Dieffenbachia (Latin Dieffenbachia) - belongs to the evergreen family of aroids (Araceae), which includes about 40 representatives. Most often found in the rainforests of South and North America.
The overseas beauty owes its name to the gardener of the Vienna Botanical Gardens Josef Dieffenbach.
It looks very impressive thanks to its variegated, rather large leaves. The succulent stems of the plant are similar to tree trunks. At home, it grows quickly, in just 5 years it reaches a height of 1.5-2 meters. Due to the fact that in the process of growth, the lower part of the trunk is exposed, the plant eventually loses its former beauty.
In indoor culture, it blooms very rarely, with small flowers collected in beautiful inflorescences.
Other names: Dieffenbachia, leopard lily, dumb rod.
Attention: Dieffenbachia is quite poisonous, the leaves and sap of the plant cause burns to the mucous membrane and skin of a person or animal. Therefore, the flower should not be placed in children's rooms and in places easily accessible to pets. When pruning and transplanting a green friend, in order to avoid watery eyes, sore throat and other signs of allergic reactions, follow safety rules. It is recommended to wear gloves before work, and then wash your hands with soap and water.
Dieffenbachia leopoldii is her hometown of Costa Rica. The leaves are broadly elliptical, dark green in color. A plant with a short, 5-centimeter stem with short petioles, which are decorated with purple spots.
Dieffenbachia adorable (Dieffenbachia amoena) - trunk height of about 1.5 m, leaves up to 50 cm long, rich green color with light cream stripes along the veins. The advantage of this representative among relatives is that it is shade-tolerant and easier to tolerate a lack of air humidity.
Dieffenbachia spotted (Dieffenbachia maculata or Dieffenbachia picta) - beautiful lanceolate leaves, green, covered with white spots. The length of the leaf plate is slightly shorter than that of the previous representative of the variety - 40 cm, and the width is 10-12 cm. The stem grows up to 1 m, the length of the petioles is identical to the length of the leaves.
Benefits: With the right approach, this ornamental plant can be very beneficial. Dieffenbachia perfectly cleans the air from a number of toxins and combustion products: xylene, benzene, formaldehyde. Therefore, it is recommended to place it in industries and in houses that are located near large factories, plants, highways.
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Despite its large size, it is a delicate indoor flower that needs attention and care. Leaving has some difficulties, let it not scare you, in fact Dieffenbachia is not as capricious as it seems at first glance.
Decorators often use leopard lilies to decorate the interior, large specimens are set as single plants, and small ones as the central basis for compositions.
Having created the necessary conditions for growth and flowering, you will receive not only an amazingly beautiful plant, but also a faithful assistant in keeping the apartment clean and comfortable.
Lighting. From bright diffused light to semi-dark. You should not install a flowerpot on the south side of the apartment. Although the plant loves a lot of light, direct sunlight can negatively affect its visual attractiveness and vital functions. It should be borne in mind that dieffenbachia with variegated leaves needs more bright diffused light than representatives of its family of solid green color.
Temperature. A prerequisite for keeping a decorative beauty is the absence of drafts and sharp fluctuations in air temperature. In the warm season, the optimum temperature is 21-25 ° C, and in winter it should not rise above 20 ° C, the most acceptable temperature is 18-19 ° C.
Air humidity. In order for the graceful dumb rod to develop well, it must be regularly sprayed with clean water and the leaves should be washed once a week using a soft, wet cloth. The plant will be grateful for the occasional summer shower. A pallet with gravel and water also saves well from dry air, where carefully place a flower pot.
Important: Since dieffenbachia does not react well to lime, use filtered or settled water for irrigation and spraying during the day.
Watering. The green beauty does not tolerate the drying out of an earthen coma, she needs timely watering with soft water at room temperature. However, make sure that the water does not stagnate, this may cause the root system to rot or lead to pests. A sure sign that a plant in a flowerpot has an excess of moisture is the dropping of leaves.
From spring to autumn, watering is plentiful, and in the cold season, moderate. Try to keep the soil slightly moist during spring and summer.
Top dressing. From May to August, during the period of intensive growth, you need to feed Dieffenbachia with complex mineral and organic fertilizers every two weeks. In the autumn-winter period, feeding is not necessary.
Important: When selecting fertilizers, pay attention to the absence of lime in its composition.
Transfer. The soil for transplanting is normal, which is most often used for indoor plants, only you need to add a small amount of grated charcoal. Place a little expanded clay at the bottom of the pot, this will help remove excess moisture from the soil. Pick up the pot slightly larger than the root system, 1-2 fingers deeper and wider than it was before. The best time to transplant is from late winter to early summer.
Usually, the transplant is carried out every three to four years.
Trimming and shaping. You can return the flower to its usual decorative appearance using the method of rooting the top - carefully cut the trunk at a height of 10 cm from the beginning of root growth. The cut must be wiped dry and powdered with crushed coal, soon young plants will appear on the remaining trunk.
Important: Since dieffenbachia is quite poisonous, then when pruning and transplanting, in order to avoid tearing eyes, sore throat and other signs of allergic reactions, follow safety rules. Wear protective equipment, and after work, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water.
Reproduction. Reproduction is carried out by apical and stem cuttings.
In the first case, the top of the plant is cut off to a bare stem. The apical stalk should be rooted in a special mixture of equal parts of sand and peat or water, placed in a bright place and kept at a temperature of about 24 ° C, periodically sprinkling until the roots reach 2-3 cm in length. Then the young plant is planted in a new pot.
When propagating by the second method, as a stem cutting, pieces of the stem are used about 7-8 cm long. The soil is selected consisting of peat and sand (1: 1), the seedlings should be covered with a jar or polyethylene, regularly watered and sprayed, the air temperature should be maintained at least + 25 ° C. After the seedlings take root and leaves appear, they are planted in pots.
Diseases and pests. Difficulties that can be encountered when growing a leopard lily are stem and root decay, yellowing and falling leaves, and loss of color. The main reason for these ailments is waterlogging of the soil or vice versa, a lack of moisture, a decrease in air temperature, and drafts. Regulate watering and provide proper care. The loss of color is associated with direct sunlight on the leaves, move the flowerpot with a flower to a shaded place.
Also, the plant is annoyed by: spider mites, scale insects, aphids, mealybugs. Washing the leaves with an insecticide or soap solution will help to cope with pests.
Plants in winter. The temperature of the content should not fall below 18 ° C. Watering is moderate, with settled water at room temperature. Moisturize the air to prevent the tropical beauty from shedding leaves.
Interesting Facts. In ancient times, guilty slaves were punished by forcing them to bite off the dieffenbachia stalk, the plant burned with the mucous membrane of the mouth and caused swelling of the tongue, from which a person could not speak for some time. Hence, one of the common names for a flower appeared - a dumb rod.
PHOTO OF DIFFENBACHIA