
If plant leaves losing vibrant variegation and new growth appearing small or far between stems indicates plants need more light.
Display in Warm Locations
Dieffenbachia plants thrive best in warm conditions between 60-80°F. Keep away from cold drafts from windows and doors which can causes unsightly leaf spotting. In zones 9-11, dieffenbachias grow well outdoors year round.
In cooler climates, they must be grown in containers and overwintered indoors. Move plants outside once overnight temperatures remain above 55°F.
Before the first fall frost, bring plants back indoors to suitable warm locations near bright windows.
Provide Optimal Growing Media
Dieffenbachias thrive when grown in a rich, well-draining potting mix. Prepare planting beds with copious organic matter like compost, aged manure, leaf mold and worm castings worked into soil to provide nutrients.
Groom and Prune When Needed
Remove spent leaves and stems by cutting back to the base of the plant.
Doing light pruning periodically keeps plants looking their best by removing old growth and directing energy to new foliage production.
Wipe broad dieffenbachia leaves down periodically with a damp cloth to keep them dust-free and vibrant.
Watch for Pests
Check dieffenbachia plants frequently for common houseplant pests like aphids, spider mites, mealybugs and scale.
Isolate and treat infested plants promptly to prevent spreading. Wiping leaves down with neem oil or insecticidal soap spray helps deter future infestations after treating present ones.
Provide Proper Fertilization
Feed container plants monthly during active growth periods with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.
Outdoor in-ground dieffenbachias benefit from light supplemental feedings of compost, worm castings or organic granular fertilizer worked shallowly into beds surrounding plants.
Discontinue feeding 6-8 weeks before dormancy period induced by cool weather begins.
With large variegated leaves sometimes called “dumb canes,” it’s easy to understand why dieffenbachias have long been popular houseplants. A little understanding of their preferences for warm, humid environments and moderately bright light keeps them thriving attractively with ease.