How to Identify My Unknown Plant

Hi Judy, I have for some time tried to figure out what kind of plant I have. It was received as a housewarming gift some time back and had a few other smaller plants growing with it, had a kind of moss on top of the soil, but those smaller plants have died and this one remained. It didn’t do so well in my Massachusetts home as far as growing more leaves but when I moved to Utah it was like it became alive again and started growing more leaves. Seems to do ok if I water it only once a week. This week though 5-6 of the leaves turned yellow and the plant started to wilt. Not sure if it was in too much sunlight or the central air was getting to it (however I did move it away from the direct blow of the vents about a month ago and it was fine). Anyways, I’d like to get more info about it because I’m interested in replanting it in a bigger pot and hope it will grow larger.


Dieffenbachia plant with almost solid green leaves

Dieffenbachia Plant

Dieffenbachia Plants naturally lose their bottom leaves. That said, cold drafts and not enough light reaching the bottom leaves increases the leaf droppage. The greater concern is why is the plant drooping? If the soil gets very dry, the plant will get yellow leaves and droop. The problem is easily fixed with more water. However, if the soil is wet and the plant is drooping, you may have over-watered and the roots are damaged. So the question is, is the soil too wet or too dry? Don’t consider re-potting until you solve the yellow leaf problem. If the soil is drying out too fast and the roots have taken on the shape of the pot, then it is time for a new container. You can read all about Dieffenbachia plants is in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

All parts of a Dieffenbachia are extremely poisonous which is how they earned the nickname “dumb cane plant”and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants