Dieffenbachia are a very popular houseplant, especially for beginners of those looking for an easy care, low maintenance option. With big, broad leaves that come in a large variety of colors and patterns, Dieffenbachia are great for low light applications and moderate watering. Please note that Dieffenbachia are not pet safe, and the leaves and stalks contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can lead to mouth irritation, drooling and numbing of the mouth if chewed on. If ingested in large quantities, swelling of the mouth, throat and stomach can occur.
Croton do best in a well lit, bright area, out of direct sunlight. Full shade and minimal filtered light conditions can be suitable for them as well, making them perfect for just about any room in your home or office. Even bathrooms with some filtered light can be a great place to show off your Dieffenbachia.
Dieffenbachia prefer and do best when they are kept moderately moist at all times. While they can tolerate drying out quite well, it is best to prevent them from staying dry for too long, as they will wilt and lose their leaves. An evenly moist soil is best, and a planter with drainage is a great option so that excess water does not pool at the the bottom of the pot, causing root issues. Check the soil every 3-4 days and water as needed. If the top inch or so of the soil is dry, your Croton could most likely use a drink. We find it best to check with your finger, as opposed to relying on a moisture meter. They can often times be quite inaccurate.
We recommend regular feeding, using a general purpose, high quality fertilizer all year round. We recommend diluting the fertilizer to about 50% strength. Nutrient deficiency in Dieffenbachia can lead to yellowing or browning of their leaves, as well as leaf loss and death. Fish Head Farms soil conditioner is another great option to use year round to provide essential nutrients and promote strong, healthy growth.
A loose, well draining soil or soilless mix is ideal. A peat based mixture with lots of perlite, vermiculite or sand will do the trick. For a pre-mixed formula, we find that a Cactus/Succulent blend is perfect!
Dieffenbachia are moderate growers, especially once they are established. We recommend repotting every year or 2, but only if they are noticeably pot bound. Even then, you only want to move up 2" or so in pot sizes to reduce stress. This should be done in the Spring or early Summer months. If you have just recently purchased your plant, do not repot it for at least 6 months.
Dieffenbachia are great at tolerating lower humidity levels. As long as they remain moist and are given enough filtered light each day, they are easy going with other household conditions. They prefer temperatures between 60-80 degrees F, but can go as low as 45.
The most common pest issues for Dieffenbachia include Mealy Bugs and Red Spider Mites, however, Thrip and even Scale Bugs can cause issues. It is always best practice to isolate any new plants you bring in to your home for a few weeks to watch for little pests. For help and tips on prevention and treatment of pests, see our At Home Pest Recipes here!
If you have any more questions, or need further assistance, please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email!