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8 Common Dieffenbachia Problems (And What to Do About Them)

8 Common Dieffenbachia Problems (And What to Do About Them)

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Dieffenbachia plants are very popular because of how much visual appeal they have. You might hear people referring to them as dumb cane plants more often than not.

It’s simply a lot easier to say. If you’ve purchased one of these houseplants recently, you’re likely very happy with how it looks.

These are stunning plants that will look great in your home so long as you care for them properly. Of course, things can go wrong if you make certain mistakes.

Read on to learn about common dieffenbachia problems. This will help you to know the types of problems that you can expect to encounter when caring for these plants.

If all goes well, you’ll be able to use this information to avoid having issues caring for the plant. It’ll certainly be beneficial to know more about these great plants so you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

1 – Stunted Leaf Growth

Stunted leaf growth is a fairly common issue with these plants. Sometimes you might notice that the leaves aren’t growing as much as they should be.

Do many of the leaves seem to be smaller than normal? This could be a sign that something is amiss.

There are a few different things that will cause dieffenbachia plants to have stunted leaf growth. One of the most common situations involves pest infestations.

Pests will cause the plant stress and will keep it from being able to grow properly. In some cases, pest issues can get so bad that the plant won’t survive.

Thankfully, solving these issues won’t be all that difficult. You simply need to get rid of the pests and nurse the plant back to health.

The most common pests that you’ll have to deal with when caring for these plants are mealybugs and spider mites. You should be able to treat the plant with organic products that will deter pests before turning to potentially harmful chemical options.

Not watering the plant properly can also cause stunted leaf growth. This is why you need to ensure that you’re watering the plant often enough and that you’re doing everything as instructed.

Likewise, the plant not getting adequate sunlight will stunt the growth of its leaves. Be sure that you’re giving the plant the ideal amount of sunlight to keep it healthy.

It could also be the case that the plant has become root-bound. This occurs when the plant grows too large for its pot.

All of these issues are easy enough to fix. You just have to pay attention and figure out what’s wrong so you can turn everything around.

2 – Yellow Stems

Have you noticed that the stems of the dieffenbachia plant have started looking yellow as of late? This is not normal, and it’s a sign that you’re doing something wrong.

Yellowing stems show you that the plant has serious problems. If you don’t fix things, the plant could wind up dying.

There are two common causes of yellowing stems in dieffenbachia plants. The first cause involves watering the plant way too much.

You could be going overboard when watering the plant. These plants need to be watered to stay healthy, but too much water will cause issues.

Moving forward, it’ll be best to avoid watering the plant more than you should. You don’t want to make the soil overly moist.

It’s best to wait until the top two inches of the soil have become dry to water the water. When it’s time to water the dieffenbachia plant, you should do so at the base.

If watering isn’t the cause of the yellow stems, it’s likely that the plant is root-bound. This could mean that you’ll need to put the plant in a new pot so it can continue to grow.

3 – Leggy Growth Issues

In case you’re not familiar with the term, “leggy growth” refers to plants that have long stems with only a few leaves at the top. If your dieffenbachia plant looks like this, it could be an indication that something is wrong if the leggy growth is excessive.

It’s actually pretty normal for these plants to have leggy growth. As the plant continues to age, this will be a fairly common thing.

Sometimes leggy growth issues will be exacerbated when you aren’t putting the plant in the right spots. For instance, putting a plant in a spot that doesn’t get enough sunlight will make things worse.

The plant will stretch out and try to seek out light. This will make it have much longer stems than usual.

It should also be noted that the plants will look leggy if you don’t prune them properly. Pruning the plants every so often can help to keep everything looking nice.

4 – Curling Leaves

Curling leaves will be an obvious sign that something is wrong. When you notice the leaves start to curl on your plant it’s going to cause you to worry.

What’s going on that’s causing the leaves to curl? Is this a problem that you can fix?

Typically, curling leaves will be caused by spider mite infestations. There’s a good chance that your dieffenbachia plant is dealing with spider mites if its leaves are curling.

Check to see if you can spot the mites. They can be hard to spot with the naked eye, but you might notice the little webs that they leave behind.

You can get rid of the spider mites by using organic pest deterrents. They shouldn’t be that tough to deal with.

Not watering the plant enough might cause the leaves to curl as well. Be sure to water the plant when you’re supposed to so you can avoid such issues.

Using too much fertilizer on the plant could cause the leaves to curl. This is why it’s so important to use fertilizer sparingly and to follow the directions closely to avoid harming the plant.

Temperature fluctuations can cause leaf curling, too. Sudden hot or cold temperature spikes can shock the plant and cause the leaves to curl.

