Your Guide To: Dieffenbachia

Add a touch of greenery to your space with this easy-to-care-for, tropical houseplant.

Dieffenbachia is one of the easiest and most popular houseplants to grow—and it’ll be one of your favorites, too! Who could blame you? Its large, green leaves, which can be speckled, spotted, striped, or have creamy white-to-yellow centers, add a designer’s touch to your space without having to, well, hire a designer.

How To Keep a Dieffenbachia Happy

Keeping a dieffenbachia plant happy is stupid easy. With indirect lighting, plenty of humidity, and the right watering schedule, your new baby will grow into a lush, shrubby plant that’ll quickly fill that awkward corner in your room without taking up too much space.

How Much Light Does a Dieffenbachia Plant Need?

Given a choice, dieffenbachia plants would sit off to the side of your brightest window—or right in front of it with a sheer curtain between them—but they’ll get by with less if they have to. To speed up their growth, place them in a brighter spot over winter when the sun’s rays are at their weakest. 

If your plant starts leaning toward the light, rotate the pot a quarter turn with every watering. It will reach for the sun and straighten itself out. 

How Do I Know When To Water My Dieffenbachia?

Your index finger will tell you when to water your dieffenbachia. Just plunge it into the soil up to your second knuckle and feel around for moisture. When it feels dry down there, give it a slow, deep drink until water pours from the pot’s drainage hole. To prevent root rot, be sure to empty the saucer if water collects in it. 

Your plant will tell you if it’s not happy with your watering skills. Yellow leaves can mean too much or too little water—and only you will know which you’re guilty of.

How Do I Use Plant Food For My Dieffenbachia?

Feed your dieffenbachia according to the label directions on the plant food package, which are based on the size of your plant and time of year. In fall and winter your dieffenbachia will grow more slowly, so you don’t need to feed it as often.

What Is The Ideal Environment For My Dieffenbachia Plant?

Dieffenbachia plants crave humidity, so mist them every few days over winter if you’re running the heat—and year-round if the air is dry. They also like average household temperatures—65-75 degrees—so keep them away from air conditioners, cooling vents, and drafty windows.

How Do I Prune and Maintain My Dieffenbachia Plant?

As time goes on, it’s normal for some of a dieffenbachia’s lower leaves to drop. But if stems get too bare or spindly, cut them back to six inches, and they’ll push out new growth. 

It’s also a good idea to dust your plant every now and then. Dirty leaves not only look ugly—they can’t photosynthesize well enough to produce the chlorophyll the plant needs. 

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How To Address Common Dieffenbachia Plant Issues

  • Dieffenbachia plants may get droopy or lose their leaves if the room gets too cold, and too much sun can have the same effect. They’re happiest at 65-75 degrees in bright, indirect light. 
  • Yellow leaves can mean too much or too little water—or in rare cases, a nutritional deficiency. Water only when the soil feels dry about two inches into the pot but don’t let it remain dry for too long. If you’re watering properly, give the plant an extra dose of fertilizer. 

  • If your plant is leaning toward your window, rotate its pot a quarter turn every time you water.

What To Do If You Still Have Questions

If your dieffenbachia doesn’t seem to feel at home in your space, we’re here to help! You can chat with a live Greendigs specialist 24/7 by clicking here. You can also shoot us an email at [email protected]

More Tips From Our Team of Growers


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