What is happening to my dumb cane (Dieffenbac​hia)

Discussion in 'Houseplants' started by daspaceman, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. daspaceman

    daspaceman New Seed

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    Hello ,

    This is my first post ever relating to gardening and am a complete novice when it comes to gardening.

    I uploaded 3 photos of how my dumb cane looks. All leaves are drooping, and IT seems that something is wrong. It`s been like this for the last 2 or 3 months.

    New leaves continue to grow, so the plant isn`t dead I think! What do you think is the problem?

    Regards from Malta :)

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    DROOPY :( ( photo / image / picture from daspaceman's Garden )





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    ( photo / image / picture from daspaceman's Garden )





    [​IMG]
    ( photo / image / picture from daspaceman's Garden )
     
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  3. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    What kind of light is it getting? Is the soil dry? Or too wet?
     
  4. daspaceman

    daspaceman New Seed

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    Hello ,
    Thanks for the swift response.

    The soil is just moist. I do not over water the plant, I just water it every 8 or 10 days in winter, and once or twice a week in summer. Then I just spray mist on the leaves every now and then.

    The light is not too strong, there is just a little bit of light which comes from a glass door, 15 feet away.

    Thanks
     
  5. kathyd

    kathyd In Flower

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    Is it where there might be a draft, or if it rests upon cool tile, is the coldness causing a bit of shock? :?: I guess my question is how warm is its enviroment?
     



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  6. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    My first thought was that it was getting too much water and not enough sun.
    Also, is it possible that it's root-bound and is ready for a bigger pot?
    I'm sure some of the more knowledgeable members will also give you some advice soon.
     
  7. daspaceman

    daspaceman New Seed

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    Thanks for your answers.

    @kathyd; There is no draft what so ever. Yes, it does stand on cool tiles, but there is the decoration pot and the pot itself. In malta we have a humid winter, temperature is not too cold, but even in summer, which is very hot here, the plant had drooping leaves.

    @cherylad; The plant is not getting sun, as it stands in a corner of a large room. I do not know if the plant is root bound. I`ve only been having the plant for 8-9 months now.
     
  8. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Bright light, no direct sun, optimally 5-8 feet from a bright window.
    Away from drafts, that includes keeping away from open windows or frequently used doors.
    Requires temperatures above 60F/15C temperatures.
    Needs high humidity, so misting daily is needed.
    Place the pot in a tray of water so the soil will remain constantly moist. Yours appears to be in a clay pot that is in a decorative pot so keep a small amount of water in the decorative pot.

    I am guessing that because you have yours about 15 feet away from the window that it isn't getting enough light. And that is possibly keeping the water in the soil from evaporating which means it could be getting too much water.
    And 15 feet away from a source of warmth, it could be too cool even without being in a draft.

    Move it closer to the window, not directly in front of it, but over to the side. It doesn't like direct sun but does need more light than it has been getting.
    Keep us up dated on it's progress too please.

    Also, is it in the same pot you bought it in? If so, gently pull the plant out of the pot to check the roots. If they are a tangled mass and possibly girdling (growing round and round themselves) then repotting would help it a lot.
     
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  9. daspaceman

    daspaceman New Seed

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    Wow Toni, thanks for your answer.

    I guess light is the problem.. I will move it closer to light. I will also mist the plant daily, as I was only doing so every 3 or 4 days.

    Will putting water in the tray beneath the first pot, but does it damage the roots, I read something somewhere about root damage.

    How much volume and how much frequent should I water the plant Toni?

    Thanks for your answer , I will let you know the results.
     
  10. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    For plants that don't like to have their roots constantly wet, having the pot sit in a water filled tray will cause root rot. But since Dieffenbac​hia is a tropical plant and in it's native climate is used to moist soil that won't be a problem.

    Amount of water and watering schedule varies from situation to situation...size of pot, humidity level in the house, etc.
    If letting it sit in a tray of water feels wrong to you then you can use you finger to determine when to water....just stick it into the soil and if it's dry to about the second knuckle, it's time to water.
    Drying out a bit between waterings usually doesn't harm it either. If you are away from home for a few days and the top inch or so of soil dries out, that won't kill it.

    I have been seeing Dieffenbac​hia used as a landscape plant in shady gardens lately and those certainly don't get watered enough to keep the soil real moist...and the plants have been doing just fine.

    Also, have you fertilized it since you bought it? Using a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength will help it too. During the warmer months feed it every two weeks but in cooler months once a month is fine.
     
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  11. Carol Blue-Garcia

    Carol Blue-Garcia Seedling

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    When my plants look like this inside, then I plant them outside and hope they survive. Some plants just do not live forever.
     
  12. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Dieffenbac​hia can live 10+ years as a houseplant if the conditions are as similar to their native climate as possible.

    Personally I have found that a plant's longevity isn't determined as much by it's genetic makeup as by my inability to replicate it's native climate in doors. I have pretty much given up on growing tropicals :rolleyes:
     

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