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Dieffenbachia plant: care

Dieffenbachia plant: care

It is very likely that you have seen dieffenbachias more than once in any home as a houseplant. These tropical plants are very popular as they do well 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 EcologíaVerde article, in which you can also see some photos of the dieffenbachia plant so you can appreciate the reasons why it is so often chosen as an indoor plant.

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 - What is the dieffenbachia plant: characteristics

Dieffenbachia plant: care

These tropical plants they are very resistant to closed environments, hence their popularity as houseplants. 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

As far as light is concerned, dieffenbachia can tolerate being in the shade, although it is advisable to place it in bright rooms. If it is exposed to direct sunlight, it will lose its lower leaves, so it is usual to find a semi-shade spot for it.

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 temperature of the home is more similar throughout the year. Drafts don’t do it any good either.


With the substrate, the most important thing is that it offers good drainage. Coir-containing substrates tend to offer very good qualities in this regard, and a bed of gravel or expanded clay at the bottom of the pot could also help. Of course, it is also necessary that the pot has drainage holes.

Watering dieffenbachia

When it comes to watering, as it is a tropical plant, it needs the substrate to remain moist, 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 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, pay at most once a month in the cold months. In this other EcologíaVerde post we tell you how to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants.

Cleaning dieffenbachia leaves

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

Is the dieffenbachia plant poisonous?

Rumors spread about the dieffenbachia toxicity which they claim 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, it is not a deadly plantexcept in very rare and extreme cases where a large amount was consumed or a previous serious health condition was suffered.

The first thing to note is that, of course, leaves should not be eaten of the plant. If done by mistake, it could cause hoarseness 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 the ones 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 us some kind of discomfort on 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 advisable to keep dieffenbachia out of their reach.

Dieffenbachia plant: care - Is the dieffenbachia plant poisonous?

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