Dieffenbachia Houseplant Turning Yellow

I received this plant as a gift. It was in a tiny pot so I reported it about 2 weeks ago. Every day I wake up and it looks worse. This is how it looks right now. What do I do to save this plant?


Yellow leaves on dieffenbachiaa Plant

Dieffenbachia Turning Yellow

Your plant is called a Dieffenbachia. It looks like you moved it to a pot that is too large. When a pot is too large, the soil does not have a chance to dry out quickly. The roots of the plant stay wet for too long a period of time, begin to rot, and eventually die. Your pot should only be 2″ wider and 2″ deeper than the root ball of the plant. There should be drip holes in the bottom of the pot to allow excess water to drain out. You need to take the plant out of its pot, get rid of all the wet soil, remove all of the dead or dying leaves, and allow the plant to lay out, bare rooted, so hopefully the roots will dry out. Re-pot in the right type of container and don’t water for at least a week.  Water a Dieffenbachia  well and then allow the top 2″-3″ of soil dry out before watering again (usually takes a week or more).

There are two other reasons your plant could be having problems. The bottom leaves on Dieffenbachia Houseplants can turn yellow when the plant is near a cold draft or an air conditioning vent. They may also turn yellow when the plant is not getting enough light. That said, from the looks of the plant, I still think it’s an over watering problem.

You can read all of my care tips for a dieffenbachia in the Popular Houseplant section of the website. The picture is of a different variety, but the care is the same.


These plants are considered very poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in my book  Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants