Dieffenbachia, Dumbcane, Dumb Cane

Dieffenbachia seguine

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dieffenbachia (def-en-BAH-kee-ah) (Info)
Species: seguine (suh-GEEN) (Info)
Synonym:Dieffenbachia maculata
Synonym:Dieffenbachia picta


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Dark Green

Light Green



6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fountain Valley, California


MATHER, California

Pleasant Hill, California

Henderson, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Miami, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Valdosta, Georgia

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii

Honomu, Hawaii

Keaau, Hawaii

Orchidlands Estates, Hawaii

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

West Des Moines, Iowa

Gonzales, Louisiana

Detroit, Michigan

Saginaw, Michigan

New York City, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Germantown, Tennessee

Newport, Tennessee

Alice, Texas

Carrollton, Texas

Hutto, Texas

Odessa, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Renton, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 29, 2010, Tigerlily09 from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I was given a 5' tall dumb cane by a coworker a few years ago. I let it grow to about 8' before I figured out I could chop it up and grow babies. I replanted the roots and they are growing huge new leaves! The tops are doing well too. I don't know if this happened to anyone else, but the cut pieces seemed to hibernate for almost a year until about half of them sprouted. Some rotted and some didn't do anything. I kept 6 of the best and now my living room is full of dumb canes and I love it! These are very easy to grow, just keep them out of full sun. I was worried about poisoning when I adopted a cat from the shelter but the cat seems to have no interest in it. This is one of my all-time favorite plants.


On Nov 30, 2008, emw121199 from Bronx, NY wrote:

I have had my dumb cane for two years. I started with 4 leaves and now have 17. It is a foot taller than when I purchased it. Recently, the main stem has started to buckle a bit under the weight of the leaves, which are quite large and heavy, so I may have to repot/prune. I think this is a very attractive, easy to grow houseplant and I would love to see mine grow to 6-9 feet! I have it on the floor in front of a south window (partially obstructed) and water approximately once a week. It really took off when I repotted into a much larger pot, though I am aware I should have gone up more slowly. I would recommend this plant to anyone with the light and space to accommodate it.


On May 26, 2008, CrystalOKeefe from Saginaw, MI wrote:

I love my "dumbcane", I enjoy it indoors and I was wondering if anyone knows if it would be ok or good for it to move it outdoors for the summer? I live in Michigan. Also how can I get it to grow "babies"?


On Oct 1, 2005, jorjie from Odessa, TX wrote:

Is there a way to strengthen the stalk without cutting it off? It belongs to my mother-in-law who is going in a nursing home. My husband wants to keep it. It has tripled in height since he bought it for her 2 years ago but the stalk has not gotten any bigger. We have it staked to hold it upright. Otherwise, it looks great. Thanks, Jorjie


On Jun 28, 2005, Dieffenjack from Germantown, TN wrote:

"Jack" is a 12+ year old dumbcane that has been on the brink of death numerous times, but has always made an amazing comeback! For the first time in the plant's life it has sprouted a seed pod approximately 3 inches in length. There are leaves curled at the base protecting what looks like yellow and white spore-like growths. Several inches below the initial seedpod, a smaller pod is forming. This has taken me by surprise as it was not there yesterday and *poof* it appeared today!! Jack never fails to surprise me. I just don't know what to expect with the seed/flower pod, and if this is a signal of his demise as insinuated by a previous post. Picture awaiting approval.


On Dec 14, 2004, Alocasiaaddict from Interlachen, FL wrote:

Sustains leaf damage at 35


On Aug 21, 2004, blueangel25 from Little Bay,
Canada wrote:

My mother has had this plant for years and now all of a sudden there are flowers growing from it...never knew it was supposed to flower. We read that these plants will usually die after flowering.


On Jun 25, 2004, Bemhawk from Sterling, VA wrote:

This is a beautiful houseplant and is very easy to care for. Very popular where I am (Northern Virginia), though it is extremely toxic. A friend of mine did not believe me when I told her it can paralyze vocal chords and ingested a piece of mine. She was unable to talk for hours and was in extreme pain. Keep away from children and pets.


On May 17, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant growss wildly in our area of Hawaii....leave a small piece laying on the ground when hacking it and it develops roots and grows in no time.

It does provide a beautiful contrast to other green backgrounds, but we have to keep it trimmed back or it will take over.

At one time we had a white pet goat and even though he loved to devour gingers, banana and other greens, he knew instinctivily to not touch this one....


On May 16, 2004, jspLive from Mather, CA wrote:

Dieffenbachia Maculata "Perfection Compacta"

I've had this plant for several months, recently it developed a seed sprout, white in color, two to three inches long. After a few days the seeds were rewraped to what appears now to be a nine inch seed pod.


On Mar 29, 2004, plantsfungifts wrote:

Have had this plant for over 20 years, with much success. When it gets too tall, just cut the top and either place in water until roots grow or you can even just plant the cutting directly in the soil and keep very moist. What's left of the old plant will sprout new shoots, and the new plant will lose some old leaves but will again grow after an adjustment period. It's a very impressive plant, growing large, attractive leaves. I've made numerous new plants and given them as gifts, to co-workers to decorate their offices. Now for the first time, my plant is blooming. (I never knew this was possible.)


On Mar 15, 2004, lentenrose68 wrote:

I live in Central PA. This plant was given to me by someone that has many. She told me that she has never had any of them bloom. I've had this plant for several months and I just noticed flowers. It is easy to care for, grows quickly and is absolutely beautiful. I love it. I am thinking of starting another for my husband's office. I think it would be a good environment for this plant and easy for him to care for. I will post a picture.


On Sep 26, 2003, susan041334 wrote:

Several years ago I bought one of these, it has had no TLC and I often find it wilted to the floor before watering - in about an hour after drenching it the plant is "up and at it" again. I really need to separate and repot. It is strictly house plant in this area (Indiana) but last year I did put it out on the porch and it thrived well.


On Sep 20, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Great plant, very hardy. Bury any inch long piece it will sprout.


On May 19, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

The flowers are clustered in an axis, ornamented by a greenish bract. The plant is toxic, due to oxalate crystals in its cells that both irritates the mouth and thoat (causing swelling) and paralyzes muscles. In bad cases, the muscles used in breathing may stop and cause death. But in most cases, the pacient only gets unabled vocal chords for a few days. In a way or another, keep this plant away from animals and children


On Dec 11, 2002, DumbCaneEater wrote:

My mother-in-law has had the plant we got a start from for twenty years and has never seen it bloom. We've had ours for two and it just bloomed. Not a beautiful flower overall: green, pitcher-shaped, with a thick long stamen/pistil? (I'm drawing a blank on my botany skills.)


On Nov 15, 2002, mommy wrote:

This plant falls over when getting to 6 feet. By cutting off the entire cane it has produced a baby. This is now the third time. I do not see another baby as of yet. I have had this plant about 10years and I pray I see another baby soon.