Dieffenbachia: types and features of home care
Dieffenbachia is a very interesting plant. Many flower growers fell in love with him for the peculiar motley color of the leaves: each variety has its own unique pattern.
The flower refreshes the interior, gives additional comfort to any room. It is better for beginners to opt for such a pet as Dieffenbachia: caring for her at home is not very difficult.
Types of Dieffenbachia with photos and names
There are more than 60 varieties of this plant. They make up two large groups: Dieffenbachia bush and tree-like. The first species is plants with many lateral branches.
Expanding, they resemble bushes. The second type with a strong, thick, high stalk. The lateral branches of such dieffenbachia gradually die off, the plant becomes like a tree with a crown.
The most favorite flower growers are spotted, otherwise painted (Dieffenbachia Maculat), and variegated (Dieffenbachia picta, or painted). However, besides them, there are many more beautiful forms of Dieffenbachia.
Motley, or colorized
International Latin name: Dieffenbachia Picta. The leaves are oval in shape, 40x15 cm. Figure - light specks, strokes. Closer to the middle there is an accumulation of dark green spots. The stem is woody, dense, up to 2 meters high.
Spotted or painted
In the scientific classification known as Dieffenbachia maculate. The leaves are elongated, ellipsoidal, with a sharp tip, their size is 50 × 12 cm. Decorated with bright spots of different sizes.
They are mainly located in the middle of the leaf, and a dark green color goes along the edges. The stem is woody, dense, grows up to 1 m.
Leopold (Dieffenbachia Leipoldii Bull)
Extremely unusual shape: a trunk with a diameter of about 2 cm in height, only 5 cm. Lateral shoots rise to half a meter.
Dark green oblong ellipsoid leaves of medium size: 35x15 cm. A pronounced bright strip passes along the central vein of the leaf plate.
Lovely or Pleasant (Dieffenbachia Amoena)
Oval leaves are notable for bright stripes against a dark background. They diverge radially from the center, coloring each side vein. Fleshy, dense, woody stalk reaches 1.5 m in height.
Attention! The species is hardy to adverse conditions: excessive dimming, dry air, high temperature, damage by a red spider mite.
Egg-shaped or lanceolate leaves with a pointed tip (50x16 cm) are mottled with bright spots close to the center. The central vein is dark green in color, as is the leaf around the edges. A plant with a thick grassy stem reaches 50 cm in height.
Oersted (Dieffenbachia Oerstedii)
Leaves are elongated, heart-shaped, 30–35 cm in length. The pattern resembles Leopold's Dieffenbachia, but there may be single light spots along the edges of the central light pronounced vein. The bush has a strong trunk up to 1.8 m.
Attention! Oersted is sensitive to minimal air pollution, she needs a lot of light. A temperature below +14 ° C is disastrous for her.
Gorgeous, or royal
International Latin name - Dieffenbachia Magnifica (Rex)
The leaves are oval, with a rounded tip, up to 40 cm in length, light green with specks - white or yellow. The stem is dense, up to 1 m.
It does not tolerate temperature changes, and it should be watered more often.
Vesuvius (Dieffenbachia Vesuvius)
Leaves are lanceolate, elongated, with a pointed tip. marble color: light green plate with dark green, yellowish and white spots.
This is a bush form, the stems are grassy, strong, steady. Height 60–70 cm.
Dieffenbachia Camilla has medium-sized lanceolate leaves, 35–40 x 15 cm. The picture is interesting: a light creamy middle with a fringing of dark green.
Bush form, grassy stems, mobile. It grows up to 2 meters.
On green leaves with a bright middle - dark green spots and the same edging. The form is lanceolate with an elongated-pointed tip.
Dieffenbachia Maculata Compacta grows up to 55–65 cm, it is a bush form with grassy movable stems.
Wide ovoid, plain leaves (up to 60 x 40 cm) gave the name of this variety: Dieffenbachia Macrophylla. A powerful tree stem grows to 1 m.
Attention! The juice of this large-leaved dieffenbachia has an unpleasant pungent odor.
