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When keeping any plant, it is important to look for changes so you can keep it alive for as long as possible. Dieffenbachia are resilient plants that can grow to be very large.
They have magnificent leaves and come in many different species. Since the leaves are the main part of this plant, you should keep an eye on their appearance and health.
Knowing what to look for and when there is an indication of a problem will help you keep your dieffenbachia healthy and thriving. By learning what is normal and what is not, you will be able to come up with a remedy if something is wrong to salvage your plant.
The leaves on your dieffenbachia plant might look just fine from the front, but make sure to also take a look at the underside of the leaves. You might notice that there are white spots forming.
There is a difference between white spots on the leaves and white areas where there are creases in the plant. Creasing can mean that the leaves are simply getting bigger and heavier.
White creases are usually not detrimental to dieffenbachia. This is actually a sign of normal growth.
When you notice white spots, this is more of a cause for concern. The spots can appear for a multitude of reasons, most likely relating to a development of fungus.
The technical term for this problem is myrothecium. This is another word for damage done to the leaves.
Damage can happen very easily, especially during handling or transportation of the plant. You always need to be very gentle when moving your dieffenbachia plant.
You will know if your plant is suffering from myrothecium if the spots are watery. They can appear either white in color or even black.
If you notice the white spots are dry, then this is probably just creasing. As mentioned, there is nothing much that can be done about creasing.
You should make sure that there is ample drainage in the pot to make sure it is not getting clogged. From there, you can try to be more careful with the plant and make sure that it is not being bumped into.
Treating the Problem
If you determine that the white spots are myrothecium, it is important to keep your dieffenbachia plant leaves dry. This does not mean that you should stop watering it.
Keep watering the plant as normal, making sure to only wet the soil. The dieffenbachia will absorb what it needs at its own pace.
You do not need to spray the leaves since the plant is going to take the water in from the bottom rather than the top. If you do get the leaves wet on accident, simply pat them dry with a towel.
Sometimes the problem can spread very quickly. If you notice the white spots on several leaves, it is best to trim those leaves from your dieffenbachia to prevent it from infecting the other leaves.
The plant will continue to grow even when you trim a few leaves off. This should solve the problem to ensure that the rest of the leaves do not develop the white spots.
It is also recommended to apply a fungicide to your plant to make sure that the fungus does not spread. You can pick some up at your local nursery or hardware store.
You will want to apply it once every two weeks. Keep an eye on the leaves to make sure that no new white spots are developing.
If you notice the problem getting worse, even after trimming leaves and using a fungicide treatment, then you might need to consult someone at a nursery for additional help. This could be an indication that the fungus has already been spreading widely.
Since there are many different varieties of dieffenbachia plants, it might be difficult to determine if your plant is healthy or if it has developed a fungus. There are a few typical signs of a healthy plant that you can look for.
The leaves can look vastly different depending on the species of dieffenbachia, but they should all contain similar patterns rather than spots. Do not forget to check the underside of each leaf.
They should not appear droopy or weighed down. In general, any dieffenbachia plant will have perky leaves that grow upward.
As your plant gets tall, you might notice some normal drooping due to gravity. This is normal and might just mean that your plant is actually very happy and healthy.
Over-watering and under-watering is a natural concern for many plant owners. If you notice the leaves turning yellow, this is a common sign that you are giving your dieffenbachia too much water.
You typically only need to water it once every two weeks. Anything additional will likely pool up in the soil, even if you do not see much drainage in your saucer.
If your plant is not getting enough water, this will usually result in very droopy leaves. This means that not only the tips of the leaves will start to droop.
Your dieffenbachia will start to drop completely, and this will happen to all of the leaves if the issue has to do with not getting enough water. Luckily, this is an easy fix if you can recognize it in time.
Since your dieffenbachia plant is mainly made up of leaves, you only need to keep an eye out on very few parts of it to determine if it is healthy. They are great plants to keep both indoors and outdoors if you have the proper climate for one.
A healthy dieffenbachia plant is going to grow rapidly, so you also need to make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate this growth. There is always the option of starting small and transplanting it to a bigger pot once it outgrows the original one.
Gardening and plant keeping can be a really fun hobby. The more you learn what to look for, the better you will get at it.
Keep trying, even if you do notice problems with your dieffenbachia plant. You should be able to remedy these problems and will eventually learn exactly what it needs to thrive.