Keeping A Dieffenbachia Plant In Water - Knowledgebase Question

Brookline, MO
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Question by sunofsam5602
July 14, 2000
I am tryng to find out if I can keep a plant called dieffenbachia in a vase filled with water until it reaches the size I would like then plant it in my garden. I want to know if it would die like that or not?

I have been looking for this answer on the internet for 2 1/2 hours and have found no one to answer my question at all and I am witts end, oh please help! I don't know who else to ask. I am desperate to find out. It would be great if someone could tell me.

Avatar for marespooscats
A comment from marespooscats
November 17, 2017
I have been keeping mine in a big glass container for years. It started out 7feet tall and broke a few times so now I have 3 in the glass container.

Avatar for pammies300
A comment from pammies300
July 1, 2020
I had a small piece that broke and but it in water... it doing really good and has new growth. My Mom had a large one that she cut and put in a container of water for over a year, it grew so much she had to cut and put in another container.

Answer from NGA
July 14, 2000
Dieffenbachia is a tropical plant and it will die if left outside in cold weather, so it is usually grown as a container plant.

As with most plants, this one is not best started in water. Although it may form roots, the roots will not adapt to soil when the time comes to plant it, and water does not provide sufficient nutrients for it to survive and be healthy enough to grow.

For most people it is easiest to purchase a small plant and grow it on in a pot, moving it to larger pots as it grows.

Otherwise, to propagate it yourself, take a tip cutting from a vigorous shoot. Remove the foliage from the bottom half. Trim the remaining foliage by about half. Place the cut end into barely damp soilless potting mix (usually composed of milled spagnum peat moss and vermiculite and perlite), firm the soil, water lightly once, and place in a clear plastic bag or under a clear dome made by cutting the bottom off of a clear plastic soda bottle. This will help keep the atmosphere humid while the plant is rooting. Place the pot in a bright location but out of direct sun so it won't overheat. Open the bag from time to time to allow for air exchange and make sure the soil is still damp but not soggy. Check for roots and when there are some, gradually remove the cover to accustom the plant to normal humidity levels and move it to its normal growing location. When the roots fill the pot, repot to the next larger size.

Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
A comment from WillC
November 17, 2017
I agree that Dieffenbachia is not a very suitable outdoor plant and certainly not in areas that have freezing temps.

However, it is quite possible to root Dieffenbachia cuttings in water and later transfer them to a porous potting mix. It will take the water-grown roots a while to make the transition to the soil, but it can be done just as easily as propagating the cuttings in a potting mix from the start.

There is nothing wrong with propagating the cuttings in a plastic tent as described above except that it is unnecessarily complicated. Dieffenbachias do not require high humidity in order to develop roots. Insert healthy tip cuttings in a porous potting mix and keep the mix damp but not wet and they will propagate just fine.

Avatar for Stephsgnc
A comment from Stephsgnc
April 18, 2020
I have a piece of dieffenbachia that has dried at the bottom. Can I place this in miracle grow soil and possibly grow roots and help it to survive? It has two leaves on it, two large leaves.

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