Dieffenbachia has come a long way since its origin in the jungles of Brazil. The plant was originally a tall, bare stalk with a tuft of foliage at the top. Modern hybrids such as D. Camilla, also known as dumb cane, are compact plants with a central stem covered with large, attractive, variegated leaves. This lovely plant lasts eight to 15 years with proper care and works well with most decors.
How to take care:
Place dumb cane where it will receive moderate or filtered light. One way to provide just the right amount of light is to place the plant near a sunny window in a position where the direct rays of the sun never quite reach it. Turn the pot frequently so that the plant gets light from all angles. If new growth is lopsided, you aren’t turning the pot often enough.
Keep room temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t forget your plant if you adjust your thermostat when you go on vacation.
Fertilize dumb cane every two weeks in spring and summer with a houseplant fertilizer designed for foliage plants. In fall and winter, reduce to a monthly feeding schedule. If the leaf edges turn brown and curl, cut back on the fertilizer and flush the soil with water to rinse fertilizer salts out of the soil.
Water the plant often enough to keep the soil lightly moist but never wet or soggy. Keep the saucer under the plant empty so that the roots don’t sit in water. Droopy leaves indicate that the plant needs water and brown tips indicate that you are waiting too long between waterings. Dumb cane doesn’t require high humidity, but will benefit from occasional misting.
Repot the plant every other year in spring, or more often if it becomes root bound.