Skip to Content

Why Does My Dieffenbachia Have a Rotting Stem?

Why Does My Dieffenbachia Have a Rotting Stem?

Disclaimer: Some links found on this page might be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.--

Having a dieffenbachia plant in your home will be very satisfying. These green plants are incredibly beautiful houseplants that many people adore.

They look amazing in just about any room you put them in. Many even say that they’re excellent office plants since they tolerate full shade.

If you’ve recently started caring for one of these plants, you might be concerned if something has gone wrong. For instance, you might notice that the stem of the plant isn’t looking so good.

When the dieffenbachia plant’s stem appears to be rotting, it’s going to be a huge cause for concern. What is going on that’s causing the stem to rot?

Keep reading to learn about this topic and what you need to do. It should help you to do a better job caring for the plant.

Too Much Water

It’s likely that the stem is rotting because you’ve been watering the plant too much. In most cases, root rot is going to cause other sections of the plant to start rotting away as well.

When you water dieffenbachia plants more than you should, it’s going to be hard for them to stay healthy. You’re giving the plant more water than it can handle.

You might notice that the plant will start dripping water from its foliage. This is known as guttation and it’s a sign that you’ve been watering the plant too much.

When you continue to water plants too much, it’ll negatively impact the roots. The roots of the plant might become squishy and they will start to rot away.

Eventually, the roots might become very soft to the touch and they will smell foul, too. You should check the condition of the roots to see if the plant is experiencing root rot.

When a plant has root rot there isn’t a lot you can do. If the root rot is really bad, the plant is simply going to die.

If there are still some healthy roots, you can try to cut away the rotting portions of the plant in an effort to save the portion that isn’t experiencing root rot. Note that the plant won’t always survive when you do this.

The best thing you can do is to prevent root rot from ever happening. You need to water the plant carefully moving forward.

Advice for Watering Dieffenbachia Plants

Watering dieffenbachia plants is easier when you know how to approach the situation. You should give the plant only as much water as it needs.

Don’t water the plant unless you know it needs it. Check the soil to see if the top two inches are dry first.

When the soil is dry, you’re supposed to water the plant thoroughly at the base. You want to water the plant until water comes out of the drainage holes in the pot.

Now you’re supposed to allow the plant to dry out before watering it again. It’s best to ensure that the plant is able to dry out properly.

This means planting the dieffenbachia plant in well-draining soil. You want to use loamy soil that will drain properly.

Also, you need to improve air circulation to help the plant dry out between watering sessions. This can be done by placing a fan near your houseplants.

It’s also helpful to give the plants enough sunlight. Dieffenbachia plants do well in partial shade.

Temperature Fluctuations

Sometimes temperature fluctuations might cause issues with your plants. Has your dieffenbachia plant been exposed to cold temperatures recently?

That could have caused the stem to start rotting. Cold temperatures can be very detrimental to these houseplants.

You might have kept it out on the porch and it got really cold one night. Sometimes mistakes like this happen and it winds up harming the plant.

Even positioning the plant near a drafty window or a vent can be problematic. This is why you need to put some thought into where you place the pot.

Sometimes you can try to cut the plant back if only the stem is rotting. If the roots are healthy, you should be able to get everything to grow back fine.

Fungal Issues

Sometimes stem rot is associated with fungal issues. If you notice fungus on the plant, you’re going to need to treat it to try to help the plant survive.

Before moving forward, take the time to remove infected sections of the plant. This means cutting away leaves that have the fungal infection.

When this is done, you should spray the plant thoroughly with a commercial fungicide product. This should kill the fungus and give the plant a chance to heal.

You must let the plant dry out for quite some time. Don’t resume watering until the plant has completely dried out.

If everything goes the right way, your plant will survive and you can keep caring for it. You might need to be careful not to water the plant too much in the future because you likely inadvertently created an environment where fungus can thrive.

Final Thoughts

It might not always be apparent what is wrong with the dieffenbachia plant. If the stem appears to be rotting, there could be several different things happening.

Sometimes something as simple as exposure to hot or cold temperatures will cause plants to have problems. Many dieffenbachia plant owners have noted that these plants don’t do well when exposed to cold air.

Keeping the plant near a drafty window could be the culprit. In this situation, you might be able to turn things around if the plant isn’t too badly shocked.

More commonly, stem rot is related to root rot. Root rot occurs when the plant has been watered far too much.

Dieffenbachia plants don’t do well when you water them more than you’re supposed to. It’s best to be very careful when watering these plants.

You want to check the soil with your fingers to ensure that the top two inches are dry. Only then should you water the plant at the base.

Going overboard can easily lead to problems with root rot. Often, the plant will simply die once it has root rot.

Fungal issues could also be to blame for the rotting stem problem. Sometimes fungal issues occur when you’ve been watering the plant too much.

You might have created a situation where fungus can grow easily. Solve this issue by treating the plant with a fungicide and allowing it to dry out.