DIEFFENBACHIA PLANT: care - Practical guide

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You have very likely seen dieffenbachias more than once in any home as a houseplant. These tropical plants are very popular as they thrive in shady conditions and their showy leaves have great decorative value.

If you want to learn more about the dieffenbachia plant and its careJoin us in this Green Ecologist article, in which you can also see some photos of the dieffenbachia plant so that you can appreciate the reasons why it is chosen as a houseplant so often.

What is the dieffenbachia plant: characteristics

Dieffenbachia are a whole genus of plants in the Araceae family made up of almost 30 different species. Of all of them, only some are those that are commonly used as indoor plants, among which the dieffenbachia bowmanii. They are native to Central and South America, and are named after the German physician Ernst Dieffenbach.

They are plants that can reach heights of 20 meters, although others do not exceed 3 meters. Its leaves are oval or lanceolate, of a beautiful dark green color with light spots in the center.

Apart from the bowmanii, some of the dieffenbachia species known are the following:

  • Dieffenbachia Seguine.
  • Dieffenbachia amoena.
  • Dieffenbachia stretcher.
  • Dieffenbachia maculata.

Dieffenbachia plant: care

Are tropical plants They are very resistant to closed environments, hence their popularity as indoor plants. However, despite the fact that they are strong species and suitable for beginners, it is worth reviewing the basic dieffenbachia plant care:

Light and temperature for dieffenbachia

When it comes to light, dieffenbachia can tolerate being in the shade, although it is advised to place it in bright rooms. If it is exposed to direct sunlight, it will lose its lower leaves, so it is usual to look for a point of semi-shade.

In addition, this plant does not tolerate drastic changes in temperature well, which is another reason why it tends to be grown indoors, where the home temperature is more similar throughout the year. Drafts are not good for him either.


With the substrate, the most important thing is that it offers good drainage. Substrates with coir tend to offer very good qualities in this regard, and a bed of gravel or expanded clay at the base of the pot may also help. Of course, the pot also needs to have drainage holes.

Irrigation of the dieffenbachia

When it comes to watering, as it is a tropical plant, it needs the substrate to remain humid, although always without flooding, which would cause damage to its roots. This plant does not tolerate very hard water very well, so if you use tap water, you can soften it by boiling it and letting it sit, or simply by exposing it to direct sun for a while.


The plant appreciates the doses of fertilizer every 15 days in the warm months and, on the other hand, fertilize at most once a month in the cold months. In this other post from Ecologist Verde we tell you how to make homemade organic compost for plants.

Cleaning the leaves of the dieffenbachia

In addition, it is important to clean your sheets with a damp cloth once every two weeks to free them from accumulated dust. Remember that it is always better to clean your blades with gloves. In this other article we explain several tricks for you to learn How to clean the leaves of plants so that they shine and are healthy.

Is the dieffenbachia plant poisonous?

There are rumors about the dieffenbachia toxicity who claim that it is highly deadly to people and pets. Although it is true that we are dealing with a toxic plant, its degree of danger is far from what some attribute to it, and although it can cause some discomfort or symptoms, not a deadly plant, except in very rare and extreme cases in which a large amount was consumed or suffered from a previous serious state of health.

The first thing to note is that obviously the leaves should not be ingested of the plant. If done by mistake, it could cause aphonia and inflammation, burning and other digestive discomfort, leading to nausea, vomiting or diarrhea in severe cases. In addition, pain or damage to the eyes can occur, so you should also avoid touching your eyes after touching the leaves of the plant, which are those that contain the crystals of the toxic compound. In the same way, it is preferable to handle it with gloves, especially if the contact causes some kind of discomfort to the skin.

Taking all this into account, the plant is only dangerous for small children and pets, who could ingest it by mistake, so if any of them are at home, it is convenient to keep the dieffenbachia out of their reach.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dieffenbachia plant: care, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

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