My poor dieffenbachia is dying.....

smithjm(z9 FL)June 3, 2005

I bought 3 little ones and potted them together. Now half of the leaves are yellow and fall out easily. Here's a pic of when they were doing well (before i killed them) I think maybe i put to much water in it? I know they like to be more on the dry side.

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Smith, I couldn't access your pic...
Yes, Dieff's like to dry between waterings..Make sure the pot has good drainage...what type of soil did you use when your repotted? You want a black soil w/sand and peat moss..
Rot is the number one killer in Dieff's due to overwatering..Place your plant in a bright but no direct sun area. Let soil dry between waterings. Remove yellow/dead leaves..When plant resumes health, fertilize w/a good all purpose food. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 1:21AM
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smithjm(z9 FL)

I just got another one. The old one died, it turned all yellow and rotted. Sorry you couldn't get the picture. But here's my new one!

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    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 9:49AM
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if the old ones went mushy, you might want to add a handful of perlite to the bottom of the pot for the new ones...and make sure the drainage hole is 'covered' not 'blocked' (old window screen is good for this)

they take too dry way better than they take too wet.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 12:02PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

Ditto on adding Perlite to the bottom as well as amending your soil of choice with it. JM, I think you have the dieffenbachia compacta. It looks similar to the one I have. I had a problem with yellowing leaves too. Found out it likes it on the dry side. Let it dry out completely and then drench with water. The trick is to make sure you have the right soil mix- a well draining one. Heck, mine even flowered for me a couple of months ago. Twice. I was doing something right, but after it flowered it seems that's when the problem with the yellowing leaves started.

How is yours doing now?


    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 9:13PM
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I agree w/the above posters about using Perlite, or if you have sand available, that'll work, too.
I wouldn't put the screen on the bottom of container though..the object is when watering, for water to saturate roots, then run through drainage holes.
Diefs can live many years in bright light..if in winter plant is kept cool, it's best to water on sunny days, as early as possible..Otherwise rot will set in.
Though they don't like wet feet, they love humidity. So, misting leaves will help..Toni

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 9:31PM
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smithjm(z9 FL)

sorry it took my this long...i noticed my plant is getting some brown tips and around the sides to. Could this be lack of humidity?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 8:50AM
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Smith, it could be one of 3 things..lack of humidity, soil is being kept too dry, or it's getting direct sunlight.
I'd mist the leaves daily to maintain some humidity..though you want the soil to dry between waterings, water thoroughly, then let dry a bit. If your plant is sitting in a direct south or west window, either move back a few feet or place in front of an east window. Toni

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 5:34PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

Try sitting the pot on a pebble tray for added humidity. Be careful that the drainage holes are not touching the water in the pebble tray because this can cause root rot and other nasty demons. JM, now that Fall is approaching,you may want to consider investing in a cool mist humidifier for one of your plant rooms. It's difficult to keep an appropriate level of humidity inside once the weather cools. A humidifier will help and your tropical plants will thank you.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 6:25PM
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smithjm(z9 FL)

i don't mist it at all, so maybe its that. I don't think is lack of water cause once in a while some leaves will get completley yellow. I have it in the shade so i dont think is the lighting. I'll try misting it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 8:04AM
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I've had a Dieffenbachia plant that started life as a High School Biology Project. I am about to turn 60. It has been up to the ceiling several times in it's existence. I have to air layer it about every 3 years for that reason. It produces babies around it's base as well as propagating new ones from the left over stem after air layering. It started in mid west Kansas and has moved to Oklahoma, Missouri, California and now South Texas. I think mine is immortal since it hasn't died or even been sick in all this time. Perhaps it's longevity is due to being named (Ralph) and is spoken to daily...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Mike, that's really cool! I have one that I've had for about 9 years, no idea how old it actually is. Are you able to show us a picture?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:28AM
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I had the same problem last month, and i took some good advice and did some reserch on my owen. But try to let the soil dry up in between watering and good rays of sun. it should start to get better in few weeks

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 6:15PM
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