Planting dieffenbachia - explained step by step

You don't have a green thumb? It doesn't matter at all. The Dieffenbachia finally makes it easy for any inexperienced gardener.

Robust and easy to cultivate, the arum plants from the rainforests of South America are among the most popular representatives at the flower window. With their striking and differently grained leaves, the houseplants are a real eye-catcher. It doesn't necessarily have to be potting soil. Dieffenbachie is also recommended for hydroponics. In the following you will find out what needs to be considered when planting and caring for the Dieffenbachia.

Plant traits

Dieffenbachia belongs to the family of the arum family and is colloquially referred to as the silent tube. The plants come from South America and are particularly widespread in Brazil and a common representative in tropical gardens. There the rather undemanding plants grow up to three meters high and reach a leaf size of up to 45 centimeters. The elongated leaves are shiny, striking and, depending on the variety, grained white to yellowish. Older plants also form inconspicuous flowers.

Find the right location

Dieffenbachia prefer a bright but not full sun location. The plants especially don't get the blazing midday heat. The plants are actually naturally sun children. The Dieffenbachia sold in our latitudes, however, are usually hybrids that were grown in Europe and are more sensitive to direct sunlight. The plants therefore thrive in the shade or in a location that is too dark for most houseplants. Dieffenbachia should preferably not be exposed to drafts.

If the stand is too dark, the leaves will be charged. These then appear stunted and without the expressive sheet drawing.

The optimal ambient temperature is 18 to 23 degrees, i.e. normal room temperature. The tropical plants should not be exposed to temperatures below 15 degrees. The plants also need a high level of humidity. Here you can help with frequent spraying and humidifiers. Dieffenbachia can therefore also be found in the bathroom or kitchen, as there is a higher level of humidity. Plants also like it when they are placed in a coaster filled with water. To protect the roots, the plants should not be placed directly in the water, but placed on pebbles. Dieffenbachia do not tolerate waterlogging.

The ideal location in brief:

  • bright
  • penumbra
  • Avoid drafts
  • room temperature
  • high humidity

Choose the ideal substrate

Dieffenbachia is quite undemanding when it comes to the substrate. So you can use commercially available potting soil. This can be loosened up with sand or clay. Loose soil is also suitable. Since the Dieffenbachia is considered a pioneer of hydroponics, it can also be cultivated very well in expanded clay or conventional hydroponic substrate.

The right substrate in brief:

  • relaxed
  • nutritious
  • humos
  • alternatively hydroponics

Planting dieffenbachia - step by step instructions

  1. Select the appropriate planter.
  2. Provide a suitable substrate.
  3. Fill the planter up to about half with substrate.
  4. Insert the plant carefully.
  5. Fill up the rest of the earth.
  6. Press down slightly on the bottom.
  7. Water the plant.

How to repot the Dieffenbachia properly

Young plants in particular grow quickly. Therefore, moving to a larger pot may become necessary as early as the year after planting. This becomes apparent at the latest when the roots protrude from the planter and literally blow it up. However, you should not use a large planter. Then you would have to transplant less often, but at the same time you risk reduced growth because the plant concentrates primarily on root formation in a correspondingly large planter. So choose the new planter only about five to ten centimeters larger than its predecessor.

By the way, older plants grow less quickly. Repotting is then only necessary every two to four years. The best way to transplant is always as follows:

  1. Select and prepare a new planter.
  2. Place drainage on the bottom of the vessel.
  3. Stuff the plant.
  4. Remove diseased or rotten plant parts.
  5. Apply a layer of substrate to the bottom of the vessel.
  6. Insert the plant.
  7. Fill up the rest of the earth.
  8. Press down slightly on the bottom.
  9. Water the plant.

The new planter should not only be a few centimeters larger than the previous plant pot, it should also be ensured that the opening in the bottom of the pot is large enough so that the irrigation water does not build up. You can also counteract waterlogging with drainage. For this purpose, gravel or shards of clay are spread over the drain hole.

Before transplanting, there is also the opportunity to take a close look at the plant. It is easy to see whether the roots are healthy and strong. You should remove sick or rotten spots on roots or foliage.

Keep Dieffenbachia in hydroponics

The plants are particularly suitable for hydroponics. However, anyone who has cultivated their plants in potting soil so far will not do them a favor if they switch to hydroponics. The plants are usually not up to the changed conditions of this radical "move" and die. It is better to grow young plants and confront them with hydroponics from the start. The cuttings are already used in a coarse expanded clay. It is advisable to use plants with a darker leaf pattern, as these prove to be more robust.

Overview of advantages and disadvantages of hydroponics

+ Advantages:

+ Cuttings are grown in expanded clay and do not have to be transplanted.
+ The handling of the granulate is easier and cleaner than with potting soil.
+ The hydroponic ensures a lot of permeability and more air gets to the plants.
+ The casting is simplified.
+ Hydroponics is hygienic. Allergy sufferers can also keep plants in the bedroom.

- Disadvantage:

- The corresponding accessories must be purchased.
- Quite large plants find it difficult to hold in the loose granulate.
- Granules can easily be dug out by pets.

Is the dieffenbachia poisonous?

What you might not suspect at first glance is unfortunately a fact. It is a poisonous plant. Since all parts of the plant are toxic, the green plants should not be accessible to children and pets. You should therefore always wear gloves when planting and repotting.

The plant extracts it contains are used in South America to destroy cockroaches or rats. The poison it contains is irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. This was used by the slave owners in the southern United States in the 17th century. Slaves prevented from fleeing had to chew parts of the plant. This caused the tongue and mucous membranes to swell and silenced for several days.

The plant has so-called shooting cells. When the plant parts are chewed, the small needles enclosed there are released. Pets can choke on it. Infertility is also a result of plant consumption. Diarrhea, nausea, paralysis and cardiac arrhythmias can also occur in humans.