5 – Droopy Leaves

What if the leaves simply appear to be droopy? This is a common problem that many people take note of when they first start caring for these plants.

Even though it’s a common issue, it isn’t something you should ignore. Droopy leaves can usually be seen as a sign that your plant needs water.

When the leaves start to droop, it’s a simple sign that tells you that you should water the plant. There are other reasons the leaves start to droop, though.

Sadly, droopy leaves can also be a sign that you’ve watered too much. Thus, you need to check the soil to see if it’s time to water the plant.

Remember to use your fingers to check if the top two inches of soil are dry. If the soil is dry, it’ll be fine to go ahead and water the plant.

Occasionally, droopy leaves will occur when the plant is exposed to temperatures that are too hot or too cold. If there has been a temperature fluctuation recently, that could be what’s causing the leaves to droop.

Pests can cause droopy leaves as well. As usual, you’ll want to look for signs of pests and take action if you notice a pest infestation.

6 – Brown Spots

Seeing brown spots on the plant won’t be a good sign. You know that brown spots on the plant or on the leaves will be a negative sign.

What does it mean when you see this happen? It could be that the plant is being exposed to more sunlight than it should be.

Excessive sunlight can scorch the plant and cause portions of it to become brown. You should be sure to move the plant to an appropriate spot where it won’t get scorched.

These plants do best in partial shade. They can even tolerate full shade if you want to go that route.

Putting them in direct sunlight will be a poor choice. The scorching issues will continue to get worse if you don’t change where the plant is positioned.

During the cold months of the year, freezing temperatures can cause brown spots. You might have the plant too close to a drafty window.

It’s also a bad idea to keep the plant close to a vent or an air conditioning unit. This can cause significant issues that will make the plant look bad.

Pests might cause brown spots sometimes as well. Look out for the plant and try to determine the cause of the brown spots so you can make things better.

7 – Brown Leaf Tips

What if just the tips of the leaves are brown? Is that an indication that something is wrong?

It generally shows you that something is a bit off with the plant when this occurs. Often, this will happen when you’re not watering the plant enough.

Brown leaf tips can also be related to keeping the plant in a low humidity environment. It might be too dry in your home and that is causing the tips of the leaves to become brown.

Soil quality can be part of the problem as well. Sometimes excessive amounts of minerals will build up in the soil and this will cause the plant to have brown leaf tips.

Another possibility involves fertilizing the plant too much. This can very easily cause the leaf tips to turn brown.

Troubleshoot and figure out where you’re going wrong. It could be as simple as adjusting the humidity levels in your home.

Remember that you can raise the humidity in the plant area by misting it with water. Some people even just leave bowls of water out in the room to naturally raise the humidity.

You could buy a small humidifier for your houseplants, too. This is a common solution for those living in dry regions.

8 – Yellow Leaves

Finally, you should know that yellow leaves are a common problem for dieffenbachia plants. These plants are supposed to be beautiful green plants, but the leaves can turn yellow when things go wrong.

Yellowing can be a totally normal thing that you won’t need to worry about. As plants age, parts of the plant might start to turn yellow.

You may see brown or yellow leaves toward the bottom of the plant. Some choose to prune these leaves, but others might wait for them to fall off naturally.

If you’re seeing yellow leaves on the upper parts of the plant, it’s more likely that something is amiss. You might need to make some adjustments.

Watering issues are commonly associated with yellow leaves. There’s a good chance you might be watering the plant too much.

Root-bound plants will also start to have their leaves turn yellow. Slide the plant out of the pot and look to see if it is root-bound.

When plants don’t get enough sunlight, it can cause the leaves to start yellowing. These plants do well in shade, but they do still need enough sunlight to thrive.

Pest infestations can stress the plant enough to cause yellow leaves. As usual, you’ll want to look out for signs of mealybugs and spider mites.

You can figure out what’s wrong and take the right actions. Getting the plant to look better when it has yellow leaves likely won’t be that hard.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned about the common problems that you’ll encounter when caring for dieffenbachia plants. These plants are very pretty and fun to take care of overall.

Knowing the problems that you might run into will allow you to avoid surprises. You have a better understanding of the pitfalls that you should try to avoid.

Be sure to water the plant properly to avoid having issues. Water the plant enough without going overboard.

Remember that you want to check the soil with your fingers. Water the plant when the top two inches of soil have become dry.

Don’t put these plants in direct sunlight either. It’ll cause the plants to become scorched and that will make them turn brown.

Be sure to protect your plants from pests such as spider mites and mealybugs. In some cases, treating the plants with neem oil will be a good option.

So long as you’re being a proactive plant owner, you can stay on top of things. Pay attention to your plant and keep caring for it to the best of your ability.