- Native to Central and South America and a relative of our skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, Dieffenbachia is a broad-leaved foliage plant with thick succulent stems.
- A popular house plant because of its ease of culture, it is available in a variety of leaf patterns.
- Dieffenbachia’s common name, Dumbcane, comes from the fact that all plant parts contain raphides; crystalline, needle-like structures which are ejected when cell walls are damaged.
- Raphides are believed to be a defense mechanism against browsing by animals since ingestion of the plant will cause stinging and burning to the mouth and throat with symptoms persisting for up to two weeks.
- This reaction can disable speech, hence its common name.
- Exposure to the eyes is particularly painful.
- Handle the plant with care when trimming or making cuttings for propagation.
- Small children and pets should be kept away from dieffenbachia plants.
- Plant Dieffenbachia in houseplant soil or DIY two parts peat moss and 1 part perlite.
- Feed with diluted liquid fertilizer once a month.
- Shade or Partial sunlight.
- Water regularly, discarding excess water.
- Allow soil to dry out slightly before watering.