Dieffenbachia maculate or dumb cane is one of the popular ornamental plants that can give a lush appearance to your room.
This plant which is also known as the happy leaf is a tropical plant that can live and thrive easily.
Moderate light levels with humidity and warm room temperatures are a favorite for this plant.
To find out more about how to treat Dieffenbachia maculate, read this article in full.
About Dieffenbachia Maculate
Dieffenbachia maculate is a type of ornamental plant from the Araceae family originating from the tropical rain forests of Central and South America.
The most attractive part of this ornamental plant is the leaves.
The leaves have a decorative motif with white or greenish-yellow color with an oval shape that is pointed at the end.
Like some of its family, Dieffenbachia maculate very rarely produces flowers.
Flowers only form on older plants.
The shape of the flower is sheathed like a light green, white, and cream pod.
Generally, these flowers can damage plant growth, so they should be removed after opening.
However, you need to be careful when growing this plant because it is quite toxic to humans and pets.
Dieffenbachia maculate contains calcium oxalate crystals in all parts of the plant, especially in the stems which can make anyone poisoned if accidentally swallowed.
It can also cause skin irritation, itching, pain, and swelling when rubbed into the skin.
Although it is quite dangerous, most people still grow this plant as their home decoration.
This is because this type of ornamental plant has a dense and dense leaf shape that can beautify the room.
How To Grow Dieffenbachia Maculate
Growing Dieffenbachia maculate is actually quite easy.
You only need to provide some simple requirements such as choosing the right container and area to plant it.
Choose a container no more than 1/3 of the width of the plant’s root ball with drainage holes at the bottom.
Then, fill the bottom 1/3 of the container with well-drained soil mixed with some compost.
After that, place the plant in the container so that the top of the root ball is exactly an inch above the bottom of the top of the container.
This is done so that when you do water, the water can flow well and not remember.
Backfill the soil evenly around the root ball.
Finally, water the area around the plants thoroughly and allow them to dry before you place them where you want them.
Tips for Caring for Dieffenbachia Maculate
Here are some tips for caring for Dieffenbachia maculate so that it can grow optimally.
1. Prevent Overwatering
Overwatering is a common problem that often occurs when treating Dieffenbachia maculate.
This of course is not a good thing as overwatering can cause too much moisture which triggers root rot.
Instead, do watering when the soil that is the bed is felt to be partially dry.
You can check this by plugging your finger or stick into the ground to see if the top is dry or still wet.
When the topsoil has dried, you can water it and repeat the cycle.
The frequency of the amount of water needed to water Dieffenbachia maculate depends on the variety, size, season, and conditions in the area where it is grown.
In general, plants will need more water in summer and less water in winter.
Overwatering can also be prevented by using well-drained soil and pots with drainage holes at the bottom.
2. Avoid Direct Lighting
Dieffenbachia maculate can adapt to various types of lighting and conditions.
However, they will look more radiant when receiving indirect light.
Exposure to direct sunlight can also burn leaves and cause leaf color to fade.
Meanwhile, if they are in a dark corner, although they will survive and maintain a healthy appearance, they will stop growing.
Ideally, give Dieffenbachia maculate a bright light filtered with cheesecloth or other material that allows light to pass through.
3. Place it in a dark room
Dieffenbachia maculate loves high humidity to thrive.
Therefore, kitchens and bathrooms that tend to be dark are his favorite areas.
However, there are ways you can increase the humidity even if they are placed where you want them.
Use a tray lined with rocks or gravel, then cover the pebbles with water, so that when the water evaporates, the air around the plant will become more humid.
In fact, High humidity can also deter some pests.
Spider mites that tend to stick to these ornamental plants can be prevented by providing high humidity.
4. Keep the Temperature Warm
In addition to humidity, this ornamental plant also likes warm temperatures.
Temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees F are ideal for Dieffenbachia maculate.
A few degrees outside that temperature shouldn’t be a problem, but frequent cold winds can result in stunted growth.
Avoid storing them in a room with a high temperature such as a sunroom or near a heating area as this can cause the plant to weaken.
5. Irrigation and Fertilization
Feed Dieffenbachia maculate every 14 days from spring to fall with a small amount of plant fertilizer.
In winter, just feed them every four weeks because in winter their nutritional needs will be reduced.
Also, do watering regularly to keep the plants moist.
6. Do the Trimming
Dieffenbachia maculate are fast-growing but they grow upwards with long thick stems with dense shoots like trees.
Do the pruning to encourage growth outward rather than upward so the shape will appear denser and bushier.
Pruning can also make these plants grow more fertile and keep plants away from various diseases.
6. Changing the Pot
Repotting is important on every plant including Dieffenbachia maculate.
Replacing the pot with a larger one can give this plant more room to grow its roots.
In carrying out the repotting process, you should wear long-sleeved protective gloves to avoid the sap.
As mentioned earlier, the sap of this plant can cause discomfort if it comes into direct contact with the skin.
However, if it gets on the skin, wash it off immediately and avoid touching the mouth and eye area.