Why a Dieffenbachia Gets Brown Leaves

Would you be able to tell me what this plant is? Also, as you can see some of the leaves are turning brown. What should I do to make this plant healthy again?


Hi Tamme,

Learn why large colorful leaves on dieffenbachia turn brown at Houseplant411.com

Your plant is a type of dieffenbachia (like the picture above) which is an extremely 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 houseplant. Brown leaf tips can be caused by a number of things.

Too much plant food: Fertilize only when the plant is actively producing new leaves. Most dieffenbachia plants should be fed every two weeks in the summer, monthly in the spring and fall, and never in the winter. Excess plant food causes brown leaf edges.
Poor water quality: Do not use water that contains a lot of chemicals such as fluorine or chlorine. If your household water does have these chemicals in it, allow the water to sit out over night before using it so the chemicals can evaporate.  Also, never use water that has passed through a water softener. It contains too much salt.
Dieffenbachia plants can also get brown leaves when not watered on a regular schedule.