Indoor plants

Dieffenbachia

The dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia is one of the most popular houseplants: it does not take up much space, it is easy to grow and its elegance is evident both in the flowering period and throughout the rest of the year. It is a plant with a very pleasant appearance thanks to the clear veins of its large leaves, which make it a very welcome and appreciated element of green furniture even by all those who do not have much time available or do not have particular experience in the care of house plants. The charm of this plant native to Central America lies more in the leaves than in its flowers, which are very small and present for a short time, or in the case of some species that are completely non-existent. The characteristics of the leaves vary from species to species, although in general the plant is characterized by large leaves and colored veins that draw elegant interweaving on the surface. The dieffenbachia is mainly considered a houseplant because it does not adapt to harsh winter climates and is very afraid of drafts, from which it must be kept sheltered. In summer, however, it is possible to expose it outside, taking care to avoid, however, that direct exposure to sunlight can burn the leaves.

Cultivation


Cultivating dieffenbachia is quite simple, because it is a resistant plant that does not require too much care: among the operations that it is not necessary to perform, for example, there is pruning, since the development of the plant is never so wide. containment operations to be requested. It is a plant that does not like water stagnation, but needs water on a regular basis and its soil should never be completely dry. The ideal is to place the dieffenbachia in a pot filled with a mixture of soil and sand, which allows to slow down the drainage and keep the soil moist until the next watering. The dieffenbachia then needs protection from currents and direct exposure to the sun’s rays, which could burn the leaves. To keep them always healthy and at their best, it is advisable to clean the leaves with a damp cloth every two weeks, avoiding however using special polishing products, which could be too aggressive for the dieffenbachia leaves. To keep the leaves beautiful and healthy, they can then be sprayed: dieffenbachia prefers a humid environment and can only benefit from this operation.

Repotting and multiplication


Although dieffenbachia does not grow to excessive size, its roots can grow quite quickly and therefore need soil to meet their needs. For this reason, when the pot is no longer able to contain the development of the roots, the dieffenbachia is transferred into a larger pot that is not too large compared to the plant, so that the roots can grow and have the necessary nourishment. available. This operation is usually carried out every three years, always based on the growth of the plant. Instead, it is more frequent the need to replace only the first more superficial centimeters of the soil to replace them with softer soil that can guarantee greater humidity and better filtering of the water, to feed dieffenbachia adequately. This operation can be carried out twice a year, at the beginning of spring and in autumn: this will also help the soil to maintain the right degree of acidity for the plant and to avoid the accumulation of limestone. Equally simple are the reproduction operations: the most common method is that of the cutting, using the terminal part of the plant (about 10 cm). It will be sufficient to bury a part of it in a small vase and arrange everything away from the light to favor sprouting. With a layer of transparent plastic, to be removed from time to time to ensure the transpiration of the plant, the temperature can be kept stable for the first 20, 30 days.

Dieffenbachia: Diseases and pests


The beautiful leaves of dieffenbachia are not only elements that can decorate the apartment, but also precious resources that reveal the health of the plant. The presence of stains or chromatic alterations, in fact, can reveal a lot about any dangers that can be remedied in a timely manner, if identified in good time. The presence of yellow spots or leaves that begin to dry out is the most evident sign of some error in cultivation: too much or insufficient light, excessive or insufficient water, exposure to drafts can cause damage to the leaves, against which you can act by restoring the optimal cultivation conditions before the plant is too damaged to recover. Among the parasites, however, those that most frequently can affect dieffenbachia are the red spider mite and the cochineal: the presence of both is revealed by the presence of spots, red in the first case and dark in the second, which tend to widen as colonization increases. These are parasites to be eradicated as quickly as possible to prevent them from leading the plant to death. A specific pruning can solve the situation if the infection is very localized, while otherwise it will be useful to resort to specific pesticides, taking care to fully eliminate the presence of parasites, which otherwise would soon begin to proliferate again. which tend to expand as colonization increases. These are parasites to be eradicated as quickly as possible to prevent them from leading the plant to death. A specific pruning can solve the situation if the infection is very localized, while otherwise it will be useful to resort to specific pesticides, taking care to fully eliminate the presence of parasites, which otherwise would soon begin to proliferate again. which tend to expand as colonization increases. These are parasites to be eradicated as quickly as possible to prevent them from leading the plant to death. A specific pruning can solve the situation if the infection is very localized, while otherwise it will be useful to resort to specific pesticides, taking care to fully eliminate the presence of parasites, which otherwise would soon begin to proliferate again.

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