Dieffenbachia, which has the unfortunate common name of ‘dumb cane’ (due to its potential to cause speaking and breathing difficulties if ingested so please don’t eat!) has attractive large green and yellow patterned leaves and brings a lovely tropical feel when grown as an indoor plant or a lush look when grown in a warm, sheltered spot out in the garden.

How to grow dieffenbachia in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 200mm wide. Outdoors, position the pot in a shady, windy protected spot or indoors in brightly lit room away from direct sunlight.
  2. Fill chosen pots with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter
  3. Plant into pot and water in well. Apply Yates Thrive Houseplant Liquid Plant Food every fortnight from spring to autumn to promote healthy plants with lush foliage growth. 
  4. Keep potting mix consistently moist. Check moisture levels by inserting your finger into the top few centimetres of potting mix.
  5. You may need to re-pot your plant if it grows too top heavy.

How to grow dieffenbachia in a garden

  1. Choose a shaded spot in the garden and prepare the planting area well by digging in some Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  2. Dig a hole in the prepared area, place the plant in the bottom of the planting hole, gently backfill around the plant’s root ball with soil then water well.
  3. Reapply Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser around the root zone every 8 weeks from spring until mid autumn to promote good soil health and lush foliage growth.
  4. Mulch with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, sugar cane or pea straw and water in well.  Do not over water them as they don’t like wet feet. 
  5. If they grow too clumpy, they can easily be divided and re-planted somewhere else in the garden.  Use a spade or knife to separate the clumps and re-plant following the instructions above.


Growing tips

  • To help the potting mix and root zone stay moist, potted dieffenbachia can be gently and briefly immersed into a tub of water every month.

  • Dust the leaves regularly by gently dusting them with a small brush or feather duster.  Dust can clog up the pores of the leaves and make it difficult for the leaves to function.

  • Trim off any brown or dead foliage in winter.

  • Can be grown easily from cuttings. 

  • Dieffenbachia is toxic if ingested. Keep plants out of reach from children & animals.

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