Rooting Dieffenbachia in water

andy_e(SF Bay CA 9/14)June 23, 2006

I topped my 6-foot tall, large-leaf Dieff and am trying to root the top section in water. So far the cutting seems happy enough in the water, but after two weeks I haven't seen any rooting progress. Any idea what kind of time frame I should be expecting here?

Thanks in advance!

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robitaillenancy1(zone 5)

My trusty old copy of Success With Houseplants (Reader's Digest) says Difenbachias may be airlayered or cut and put into a peat based soil. I don't think the water will root them.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 9:21AM
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audreye(5b Ont)

They do take a while to root but they will eventually. In the office where I work, a large difenbachia was broken doing some moving and renovating. One the girls rescused the broken top and she had a fairly large vase handy that she filled up with water and placed the broken top into.

It has been 5 years now since she did that, the vase is full of roots and the plant is beautiful and green and seems very happy. It has not grown all that fast but it looks happy. I keep asking her when she is going to pot it up, but she tells me she loves the look of it in the vase on her desk, so there it sits. Every Friday, she dumps out the water and fills with fresh and that is all that she does.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 9:45AM
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andy_e(SF Bay CA 9/14)

It's good to know the roots will come but I sure hope I don't have to wait years!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 9:36PM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

Diefs root great in potting mix. Adjusting water roots to potting mix works well if you're careful about how you water. In water, plants grow water roots. In soil, plants grow a different type of roots. I dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone (not really necesary but it speeds up the process), and stick it in well-draining potting mix. They'll be growing roots fairly quickly.

Diefs are beautiful plants but I rarely see ones which are well-grown. When grown in proper lighting and conditions, these are tall plants with large showy leaves. One of my favorite Aroids.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 10:27PM
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andy_e(SF Bay CA 9/14)

This cutting is the top 2.5 feet off a six foot plant. :-)

I checked today and I see one root emerging from the base of the cutting.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 12:41AM
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I root Diefs in water all the time. When I transfer them to soil, a few outer leaves die off, but then they come back like crazy.

Actually, one of the best ways is to simply chop the plant off, stick it in the dirt next to the old stem, and walk away.

Recently I chopped a fat dief stem into pieces about 3 inches long, stuck each one in the dirt after letting it harden off for a few days, and they are now growing. I sent one to sharon in KY today. Hope it arrives in good shape!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 8:42PM
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My main plant had died off, so I rescued the root and stalk from the dirt and placed it into a container of water. This is then placed in a sunny window, mine is in the window of my laundry room. I have a sprout from the main stalk, and from the stalk previously cut off and a sprout coming underneath the water. If they are in water, please put them in a window and walk away. All of the suggestions previously viewed, except that they cannot root in water, are well stated. I have placed almost every flower I have in water for a time, and sure enough they will make roots.
Also if the stalk is stuck back into the pot as someone previously mentioned, it will take root under the soil as well as a new sprout will also come from the area where the stalk is cut or broke. Either way, you will now have two plants. As the dief grows, they become very top heavy, which will cause the stalk to lean to the side if not break entirely. If this happens, either prop it up with some ordinary sticks, or cut it about 6 inches over the top of the pot, and the stalk will pop out another bud. Also if your stalk is bare of leaves, simply cut the stalk around six inches from the top of the pot, then take the cut stalk and dice it into several pieces, stick the individual pieces into dirt about halfway, and behold you will now have several plants instead of one. The leaves do not come back, and they continue to drop off as the stalk goes up. Do not be afraid to cut the plant to make more, etc...........But I have not heard anyone say, so I will that the sap from the dief is poisonous, one drop on your tongue and it will swell up and cause you to die. This is a beautiful plant, but is poisonous. Please keep children and pets far away from it - or simply explain to children that it is poisonous and they will stay away like my daughter. Also noteworthy when the dief is watered, if you look closely at the tip of the leaf, the plant appears to be crying. Be careful of this liquid also, because it is part of the sap and will iritate the skin. When working with the dief, be careful and wash all utensils used with soap and water since they may contain the poisonous sap.................What do you think...FreddeB

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 12:03PM
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I have had a dief for about 8 to 10 yrs. I just water it once a wk. sometimes once every 2 wks. It has grown to the ceiling 4 Xs, the leaves at the bottom (4 ft.) die off, I cut it and place in water, roots appear in 6 to 8 wks., place in soil and plants continue to grow VERY well. Reach ceiling again and I just repeat. This is a very low maintanance plant, it makes my house look great, everyone loves it and want a piece of it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:18AM
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my dieffenbachia has gotten vey weak and cannot stand by it`s self .. wondering what to do with it ?? should I try rooting a slip of the plant and forget about the rest ?? any suggestions will be helpfull

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 3:15PM
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I have rooted dieffenbachia many times in water, takes a bit of time but it works. I just found out by accident another way to do it. I had an dieffenbachia that was tipping over so I staked it. To protect the stem from the wood stakes I wrapped the stem in paper towels, not too tight. I noticed today when I unwrapped it to cut it down that there were numerous nodes, roots starting. It had been close to 2 yrs it was wrapped and the nodes had dried but I'm sure this is another way to root. I have put the cuttings with the dried nodes in water and will see if it does work.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:38PM
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