Plant Identification: Dieffenbachia

Hi, I`ve just been given this plant by someone who didn`t know what it was, and I have no idea either. My best guess is some form of Dieffenbachia, but that`s only a guess.



Hi Tony,



You are exactly right. Your plant is a Dieffenbaachia compacta. Some call it Dieffenbachia “exotica”).

These plants are considered very poisonous 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.

Dieffenbachia plants require medium to high light. Direct sun burns the leaves and too much bright light causes the vibrant leaf color to fade. When a dieffenbachia does not get enough light, the new leaves are small and far apart on the stem.

Water  well and then allow the top 2″-3″ of soil to dry out before watering again. These plants do best when watered on a regular schedule.

Fertilize only when the plant is actively producing new leaves. Most dieffenbachia plants should be fed every two weeks in the summer and once a month in the spring and fall. Never feed a dieffenbachia in the winter. Excess plant food causes browning around the edges of the leaves.

Dieffenbachia plants prefer temperatures above 60°F (15.6°C). The lower leaves on a dieffenbachia turn yellow when exposed to cold drafts from doors, windows, or air conditioners.

You can read more care tips for a dieffenbachia in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.