Dieffenbachia (Dumb cane) is well known to lovers of indoor flowers. A single-stemmed plant can reach up to 6 meters in height and up to 3 meters in width. On the thick stem, there are large pointed leaves that have an uneven color: a light green border and a middle with whitish spots. The leaves reach twenty cm in length.
Some varieties with their structure resemble a shrub. A plant reaching more than 2 meters in height loses its attractiveness due to the fact that the trunk is exposed. Dieffenbachia almost never blooms. The peak of flowering falls on the beginning of spring. The plant bears fruit with berries of bright orange color. The flower secretes a poisonous substance – calcium oxalate. When ingested, it irritates the mucous membranes, which leads to swelling of the larynx. Dieffenbachia is undesirable to grow in a house where there are small children and animals that can taste the poisonous plant. In the wild, the Dieffenbachia flower grows in the southern United States and on the islands of the Pacific basin.
Slightly acidic soil is recommended for planting. The soil should loosen well and have a light consistency. For Dieffenbachia, a soil consisting of four components is suitable: sand, peat, turf and leafy earth. Large varieties need a heavier substrate. Store peat soils are unsuitable, as they retain moisture, which leads to the appearance of rot on the roots. For the cultivation of this culture, a pot with holes in the bottom and a drainage layer of claydite or pebbles is ideal. The volume of the pot should fit the dimensions of the flower. Dieffenbachia tolerates transplantation well, so you should change the flowerpot as it grows.
Care at home
Houseplant Dieffenbachia feels great in an ordinary city apartment. It can do without transplanting and fertilizing for several years. The flower is often used to decorate office spaces, where care is reduced only to watering. Despite the toxicity, Dieffenbachia can be kept at home, since severe intoxication threatens only when poisonous juice gets inside.
This tropical guest is heat-loving. A comfortable temperature of about 23 ° C in summer is considered, in winter 17 ° C is enough. drafts adversely affect growth and development. Dieffenbachia flower prefers fresh air, so it is permissible to place the pot on the terrace, veranda or in the garden.
In the winter months, the flower needs a well-lit place. When the sun becomes more active, you can not do without shading. Deficiency of sunlight leads to shallowing of the leaves.
It is desirable to put the pot on a window facing east or west. An adult large plant is grown in the room. For uniform development of the crown, dieffenbachia is recommended to be rotated once a month. The lack of sunlight can be compensated by the use of fluorescent lamps.
Large specimens need abundant watering, as they have a large leaf mass, which leads to intense evaporation of moisture. However, it should be borne in mind that the root system of Dieffenbachia rots with an excessive amount of water. If the earthen lump completely dries out in 2-3 days, then watering is carried out correctly. In the winter months, a plant that is in a cool room is watered less often.
The water should be soft. The flower belongs to the Aroid family, and they are sensitive to the high content of chlorine and fluorine. The use of water with a high salt content leads to tissue necrosis.
From late spring to early summer, the substrate is enriched with complex fertilizers about a couple of times a month. In autumn and winter, the soil is not fed. Deficiency of nutrients leads to the exposure of the stem part of Dieffenbachia.
In the wild, this large-leaved plant grows in humid areas, but Dieffenbachia perfectly adapt to climates where the humidity content does not exceed 40%. Spraying is carried out only in dry weather. It is recommended to wipe the leaf surface with a damp cloth. Before the start of the heating season, it is necessary to place the pot away from heating radiators and other sources of heat.
Why does Dieffenbachia turn yellow?
Yellowing of the leaves leads to:
- Direct sunlight. Ultraviolet is burned by delicate leaves;
- Decay of the root system of Dieffenbachia, caused by frequent watering;
- Low humidity in the apartment;
- Low room temperatures;
- Influence of drafts;
- Watering with hard tap water;
- Lack of nutrients and minerals.
Propagation of Dieffenbachia
Flower growers propagate the plant by cuttings. Cuttings are cut from the top of the flower. Pruning the top has a positive effect on the appearance of Dieffenbachia: the crown becomes thicker, as a result of which a lush decorative bush is formed. Sand, light soil mixtures and water are used to root young shoots. Apical cuttings develop well and produce roots in water. Stem cuttings are placed in a substrate that is regularly watered. This method is more time-consuming. Sometimes a cuttings that have several internodes are buried horizontally so that several plants appear.
Thrips, aphids, leafhoppers, red spider mites and mealybugs are the main pests that suck sap from shoots and leaves. The affected plant lags behind in development, and young growths undergo deformation. Yellowing of the leaves indicates an infection with a spider mite. First, microscopic yellow dots appear, which grow rapidly, gradually covering the entire leaf surface. The damaged parts are cut off, and dieffenbachia itself is washed under jets of warm water (about forty degrees). Guaranteed destruction of a harmful insect ensures the use of insectoacaricides, for example, Actellica. Proper planting and care will help prevent the invasion of intruders.