my third Dieffenbachia please help me !

khourshedOctober 27, 2012

dear all, i am trying my luck again hope it will not die.

the setup, plastic container, soil: pet moss, water: only when it is dry.

Environment: living room, Bright but no direct sun

no fertilizers yet cause it is in this pot for less than 3 months

it is suppose to be easy plant to take care of !

location : Saudi Arabia

room temp 26 - 28 c

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello K.

Is 28C, dry heat? Any humidity...Diffs require semi-high humidity.

Bright light is sufficient. How far is plant from window? Unless there's another source of light, the distance 'from plant to window,' looks too far for bright light.

More importanly, soil needs to be well-draining. Prolonged periods of wet soil causes root/trunk rot.

Do you know how your other two Dieffs died? Toni

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)


Likely peat is the problem, it stays too wet & then dries out to thoroughly, becoming impossible to re-wet. So it can both drown the plant from too wet or suffocate it from no air to the wet roots. Sorry, you need other soil materials that are not peat. May not be easy to find in Saudi Arabia, but I believe that's the problem.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 2:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

- Our weather is humid (very).
- the other plant died by gradually by converting leafs to yellow something similar like in the photo. It keep producing new leafs and leafs keep turning yellow and shrink to death.
- Their is no other source of light other the one in the photo.
- the soil well drained, when ever i add water it do appear in the saucer.

we do not have much variety of soil. is sand is a better choice ?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No, sorry sand is equally bad for others reason, it's too fine & will clog up the air spaces & the plant's roots will suffocate. Maybe ask anybody you know doing gardening.

Then again, perhaps live plants (other than palms) is not the way to go in that part of the world. Perhaps silk plants would be a better choice.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

pirate_girl, strange enough Dieffenbachia is a common plant and i do see it in offices around town in different sizes and over all it is an easy plant to grow (as per Wikipedia)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 4:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Khourshed, I have never had luck with Diff's but don't give up. You might want to move it a little closer to the window but not so close it will be in direct sun.

There are lots of threads on this site about soils, maybe they would give you some ideas.

Again dont give up!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Polly,

Pls. note he says he doesn't have much variety of soils to choose from. So reading all the threads of various mixes may not help if none are available where he is. If the poster is a she, then I apologize.


If you find these plants growing around so commonly, pls. ask to speak to several of those growing them & ask them where they get their soil mixes & what kind they use. Maybe ask them if you can buy some of their mix, or suggest a vendor to you.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looking at that photo it definitely looks like too much water around the roots. The temperature is ideal and the amount of light looks okay, many grow them in offices here with less light. So it gets back to the roots and that yellowing is typical of soil not draining well. Sand in the soil mix would be okay if it was coarse grained, but fine sand would create the same problem. I agree with the suggestion that you check with others that are growing them and see what they use and where they get it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've never had any luck with Diffs but I agree, it's probably yellowing from too much water. I was good at making mine yellow.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 10:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

since this is my third one, my policy this time is to dry before re-water some time it wilt (to the that extent to be sure the soil is dry) then i re -water. The photo was taken after water it. I keep sure to see the water come out from the pot a sort of flush each time.

pirate_girl what soil you recommend i may put it in my shopping list for my next visit to the US or buy it via Amazon ?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 5:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi again,

I don't grow this plant, so I don't know what to recommend. Pls. do those searches suggested earlier, for more specific info. on soils; I'd guess it would need to be something fast draining. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 9:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Can you get perlite or vermiculite there? Mix that with the soil for better draining and aeration. Roots need oxygen even tho the leaves dont.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not that this probably helps, but you will have to find the right balance with watering (for Diffs, I don't know what that is, I also don't grow this plant). But, I wouldn't allow it to dry out completely to the point it almost wilts/wilts, that will also cause yellowing leaves. You have to allow it to dry out some before watering again, but not that dry (wilting).


    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

K...WARNING. ALL parts of Dieffenbachis, leaves, trunk and sap are poisonous.
While fiddling with your Dieff, don thin gloves..if gloves aren't available, 'after handling,' wash hands thoroughly, with soap and water, then use a disposable towel. Paper Towel, etc.

It's normal for lower leaves to yellow and die creating the distinguishing 'Cane.'

When new/mid-size leaves yellow, most often the problem is over-watering.

Although many will disagree, I add peat and sand, among other mediums for certain tropical plants.
Peat increases pH..Dieffs require semi-acidic soil w/low pH.
The sand I buy is called's coarse and contains grit.

Although I no longer have a Dieff, 'when son was a baby he bit into trunk--disaster,' I grow Aglaonmemas..they're closely related, need similar care.

Imo, Dieffs needs fertile, well-draining soil.

Besides sand and peat, my Aglaos are potted with, African Violet soil, All-Purpose Soil, pea gravel, Perlite and time-release All-Purpose fertilizer.
I mix soils depends on plants' needs.

There's a good-number of soil options here on GW.

Perhaps you'll come across a mix ingredients won't be difficult finding in your location.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i am still fighting and will not let it go
I did change the soil and mix it with clay pellet for better aeration(a high quality German product) . trust me guys the water drains in seconds.
I did look at the roots and i did try to release them it was almost like a ball.

here some photos of my project

sorry for the quality

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 4:10PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
March Flowers
I feel guilty posting this as teen usually does but...
Question about ecobulb for houseplants
a while back someone on this forum rec. the Ecobulb...
ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a
Does anyone know the name of this plant?
Does anyone know the name of this plant?
Aran Yeo
Options to water the plant while away from office .
Dear All Would like to know your opinions on any options...
April Flowers
Happy April fools! Let's see your flowers! I for once...
Sponsored Products
Bubbles Polished Chrome 15-Light Chandelier with Rainbow Clear Glass
Tempest Cover Wall Sconce
Artisan Crafted Home
Hudson 2 Drawer Nightstand - Light Cerused Sand - 5114
$525.00 | Hayneedle
Scroll Trivet
$9.99 | zulily
Habersham Carlisle China Cabinet
Holcomb King Bedroom Set - WOOD - DR BROWN
$3,199.00 | Horchow
Laurenza 12-Light Chandelier
Ballard Designs
Step Floor Lamp by George Kovacs
$530.00 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™