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!
Jerry

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 propagationLearn how to propagate plants by plant division at https://www.houseplant411.com/glossary is more successful. Dip the end you’re placing in the soil in a small amount of Rooting HormoneRooting Hormone helps plant cuttings produce new roots and is very important to use if you want your propagation attempts to be successful. Always dip the cut end of a stem or leaf into water and then dip it into the rooting hormone before planting it. Tap off any excess powder since too much hormone is worse than too little. that contains a FungicideLearn what fungicides are and how they are used to treat fungal and bacterial plant infections. 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 poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants 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 poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to poisonous houseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them..