Caring for Dieffenbachia - How to water, fertilize and cut the plant properly

Caring for Dieffenbachia - How to water, fertilize and cut the plant properly


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The Dieffenbachia is a very easy to maintain and undemanding houseplant. Nevertheless, some care is required to ensure that the plant is not damaged.

The Dieffenbachia is not only an attractive houseplant, it also makes it fairly easy for the hobby gardener and proves to be an undemanding beginner plant. With its decorative leaves, which, depending on the variety, have a white to yellow leaf drawing, the plant from the tropical rainforest is an ornament for every flower window. So that you can enjoy the exotic beauty for a long time, there are some basic care instructions that we would like to share with you.

Water the Dieffenbachia properly

When it comes to watering, the gardener demands a little tact, because the Dieffenbachia doesn't want to be too dry or too wet. Irrigation should be moderate but regular. The earth must not dry out. It is also important to avoid waterlogging. This attacks the roots and is not tolerated by the Dieffenbachia.

" Tip: Stale and not too cold water should be used.

Watering is somewhat restricted during the cold season, but must not be missed completely. In winter, the soil can dry slightly until watering is started again.

The tropical plants love high humidity. It is therefore advisable to spray the Dieffenbachia more often with water or to provide a suitable climate with humidifiers in the room.

In short:

  • Water regularly in summer
  • The floor must not dry out
  • use stale, soft water
  • spray frequently
  • Water less in winter

" Tip: If possible, distilled water should be used to spray the plant. Tap water leaves ugly limescale spots on the leaves.

Fertilize the Dieffenbachia properly

Regular fertilizers can be given during the growing season between spring and late summer. Commercial liquid fertilizer for green plants such as this can be used here. It can be easily dosed and added to the irrigation water. Between April and early September, the Dieffenbachia can be fertilized every 14 days. During the winter half of the year, fertilizers are not necessary, because then the plant rests and also reduces its nutrient intake.

In short:

  • moderate nutritional needs
  • Use liquid fertilizer for green plants
  • Fertilize every two weeks in summer
  • Stop fertilizing in winter or reduce it considerably

Does the Dieffenbachia need to be pruned?

In its natural environment, the Dieffenbachia often reaches heights of up to three meters. This will hardly be possible in indoor culture. Nevertheless, the hybrids cultivated on our flower windows often grow over a meter in height. It can happen that the stem gradually wears off in older plants. The plant can then be cut back about ten centimeters above the edge of the pot. The same can be done if the plant grows too high for you. Plants that have been reduced in height will usually sprout again without any problems.

" Tip: Worn out shoots can be cut into pieces about five centimeters in size and placed horizontally in the substrate, and roots can sprout at room temperature within a few weeks.

What needs to be considered when cutting?

The best time to cut back the Dieffenbachia is early spring, before the growing season begins, i.e. in March or early April. Dieffenbachia are very well tolerated by cutting. The hobby gardener should always work with clean and sharp cutting tools so that clean cutting edges are created and no entry gates for pests and pathogens are formed.

" Watch out: Dieffenbachia is poisonous in all parts of its plants. Gloves, eye and respiratory protection must always be worn when cutting.

Hibernate the Dieffenbachia properly

The plants do not have to be overwintered in the classic sense. You can keep their place at the flower window. Temperatures below 15 degrees are not tolerated. The plants also cannot tolerate drafts. Frequent spraying or placing in a coaster filled with pebbles helps against dry heating air. This allows the water to evaporate, but does not endanger the sensitive roots.

Detect diseases and pests

The plants are quite robust. Diseases and pests can mostly be traced back to nursing mistakes. Pests are on the rise when the air in the room is too dry. Pouring errors, incorrect location selection or drafts can promote the occurrence of diseases.

❍ Pest infestation:

If the indoor air is too dry, the dieffenbachia is not infrequently attacked by pests. Aphids, scale insects or spider mites can occur. All pests can be easily identified if you take a closer look at the plant.

What should I do?
First remove the plant from the flower window so that the pest infestation does not spread to the other green plants. Heavily infested parts of plants are removed. The plant should now take a shower bath under a hard jet of water. Spraying the Dieffenbachia with a soapy solution has also proven effective. Dabbing with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol also helps against scale insects.

❍ Diseases:

care errorssequela
poured too much
  • The Dieffenbachia needs water regularly.
  • However, if too much is poured, the water builds up in the planter and the roots start to rot.
  • the first signs of waterlogging may also be brown leaf margins.
  • Repot the plant immediately.
  • Rotten root parts should be removed and watering should be reduced accordingly.
too cold and dry location
  • Dieffenbachie needs room temperature all year round.
  • If the thermometer falls below 15 degrees, the plant is damaged.
  • Dieffenbachia react with yellowed leaves and falling leaves to cool and dry locations.