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This article is written by Kunsang Choden.

Dieffenbachia is a tropical plant that belongs to the genus dieffenbachia and falls in the family of Araceae. The common name to this plant is dumb cane due to its temporary effect causing problem when speaking. All the plants have their origin from different places and have a special role to plant in the ecosystem. Dieffenbachia has its origin from Mexico, Argentina and West Indies. Dieffenbachia is a herbaceous plant and therefore is planted inside home or used as the room decorator. It is perennial in nature; showing up in every season. The plant has the ability to grow up to 4 to 5 feet tall.

Some of the common species of Dieffenbachia:

There are numerous species of Dieffenbachia. Here are to name few:

Dieffenbachia antioquensis, Dieffenbachia aglaonematifolia, dieffenbachia aurantiaca, Dieffenbachia bowmannii,, Dieffenbachia brittonii, Dieffenbachia beachiana, Dieffenbachia burger, Dieffenbachia davidsei, Dieffenbachia cordata, Dieffenbachia copensis etc.

Common names: Dieffenbachia is known by a lot of common names such as tropic snow, topic honey. Dieffenbachia compacta, dieffenbachia Camille, dumb came etc.

Leaves: Dieffenbachia has beautiful leaves. The leaves are patterned with white flecks and it is this unique pattern that makes the plant more outstanding when kept inside a house.

Uses: Dieffenbachia is a common household plant. It serves as the ornament of a house and has beautifying essence. One of the core reasons of this plant being an indoor plant is due to its strong shade tolerance.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom        : Plantae

Unranked      : Angiosperms

Unranked      : Monocots

Order              : Alismatales

Family                       : Araceae

Subfamily      : Aroideae

Genus            : Dieffenbachia

 

Care:  Dieffenbachia needs attention at some point, although not much.

Temperature: Keeping the plant or making the plant grow in the right temperature is one of the most important thing to consider when it comes to plantation. The temperature can make the plant die or grow into a new plant. Dieffenbachia being an indoor plant can survive up to the temperature of 5 degree Celsius, home temperature of 17 Degree Celcius  is perfect for the plants growth.

 Light: The plant Dieffenbacia grows indoor does not mean that the plant requires no light. In this case, the plant needs an indirect light that comes from the window. Some amount of light helps the plant thrive well. This plant also has the ability to thrive well in full sunlight and dry soil. However, indirect sunlight is preferred more for the plants maximum growth.

Soil: Whether you are plant Dieffenbacia inside your home or out in the shady garden, you need to provide right soil for the maximum growth of the plant. For instance, if you plant Dieffenbacia in a sandy soil, the plant will not be able to produce the right result. This plant requires soil that is rich in humus and is a little moist soil. A well drainage system is required by this plant. Humus rich soil allows the plant grow well in an aerated soil. You will also need to provide some amount of fertilizers to make the plant grow to its maximum level.

Water: Water is the blood of the plant. Dieffenbachia needs some amount of water but not in access as compared to the other plants. You will need to water this plant at least twice in a week in order to keep the roots of the plant moist. Lack of water will make the leaves of the plant droop downwards, making the plant appear less fresh.

Stem Cutting: It is possible to plant Dieffenbachia through a root cutting method. However, you will need to make sure that the stem that you have cut must have an eye through with the plant can give rise to a newer plant.

The plant will start growing in 2 to 4 weeks time through the stem cutting method. It is suggested that you let the roots grow well by keeping the stem in a soda water bottle, this method can make the plant grow well and will increase the growing capacity.

Caution: Years of researches on Dieffenbachia has come to the conclusion that the plant dieffenbachia contains calcium oxalate crystals which are also known as raphides. Due to the presence of raphides, the plant when chewed can led to a burning sensation in the erythema. The plant needs to be kept away from small children and pets. Ingestion of this plant can lead to temporary inability to speak, oral irritation and numbing, localized swelling and unpleasant sensation in the throat. In such of case of accidental chewing of the plant, one needs to treat the threat of this disease by analgesic agents, medical charcoal or antihistamines can also prove useful.

Bacteria: Dieffenbachia is considered as one of the strongest plant in terms of its strong growing with very less disturbance coming from the outside source. However, one problem with Dieffenbachia is that the plant is prone to bacteria attack. Bacteria attack on this plant can make the plant die out, leading to root rot. It makes the roots smell and over time, the stem will turn out soft, fragile and the leaves start getting slimy.

Brown spots: The leaves of Dieffenbachia often turn during the winter months. It can be due to over fertilizing or excess watering. Thus, you are suggested to water the plant once in a week time during the winter months.

Pests: Since indoor plants are often attacked by spider mites, aphids and bugs, you will need to be aware that your Dieffenbachia is not attacked by such pest. Mostly, the pest attack takes place on the underside of the leaves. Thus, you will need to keep an occasional eye on the leaves and spray to keep control of the pests attack.


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