How to Propagate a Dieffenbachia Plant Using Cuttings

Updated on January 2, 2017
People may call it a "dumb cane," but a healthy dieffenbachia plant is just plain gorgeous!
People may call it a "dumb cane," but a healthy dieffenbachia plant is just plain gorgeous!

You Probably Already Have One!

If you have house plants in your home, there is a very good chance that one or more of them is a dieffenbachia plant, sometimes known as dumb cane. If you have one that you have been caring for and you think you could never have another one that looks as good, think again, because that one nice plant can produce many more using cuttings.

If you start a plant from seed, you can never be certain how it will turn out, but using cuttings allows you to clone the plant and have another one with the exact, same characteristics. And, the good news is that it is EASY!

Here's how it's done.

Flowering dieffenbachia
Flowering dieffenbachia

What You Will Need

  • A healthy dieffenbachia plant
  • Some potting soil
  • Rooting hormone

Before you begin:

  1. Don't have any reservations about cutting your dieffenbachia plant. They will grow to the ceiling if you let them. I always cut the plant to my desired height and use that cutting to start a new plant (I don't particularly want my plant to be huge, thick, and to-the-ceiling). Use a sterile knife to make the cuttings and be sure to sterilize the instrument before and after you use it.
  2. Dust the cut with rooting hormone. There are so many rooting hormones available...just pick the one that you like or have used before. Personally, I have used them all and find no measurable differences in any of them.
  3. Stick the cutting into some new, sterile potting soil (I like Miracle Grow). The cutting will take root (patience is a virtue) and the mother plant from which you took the cutting will branch out.

When they start getting too large, they are no longer pretty, so don't be shy about cutting, and cutting, and cutting!
When they start getting too large, they are no longer pretty, so don't be shy about cutting, and cutting, and cutting!

Tips and Warnings

  • Cleanliness is essential when propagating any plants, so use a sterile knife to make your cuttings.
  • Use new, sterile potting soil.
  • Wash your hands often during the process.
  • Keep your cuttings in an area where the temperature is pretty constantly 65-70 degrees.
  • The sap of the dieffenbachia plant is poison. If you have small children or pets, always be mindful of where your plant is placed. It must be out of reach.
  • Always wash your hands after handling a dieffenbachia plant. Even a very small amount of sap on your tongue can cause your throat to close up and you could suffocate.

Tropic Maryann dieffenbachia
Tropic Maryann dieffenbachia | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Mike and Dorothy McKenney

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