How to Prune a Dieffenbachia – Dumb Cane Plant

As you can see, this dieffenbachia is attempting to raise the roof. How should we care for this plant? Prune the top? We’ve had one person say that with this kind of plant you can simply cut it in half and replant it. Really?
Thanks or your help!

Hi Jerry,

Whoever told you that you can cut your dieffenbachia in half is just about right! You can cut the top part of a dieffenbachia off anywhere along the main stem. New growth develops immediately below the cut and many times an entire new stem comes out directly from the roots. Although you can plant the entire section you cut off, I’ve found that cutting it into 10″-12″ sections and removing some of the bottom leaves works a lot better and the propagation is more successful. Dip the end you’re placing in the soil in a small amount of rooting hormone that contains a fungicide to help prevent root rot. You can plant the new starts back into the original pot or plant 2 or 3 into a 6″pot with drip holes in the bottom.

The sap from these plants is very poisonous and the plant should be kept away from pets and children. Always wear gloves when pruning the plant and never touch your mouth or eyes when working on the plant. Wash your tools well when finished. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.