Dieffenbachia - Knowledgebase Question

Brooklyln, Ne
Avatar for joenabennet
Question by joenabennet
April 14, 2010
My dieffenbachia plants are not looking healthy or hardy as before. New leaves grow but die before maturing. Older leaves are yellowing around the edge. I water once every two weeks. Any suggestions? AND How do I start new plants?

Answer from NGA
April 14, 2010
Dieffenbachia is actually easy to grow so I'm not sure what's wrong with yours. Yellowing leaves usually indicates overwatering, especially during the winter months. Dieffenbachia loves average or above average warmth - minimum 60F in winter. It also likes higher humidity than is found in most homes. You can mist frequently or you can set the pot on a gravel filled tray in which you keep a half inch of water. As the water evaporates it will increase humidity in the immediate area of the plant. You might try repotting your plant in fresh potting soil. While you have it out of the pot, check the root system and cut away any mushy roots you might find. Provide partial shade in summer - bright light in winter. Water regularly from spring to autumn but sparingly in winter. Rather that watering on a two week schedule, check the soil for moisture. Stick your finger into the soil. If it is moist an inch below the surface, you won't need to water for another few days; if the soil feels dry, it's time to water. As for propagation, there are several methods. Cut off the top crown of leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and repot. Pieces of stem, 2-3 in. long, can be used as cane cuttings: lay them flat on the surface of a pot or tray of potting soil mix. Keep the potting soil moist and roots and leaves will form. the soil mix. Some varietis produce daughter plants at the base which you can remove and use as cuttings.

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