Bauman (Dieffenbachia Bowmannii)
It features incredible leaves: 70–80 cm in length. The plates are lanceolate, with an elongated-pointed tip, dark green with bright spots.
Shrub form, stems are strong, up to 1-1.5 m in height.
Bauze (Dieffenbachia Bausei)
Oval medium-sized, up to 40 cm, leaves with a slightly pointed tip. A cream-colored stain pattern with dark green spots. A powerful stable stem rarely exceeds 1 meter in height.
He feels unwell in the shade, does not tolerate temperatures below +10 ° C.
Tropic Snow (Dieffenbachia Tropic Snow)
Light green foliage with light blurry spots. Ovoid shape, tip slightly pointed, 50 x 30 cm. Stable stem up to 80 cm.
Caring for Dieffenbachia at home
In general, Dieffenbachia mix is not a very demanding plant, but it needs a specific approach. If you do not neglect the simple rules, the bush will thank you with a magnificent hat of decorated leaves.
Direct sunlight can leave burns on the leaves, for diffenbachia comfortable diffused lighting. It is best to place flowerpots at a distance of 1 or 2 meters from the window.
Although Dieffenbachia can stoically tolerate a lack of light, you should not abuse it and place the plant in the interior of the room or where there are no windows at all.
How to water
Dieffenbachia belongs to tropical plants, it needs constant watering. You need to add water every time the earth dries.
However excess moisture contributes to rotting of the roots. In summer and spring, watering should be active, and in autumn and winter it is reduced.
Attention! For watering and spraying a plant, soft (settled, and preferably boiled) room temperature water is needed.
What should be the humidity
It is not enough just to water the tropical beauty: Dieffenbachia for optimal growth requires optimal humidity.
In winter, when the air in the apartment is very dry due to heating batteries, Dieffenbachia leaves quickly lose moisture. How to care for the plant during this period: often spray the leaves or wipe them with a damp sponge.
Humidifiers come to the aid of fans of Dieffenbachia.
Comfortable conditions for Dieffenbachia - temperature within 17 ... 26 °. If the thermometer is less than 10 ° C, the plant may die.
It is very important to choose the right substrate for Dieffenbachia or organize it yourself. The soil should be loose, well let in air for the roots.
You can use the following formula: 70% - soil with a universal composition based on peat + 30% baking powder (sand, crushed bark, vermiculite, perlite) + drainage (pebbles, gravel, brick chips, crushed stone).
Charcoal or activated carbon is also added to the soil to reduce the chance of root decay.
It is necessary to feed the flower during its active growth, i.e. from April to August. If the plant lacks nutrients, it begins to hurt.
Do not rack your brains than to feed dieffenbachia: complex compounds or organic fertilizers containing nitrogen are suitable for her.
The additive is applied every two weeks under the root. During the rest period, from about September to March, the frequency is reduced to 1 time per month.
There are two ways for dieffenbachia:
- Apical cuttings. The apical part is cut off and placed in water or sand. Such a stalk very quickly gives root. Before temporary planting in the sand, dip the bottom of the cuttings into “Kornevin”: it stimulates the growth of roots. When they are more than 3 cm, the young plant is transferred to a permanent place.
- Stem cuttings. Selected stems are cut into pieces of 10-15 cm (up to 20 cm possible). Each fragment should have approximately 3-4 internodes. Cuttings are laid horizontally and half embedded in a substrate. So several new plants get at once - one from each internode.
The stem of an adult plant is woody, so the reproduction by stem cuttings is a rather long process, sometimes up to six months.
Dieffenbachia breeding video:
Dieffenbachia is transplanted when it becomes crowded in a pot. Typically, this procedure is performed either in the spring or at the very beginning of summer about once every 3 years (for a young plant).
Before transplanting Dieffenbachia, they pick up a new flowerpot: it should be 2 cm larger than the old one in diameter. Adult plants, which have become large enough, are not transplanted: they change the surface layer of the substrate once every 1-2 years. Usually apply soil with compost.
