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The Mystery of White Dieffenbachia Leaves – What’s Happening?

The Mystery of White Dieffenbachia Leaves – What’s Happening?

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Dieffenbachia plants are stunning and frequently used as houseplants to decorate different rooms with their unique looks. However, these plants can develop some problems that can turn the plant’s leaves white. So, what are the common issues that discolor the leaves of Dieffenbachia plants?

Several issues can cause your Dieffenbachia plant’s leaves to turn white; these include certain diseases, a nutrient deficiency, your Dieffenbachia plant being exposed to low temperatures, and underwatering your plant. It’s important to note that some white leaves are natural.

Dieffenbachia plants are lovely indoor plants that can bring color to any room. However, they are prone to multiple problems that can affect their health. Let’s go through these issues to see if there is any way you can bring your Dieffenbachia back to full health.

Why Would Dieffenbachia Leaves Turn White?

When you have been lovingly and tentatively caring for your Dieffenbachia plant and trying your best to ensure its every need is met so it can thrive, only to notice that your cherished plant is beginning to develop some strange white leaves.

Witnessing your favorite Dieffenbachia plant struggle with its health can be pretty discouraging for you as its caretaker. If you have a Dieffenbachia and put a lot of energy into keeping your plant healthy every day, only to have the plant’s leaves begin to turn white, it can really start to worry you.

Unfortunately, multiple issues can impact the health of your Dieffenbachia plants and turn the plant’s leaves white in the process. With the number of possible problems, it can be difficult for you to figure out what is affecting your Dieffenbachia and if you can fix it.

Here are the problems you might be facing with your Dieffenbachia plant that could cause your plant’s leaves to turn white:

  • Underwatering your Dieffenbachia plant
  • Nutrient deficiencies in the plant
  • Your Dieffenbachia plant being exposed to cold temperatures
  • Diseases developing on and in your plant
  • This could also be natural for some Dieffenbachia plants

Many of the difficulties you may face that cause your Dieffenbachia plant’s leaves to turn white can also cause your plant to be underdeveloped. Some can eventually kill your plant if not treated immediately after you have seen it.

Let’s look at these issues more in-depth to see how you might be able to fight the cause and possibly save your Dieffenbachia and even avoid these issues in the future.

Diseases Developing

There are certain diseases that Dieffenbachia plants are prone to that can begin to turn the plant’s leaves white if they are left to progress on the plant long enough. The main disease that will do this to your Dieffenbachia plant is a fungal disease called powdery mildew.

This white fungus will grow on the plant and give the leaves a white appearance. Powdery mildew doesn’t usually harm the plant and is merely unattractive, but it can begin to cause problems when it expands out of control and turns your plant white.

The tissue of the plant under the fungus can begin to die, which will slowly kill your Dieffenbachia plant. You can deal with this disease with a fungicide spray.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Unfortunately, Dieffenbachia plants are prone to certain nutrient deficiencies that can cause the plant’s leaves to turn white. This is difficult to diagnose as you can’t see the nutrient levels in your plant’s soil.

You should do a soil test as this will give a better understanding of what is going on and see if this is the cause of your plant’s health issues. The soil may have these deficiencies due to the soil being too acidic or from the poor application of fertilizers to the soil.

The nutrient that is likely to cause the discoloration of your plant’s leaves when there is not enough in the soil is nitrogen. When this nutrient is lacking in the soil, it can begin to seriously affect your plant’s health and color.

If a lack of nitrogen is the cause of your plant’s leaves turning white, you will need to fertilize your Dieffenbachia plant with a fertilizer high in nitrogen, and you should also treat the dirt with lime to bring the acidity of the soil down as this will let the nitrogen settle in the soil.


Dieffenbachia plants are native to tropical climates as they are from countries like Mexico, and these plants will begin to develop problems if they are underwatered regularly. Underwatering your Dieffenbachia will cause your plant to become dehydrated, and it will start drying out.

This will cause your plant’s leaves to fade in color, sometimes losing their pigment altogether and turning white as the plant’s cells lose their structure. The leaves will also droop or wilt as there is not enough sap in the plant to hold the leaves up anymore.

You should see if your Dieffenbachia is underwatered by looking at the plant’s soil. If the soil is completely dry, your plant is probably underwatered. You will need to gradually water your plant more and increase the frequency that you water your plant to fix this problem.

Keeping Dieffenbachia Plants in Low Temperatures

As mentioned above, Dieffenbachia plants are tropical plants, which means they are used to and thrive in warmer temperatures. You should keep your Dieffenbachia plant in a temperature range of 62°F to 80°F to keep it healthy.

If the temperature falls below 55°F, your plant’s leaves will start to become discolored. The leaves will first turn yellow, and then if the problem persists, the leaves will fade into white and fall off your plant. This can eventually kill your plant, so keep your plant warm!

White Leaves In Some Dieffenbachia Is Natural

Lastly, some Dieffenbachia plants will naturally develop white leaves as most of these plants are variegated. This means that the plant’s leaves are naturally green with a bit of white.

If you have a variegated Dieffenbachia, then the only time you need to worry about white leaves is if the grown leaf is 100% white. This can cause problems in the plant’s photosynthesis processes, and you should prune any fully white leaves off your plant to discourage this kind of growth.

Final Thoughts

Dieffenbachia plants are gorgeous plants with their somewhat mottled leaves, making them popular houseplants as they are eye-catching. However, these plants can develop problems that can affect their health.

If you are anxious about the health of your Dieffenbachia plant, go through the list of problems above carefully, as it should help you find the problem. Good luck with your Dieffenbachia plant!

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