how to care for Dieffenbachia indoors: Vital survival tips

4 min

how to care for Dieffenbachia indoors

Dieffenbachia, also called the dumb cane plant, is one of the most common and the most popular houseplants. It is popular due to its beautiful mix of green white foliage. It is an attractive decoration for house and offices. Besides, being a low maintenance alluring plant contributed to the popularity of Dieffenbachia. In this post, we will show you how to care for Dieffenbachia indoors.

1.  Dieffenbachia varieties

There are more than 30 species of Dieffenbachia and all of them can be grown indoors. However, it is better to choose smaller species than larger ones. Since we can’t cover all the species in this part of the article as it will be too long, we will briefly cite the most popular species.


Camille: This is the most popular variety of Dieffenbachia. It is widely used to adorn houses and offices. Camille is distinguished by its cream-colored leaves. It is also widely available at garden centers. Camille loves shade and it cannot endure direct sunlight exposure.

Tropic Snow

Tropic snow: One of the tallest varieties. It grows up to reach 6 inches in height.  Its leaves are similar to those of Camille but they are less cream-colored in the middle.

Tropical Tiki

Tropical Tiki: This Dieffenbachia variety is one of the biggest varieties. The average size of this variety is 4 inches in height and 3 inches in width. It is recognized by its variegated colorful leaves. Some gardeners consider it the most beautiful variety of Dieffenbachia.


Hilo: This is a unique and remarkable variety of Dieffenbachia. It is distinguished by its lime green variegation mixed in with dark green base color. This variety is known to grow upright. It could grow up to 4 inches tall without exceeding 2 inches in width.

2. light

Dieffenbachia does not like direct sunlight exposure. This plant is better grown in a partially shaded spot. However, bright indirect light is recommended for this plant to thrive. Keep in mind that there are some varieties such as Camille that require less light.

One the one hand, direct sunlight exposure is harmful to this gorgeous plant. It burns its leaves causing their death. On the other hand, they don’t like darkness because it hinders their growth. Therefore, it is best that you place your plant in a bright room or use grow lights.

3. Temperature

This decorative lovely plant prefers warmth. Warmth is necessary for the survival of Dieffenbachia. Any levels of temperature that rage between 60°F – 80 °F (16°C – 27°) are acceptable for 16°C – 27°. However, if the temperature degree falls below  50F (10c), the atmosphere will be disturbing for your plant.

4. Water

Dieffenbachia requires careful watering. Overwatering this decorative plant is an excellent way to kill it. Indeed, overwatering is one of the biggest dangers to Dieffenbachia. Therefore, it is recommended that you check the soil before watering your plant. Insert your finger one-inch deep into the soil and if it is dey you can water Dieffenbachia, if it is still moist, check it again in a couple of days.

If you don’t have time to water your plant on regular basis, you could consider growing Dieffenbachia in one of the decorative and effective self-watering containers.

5. soil

Dieffenbachia soil requirement is similar to any other plant. It requires a well-draining soil that can retain moisture. Thus, any potting soil is good enough to grow this lovely plant. You could also make your own potting mix for Dieffenbachia. All you need to do is to blend together 1 part peat, 1 part garden soil, 1 part perlite and a pinch of lime. This way, you will have a perfect potting mix for growing dumb cane.

6. Fertilizing

Dieffenbachia is a relatively heavy feeder. It needs to be fertilized twice a month. Although it can survive just fine without any fertilizing, you should apply a high-quality houseplant fertilizer only in its growing season which is summer. When winter comes, don’t fertilize it.

Compost tea is a recommended organic fertilizer to apply to dumb cane. It is available in liquid forms and in bags. It is better than chemical fertilizers.

7. Pruning

Pruning is not necessary for dumb cane, it is highly advisable though. It helps to maintain an attractive shape of your plant as well as maintaining its size under control.

8. Repotting

Repotting Dieffenbachia is required only when the plant grows bigger than its pots. Repotting can be done at any time of the year, but, you will need to be careful when pulling your plant out of its original pot. Its roots are extremely fragile, therefore handle them gently and nicely in order to avoid shocking your pant.

9. Pests and diseases control

Houseplants are usually less susceptible to pests and diseases than garden plants.  Dieffenbachia makes no exceptions. However, this ornamental plant is highly sensitive to bacteria.  Bacteria is dangerous to your plant because it causes root rot.

spider mites, aphids or mealy bugs also pose a threat to your plant. In case of infection, it is recommended that you use organic neem oil to fight these pests. It is a natural highly effective insecticide.

These tips will ensure that your decorative plant will survive for years adorning your place beautifully. Besides Dieffenbachia, you should check these amazing decorative houseplants that will definitely embellish your indoors.

Be careful caring for your Dieffenbachia

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