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Dec 20, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Thread OP
Help. Most of the leaves have come off of my plant. The ones that are left are sagging and on very long stems. If new sprouts come on the trunk of the plant they rot and never grow. I tried moving it to a brighter room. Not in direct light but has a white curtain over the window. I have not let the soil dry out. Can this plant be saved and look healthier?
Thumb of 2017-12-21/visitor/04f8b8
Dec 20, 2017 11:16 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Looking down on the plant, it appears to be in a fairly small container. If so you may need to repot it with some fresh potting soil. (But it might be the angle that the picture was taken.)

It sounds like you might be overwatering it if the leaves are rotting.

I hope someone who knows more about container plants will hop on and give you more help . In the meantime, you might see if you can gather any information about Dieffenbachias in our Plants Database.

And welcome to NGA!
Dec 20, 2017 11:49 PM CST
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Orchids Region: Pacific Northwest Region: Mexico Sedums Tropicals
It could be root rot. Sorry to say. The best option is to check the roots, if they are not rotten then you can pot it back in a pot. Larger if needed, but if not do not go bigger, all that soil will stay too wet. If the roots are too far gone, you can cut off the stems and root them in water or soil, what ever you are comfortable with. The stems root very easily. I rescued one in the same shape as yours from work, cut the stems and rooted in soil, and it recovered fine. It's a little slow as it's winter; but it can survive. Good luck.
Dec 20, 2017 11:52 PM CST
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Orchids Region: Pacific Northwest Region: Mexico Sedums Tropicals
Dieffenbachia grow really strong sturdy roots, in water. I actually really enjoyed watching the plant recover. Hope you do too.
Avatar for Tammi5
Dec 21, 2017 12:33 AM CST
Thread OP
Thank you for your replies. Here is another picture, hopefully from a better angle.
I will try repotting and root if needed.
Thumb of 2017-12-21/Tammi5/89d29d
Dec 21, 2017 3:50 PM CST
Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Your Dieffenbachia is suffering from inadequate light and secondarily from the soil staying too moist. You mentioned that you moved it to a brighter location where the window is covered with a white curtain. Even sheers block out almost all of the light that a plant uses. Move it to a location where it gets lots of very bright, but indirect sunlight all day long. That would be on a north windowsill or back no more than a couple of feet from another window that is completely uncovered.

Light is always the most important consideration. When a plant does not get enough light, its growth rate and water use slow down dramatically. That means the soil doesn't dry out sufficiently every 7-10 days so the roots begin to rot.

It does not need a larger pot or a change in soil. It simply needs a lot more light. Then allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering it.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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