Dieffenbachia is an evergreen plant that grows in the tropics of South and North America. It was named after the botanist Dieffenbach I.F.
It is considered a very unpretentious plant, but demanding on temperature and lighting.
It has large, elongated oval leaves and is grown as an ornamental houseplant. It grows quickly and looks impressive, but it blooms extremely rarely, and only if it is satisfied with the conditions of detention.
The plant has a powerful thick stem and a cap with large leaves. Some species of this genus can bush. Dieffenbachia sometimes reaches a height of two meters, and with artificial pollination, it is even capable of bearing fruit with orange-red berries. The main part of the flower is located on the top of the stem, the lower leaves gradually die off.
This plant is not recommended to be grown in homes where small children and animals will have access to them. After all, its juice is poisonous: it can cause dermatitis, burns of the throat and skin. In general, mankind knows more than 60 species of the genus Dieffenbachia.
In home floriculture, only certain types are used:
The plant needs regular, moderate watering and fertilization. Spraying the leaves will also be useful, because in the homeland of dieffenbachia there is high humidity and they need to be saved from drying out. The plant loves warmth and a lot of light, but does not tolerate direct sunlight and through wind.
The optimal temperature regime suitable for growth is at least 17-18 degrees. Over-watering can lead to plant disease or stem rot. In the warm season, the flower can be taken outside, but hidden from direct sun. In insufficient light, the plant begins to stretch and turns into a thin and brittle tree.
When the air dries up, the leaves and stem can be affected by spider mites. You can get rid of these pests by wiping with soapy water and warm washes. Just like other plants, Dieffenbachia can suffer from fungal diseases due to excessive watering. To save the flower, you need to inspect the roots for rotting, then cut off the damaged parts, treat with activated carbon powder and transplant into new soil.
Dieffenbachia easily reproduce by planting a piece of a thick trunk. For the plant to take root better, a mixture of soils should be used: sand, peat, leaf and most of the sod land. You can add charcoal and brick chips. Throughout the entire growing period, dieffenbachia should be fed with a complex of fertilizers.
As with all plants, growing Dieffenbachia has positive aspects. Firstly, this type is an air purifier: it effectively cleans the environment from formaldehyde, a substance that is used in the manufacture of furniture. Secondly, this plant is able to humidify the air, evaporating the consumed liquid, and clean the building from dust.
Despite all the advantages of this flower, it has one, but significant disadvantage - poisonous milky juice. Getting on the skin, the juice can cause irritation, and it is especially dangerous for the mouth and eyes. Upon contact, a person is at risk of multiple edema, blindness and loss of the ability to speak.
Despite this, dieffenbachia juice is not capable of much harm to an adult, because no one wants to eat the leaves. If it gets on hands or face, slight redness (ulcers) may occur, which will disappear after a while. Therefore, when working with dieffenbachia, gloves should be used, and at the end - wash your hands well under warm water and detergent.
For a small child, the consequences will be much more serious. Once in the body, dieffenbachia juice can cause loss of speech, blindness, dizziness and loss of orientation in space, as well as poisoning. This flower is no less dangerous for pets. An animal that has bitten the leaves will develop laryngeal edema. But mostly pets smell the poisonous juice and do not even come close to the plant.
In general, dieffenbachia can be grown at home, but the negative aspects should be kept in mind. This means that in a house where there are pets and small researchers, this plant should be lifted on cabinets or hung on walls in order to avoid danger to the health of four-legged and small residents.
Possibilities of allergic reactions that pose a high danger to health are known, but there are very few such cases, and they arise only through individual intolerance to juice.
When using dieffenbachia to decorate your own home, you should follow safety measures or get a less dangerous green decoration.