Dieffenbachia seguine, also known as a dumbcane, is a popular evergreen
indoor houseplant with attractive, variegated foliage. The large
clusters of oblong, pointed leaves are mainly green with splotches of
cream or white growing from a single trunk.
You may also find additional shades of yellow and green cultivars of
this species. It is native to the tropical Americas and can grow from
6-10’ tall in its native habitat; however, they are grown much smaller
when you grow them indoors in containers.
This popular West Indian foliage plant, which is a member of the arum family, was named "dumb cane" because of its toxic qualities that cause temporary speechlessness when chewed on.
The sap in this plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which burn the mouth and throat. The tongue becomes swollen and inflammed, causing numbness and possibly paralysis of the vocal cords leaving you unable to speak. The sap can also cause eye and skin and irritation; therefore, you must be careful when handling this plant.
As a decorative option, this dumb cane ornamental plant is a good choice for your indoor space in spite of its toxicity. It provides twofold benefits of striking beauty and it's an air filter removing pollutants from the air. In addition to being tolerant of low light, it is ideal for adding life and drama to dim corners. Wear gloves when working with this plant.
Light: Provide bright but filtered or diffused sunlight for healthy growth. Keep near bright east or south window.
Water: Water regularly and thoroughly. Keeping plant too dry can cause leaves of your Dieffenbachia seguine to become brown and unattractive.
Water, then allow the soil to drain and pour off excess water. This is necessary to avoid root rot.
A fast-draining potting mixture should be used. Allow the soil dry out to about an inch down before you water again. Drooping yellow leaves may be a sign of over-watering.
Temperature: The ideal temperature range for growing a Dumb Cane Seguine is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 60 to 65 degrees at night. Plant can tolerate 50 degrees Fahrenheit without damage
but avoid cold drafts. Do not let plant get too cold, the leaves will turn yellow and droop.
Fertilizer: Use a multi-purpose fertilizer at every other watering when the plant is actively growing. Plant goes dormant and rest in the winter. Do not feed at all.
Humidity: This plant likes humidity. You can provide this with a room humidifier, a pebble tray with water, or by misting.
Propagate: You can propagate with tip cuttings of 12 inches or by stem segments. Cut the stem into three (3) inch segments and lay them on their side, placing them halfway in the soil, new plants will grow from the stem.
Pest: Watch for spider mites, scale, aphids and mealybugs. Fungal leaf spot, rots and blight may occur.
Repot: If houseplant grows tall and leggy, you can cut off the stem where you want new leaves to form and root the stem in water, then repot in a larger container and use a well-aerated potting soil.
CAUTION: Please keep your Dieffenbachia seguine dumbcane out of the reach of small children and pets. Avoid contact with the eyes, and always wash hands and skin thoroughly if it comes in contact with the sap from the plant. If someone has chewed or swallowed dumb cane leaves or any other part, call 911 immediately.