A flowering plant causing people to unable to speak, Dumb cane is one of the flowering plants for decoration. Mostly cultivated ones decorate many parts of houses. It has familiar names such as leopard lily and mother-in-law’s tongue. Above all, its botanical name is Dieffenbachia that comes from the famous gardener Joseph Dieffenbach. Geographically, dumb cane belongs to Mexico, Argentina, and the subregions of North America. Just like Areca palm, such ornamental plants are found at reasonable prices in the market.
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1) General information For Dumb Cane Plant
Dumb cane is a kind of tropic plant bearing big variegated green foliage and a thick white striped brown stem. Such plants are soft and not woody in general. In terms of foliage size, it is as big as Fiddle Leaf Fig. Dumb cane blooms green in its season. However, the genuine beauty of this plant comes from its leaves. Unfortunately, green flowers are not as fascinating as leaves. As for its life cycle, it is a perennial plant. Dumb cane’s height can reach from 3ft to 10 ft (1 m – 3 m). On the other hand, its width can change between 1 ft – 3 ft ( 30 cm – 1 m). As a warning, the toxicity of this plant is extremely high. Let aside toddlers, kids, and pets, it could even kill adults if ingested. What is more, you should intervene with the help of gloves.
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2) Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia) Plant Care
Sunlight: Just like most of the houseplants, Dumb Cane is vulnerable to direct sunlight. Instead, diffused sunlight is crucial for better development. To a certain time and degree, it can grow in settings with full shade.
Watering: Regular watering twice a week is enough for it. Keeping the potting soil moist is necessary. Differently, water it sparingly in winter. But yet, be careful about overwatering.
Humidity: An average humid setting is enough for thriving it. Approximately 50% humid and above is ideal. To ensure it, a humidifier, misting, and a wet tray filled with pebbles work best.
Temperature: The optimal temperatures for Dumb Cane are in between 63°F – 80°F (18°C – 26°C). Shortly, it can grow under room conditions. Also, according to the USDA plant hardiness map, it can live in 10-12 zones.
Soil Type: As usual, loam soil is always useful for such plants. Alternatively, you can make your potting soil mix. For example, perlite, peat, coarse sand could be a great combination.
Fertilizer: Particularly, a liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength will suffice in its growing season. Also, it should be fed monthly to get better results.
Propagation: Stem cuttings and air-layering are the best two ways to propagate Dumb Cane. Meanwhile, pruning doesn’t require but to give a better shape, pruning could be necessary.
Repotting: Repotting could require at the very beginning of the spring. However, it is too dangerous to work by bare hand due to its high toxicity. The next pot should be bigger than the current one. For example, Big concrete planters could be the second pot.
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3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
-Bug Infestation: Red spider mites, scales, mealybugs are a great threat to Dumb Cane. In such types of problems, not being too late is vital for the plant. Because they lead to brown specks on leaves.
-Overwatering: This problem is quite common in plant care. Overwatering causes root drowning. So it starts dropping leaves and happening some other problems.
-Leaf Scorch: It could stem from several problems such as insufficient watering, dry setting, direct sunlight exposure, and so on.
-Suggestions for problems: Bug infestation is a serious question in plant care. There is a couple of ways to deal with it. For example, alcohol-based wipes and insecticidal soaps do great jobs. As for overwatering, the more you overwater the plant, the more you give it a danger. So it is appropriate to continue its routine watering. When it comes to the leaf scorch, cut the brown leaves and try to find a perfect spot for it to survive.
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