Dieffenbachia is an evergreen indoor plant grown principally for its variegated foliage.
They are best grown in bright indirect light, but not full sunlight as this can cause leaf scorch.
The plants can grow up to 1.2 metres (4ft) high depending upon growing conditions.
The leaves are basically dark green, with spots and blotches in paler greens and creams.
ALL parts of the plant are extremely poisonous, take care not to get sap into the eyes or mouth.
The ideal growing temperatures are between 20°-25°C (70°-75°F)
In winter they require a minimum temperature of 16°C (60°F), otherwise they may perish.
If subjected to lower temperatures they tend to lose their leaves.
Allow the compost to become relatively dry between waterings, then give them a thorough drenching.
Feed established plants fortnightly with a half strength general liquid fertilser from spring to the end of summer.
Then ease of on the watering until the following spring, but don't allow them to dry out completely.
If conditions are right growth will continue throughout the whole year.
If temperatures are on the low side, water very sparingly to prevent rotting at the base.
They like humid atmosphere,sitting the pots in a tray of wet gravel will increade the humidity around the plant.
During hot weather spray the leaves at least once per day.
Clean the leaves occasionally to prevent the pores from becoming clogged with dust.
If the surrounding temperature rises to more than 25°C (75°F) increase the ventilation.
circa Week 28:
If more plants are required, take leaf cuttings
Strip the lower leaves and cut it into 50-75mm (2"-3") sections and insert* them in a 50-50 mix of peat and sand and root at a temperature of 21°- 24°C (70°- 75°F).
*Ensure you insert the leaf cuttings the correct way up, i.e. as grown.
When the cuttings have rooted pot them up in to 70-100mm (3"-4") pots of potting compost.
Pot up established plants as growth dictates,this can be done at any time of the year.
As the plants grow taller,the lower leaves will naturally wither and die.
If the plant becomes too tall and leggy, cut it back to any height and use the cut portion for propagation.
The uncut portion of the cane will then begin to branch from the old leaf nodes.
An alternative to this procedure is to airlayer the top section before reducing the height.
In this way the offcut will have roots when severed from the parent plant.
Be careful not to overwater both the new plant and the old root system in the first few months after this process.