Like any ornamental plant, Dieffenbachia can get sick. Unfortunately, not all Dieffenbachia problems can be dealt with:
- Rot. It affects the roots of the flower. Its development provokes excessive watering.
- Bacteriosis. The reason is bacteria. It appears in the form of watery areas with clear boundaries. Not treated.
- Fungal diseases. With anthractosis, the top of the plant is affected, dry spots form on the leaves, Dieffenbachia begins to lose foliage. Fusarium - damage to the roots and the entire plant. The roots turn black, and the leaves and stems begin to dry out.
- Viral diseases. Virus carriers are insects. Dieffenbachia leaves are covered with brown spots, curled and gradually dry.
How to save a plant from diseases and pests:
Why dieffenbachia leaves turn yellow
Possible reasons may include:
- insufficient irrigation or water with increased hardness;
- sudden changes in room temperature;
- long exposure to direct sunlight;
- lack of micronutrients in the soil;
- damage by root rot (especially with excessive watering).
Why dieffenbachia leaves dry
Here the question depends on which leaves in which part of the plant wilted. If the upper, lateral and young, the cause may be impaired care.
When the lower and old leaves fall and expose the trunk, do not worry, this is the natural aging of Dieffenbachia. The plant is rejuvenated by cuttings.
Dieffenbachia is attacked by typical pests of indoor plants:
- Red spider mite. It manifests its activity in the form of a web, it can be found on leaves and stems.
- Shield. It affects plants in the form of light tubercles or plaques, which then turn brown with sticky secretions.
- Mealybug. His activity is found in the form of a white gun, which seems to be sprinkled with flour (hence the name).
- Aphid. Sucking cell sap infects plants with dangerous viruses that provoke tissue death.
- Thrips. They also feed on juice and affect tissues. Their activity is detected when bright spots appear on the leaves and they languish, and then the spots darken.
Prevention is simple: observe the rules of care, regularly inspect the plant and wipe its leaves from dust.
Attention!Particularly, drying of air should not be allowed, as this is a favorable condition for pests.
Fight against a mealybug:
- Isolate a damaged plant from others.
- Clean dieffenbachia from the worms with a soft brush or cotton swab, which must be moistened in a soapy water solution or alcohol.
- Perform treatment 3 times with an interval of a week. Preparations: Confidor-Maxi, Bombardier, Mospilan, Aktara, Biotlin, Calypso, Tanrek, Fitoverm.
- Wrap dieffenbachia with a plastic bag (for 2 hours) so that the drug does not disappear.
If black bugs appear on Dieffenbachia
These are thrips. Fighting them also includes several steps:
- Place sticky traps (flytraps).
- Isolate a damaged plant from others.
- Rinse the plant from thrips (under a shower or a sponge with soapy water).
- Spraying with insecticides (2 times with an interval of 7 days): “Fitoverm”, “Vertimek”, “Agravertin”, “Actelik”, “Karate”, “Confidor”, “Karbofos”, “Intavir”.
- Wrap the plant with a film (for 2 hours) so that the drug does not disappear.
To act when a delicate web is found on the stem or leaves, you need to immediately:
- Isolate a damaged plant.
- Wash the plant (with a sponge with soapy water or water-based garlic tincture).
- Treatment with acaricides or colloidal sulfur (2-3 times with an interval of a week). Suitable ear mite remedies for animals. Preparations: Fitoverm, Iskra-M, Kleschevit.
- Wrap the bush with a plastic bag (for 2 hours) so that the drug does not disappear.
Is dieffenbachia juice poisonous and can it be kept at home
The answer is yes to both questions. Keeping Dieffenbachia is not only possible, but also beneficial: it ozonizes the air, cleans it of serious pollution. However, this plant has its own peculiarity - it has toxic juice, which causes superficial skin burns (or mucosal burns) and an allergic reaction.
- All work with dieffenbachia should be carried out with gloves.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after work.
- Dieffenbachia in a home with small children or pets can be dangerous. Burns from her juice are unpleasant, although not fatal.
With proper care and observance of simple safety precautions, Dieffenbachia will please the grower all year round.
Video about the experience of keeping Dieffenbachia: