The Dumb Cane plant is a strong species that will thrive in any light conditions other than direct sunlight. Its easy to care for style and resilience to neglect make it a wonderful house plant……
Dieffenbachia amoena (scientific name) plants will grow up to six feet tall, and are known for their wide, bushy leaves.
Dumb Cane Plant Description
Dieffenbachia amoena is a very popular house plant due to its easy going nature. Plants that receive too little light or too little water will simply not grow as quickly as plants that are given proper care.
This native to the West Indies will flower in the right conditions, but these flowers are unimpressive. The beauty of the dumb cane plant comes from the unique pattern found on every leaf.
How it looks: Each plant features leaves which are yellow near their vein, abruptly turning a dark green toward the edge of the leaf. This transition is random, even within the same leaf, creating ribbons and spots of yellow and green along the leaf’s body.
These leaves grow out of a central stem system. Each leaf will ultimately reach around 20 inches (47 cm) long, and 10 inches (25 cm) wide.
Flowering: Although this plant will occasionally produce buds that are 5 inches (12 cm) long, they will only bloom in perfect conditions. These blooms are green and rather unimpressive.
Most plant owners remove the buds when they appear, as they are a waste of the plant’s energy. Always wash your hands thoroughly after removing buds, due to the sap’s toxic nature.
Poisonous: This plant is poisonous, and should not be permitted near children or pets (cats & dogs). The sap of the plant is acrid, and when ingested can numb the throat and vocal cords, rendering the victim mute for up to two weeks until the poison wears off. The sap is highly irritating to the skin, and any interactions with the plant which result in sap exposure should be washed thoroughly.
Dumb Cane Plant Facts
|Names:||Dumb cane (common). — Dieffenbachia Amoena (botanical/scientific).|
|Max Growth (approx):||Height 6ft.|
|Poisonous for pets:||Seriously toxic to cats and dogs.|
Dumb Cane Care
|Temperature:||Dieffenbachia amoena grows best when the temperature it is exposed to is between 65-75 ºF (18-23 ºC). Outside of this temperature zone, growth will continue at a greatly reduced rate, with tolerance extremes ranging from 40-90 ºF (4-35 ºC) Beyond these extremes, the plant will stop growing and may die with prolonged exposure.|
|Light:||This plant prefers bright, indirect sun light for the optimal growth. It will accept lighting conditions up to full shade and continue stunted growth. Full sun will burn the leaves.|
|Watering:||For the best results, keep the dumb cane plant’s top inch of soil moist at all times. It will tolerate extended periods of watering neglect, but the leaves will begin to shrivel. Watering makes the leaves stiffen. Before moving the plant, allow the soil to dry out. This will give the leaves a more rubbery texture which will better survive the handling process.|
|Soil:||This plant is not picky about its soil conditions. It will grow in almost any soil mix except sand and orchid mixtures. For best results, a one to one mixture of potting soil and perlite should be used.|
|Fertilizer:||To encourage your plant to grow faster, you may introduce a full strength mixture of standard, balanced fertilizer once a month. Over-fertilization will cause the plant to start dropping leaves.|
|Re-Potting:||This plant needs to have its root density checked annually in the spring. If the roots are becoming dense, re-pot into a size bigger pot. Reduce watering for a week before transplant.|
|Humidity:||Normal room humidity is fine.|
|Propagation:||This plant propagates best from new growth cuttings or from breaking away young stems that grow on the side of the plant. Place these sideways in moist sand until roots begin to show, then transfer upright to soil.|
Dumb Cane Plant Common Problem
This plant will only produce blooms from its buds if it is exposed to bright, indirect sunlight. Buds that turn brown on the ends should be removed from the plant immediately.
This unique looking and easy-going houseplant is perfect to help bring your home to life. Like all plants, you need to make sure you’re giving the Dumb Cane enough water and light, but other than that, it’s happy on its own!
The pattern on each leaf makes for a really striking image, so these plants are great statement pieces, although the smaller, most common ones aren’t overly big. These plants do flower, but don’t get too excited, they’re quite dull looking. A lot of owners even get rid of these buds, so the plant can focus on growing its lovely leaves.
Not only is this plant very poisonous for pets, but also to humans. So, make sure the plant is well away from any wandering children. The danger lies in the plant’s sap and can have severe effects both internally (if ingested) and on the skin.
Always keep its soil moist to make sure the plant is getting enough water and watch out for leaf curling or drying – this is a sign of underwatering. The leaves should feel rubbery and stiff. Bright conditions are great, but minimalize the Dumb Cane’s exposure to direct sunlight, as this can damage the leaves.
Although its water and light requirements are fairly simple, this plant is fussy about soil, so avoid sand and orchid mixtures and you can even add a full-strength fertilizer once a month to encourage growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When should I repot?
Check the roots every spring and only repot if the roots are feeling dense.
- How humid should the surroundings be?
The Dumb Cane loves moist air, so a room with about 60% humidity would be ideal.
- What pests are common to the Dumb Cane?
Mealybugs and aphids are the most common culprits. These can destroy your plant, so make sure to get rid of them properly or take preventative measures. Use a damp cloth to clean the leaves of your plants and wipe them with rubbing alcohol to eliminate these pests.
- Can they live outside?
Not permanently, but you can move it outside during the summer months, just make sure to monitor how much sunlight it’s getting.
- How do I know if it’s getting enough sunlight?
The stalks will become long and leggy if the plant is reaching for the sun. If this is the case, simply move it to a lighter area. If it’s getting too much, the colour of the leaves will begin to distort.
- How big is the Dumb Cane?
It comes in different sizes, but the smaller ones average anywhere between 12 and 14 inches, whereas the bigger varieties can grow from 6 to 10ft high.
- Why are the lower leaves on my Dumb Cane falling off?
This is perfectly normal after a few years. It may also begin to look leggy and awkward. Although this is a sign that your plant has seen better days, do not throw the plant away! Instead, propagate it so that new baby plants will grow.