While its other name seems silly – “dumb cane” – this house plant is anything but dumb. The leopard lily (Dieffenbachia amoena) is resilient and easy to grow in any light conditions and no matter your gardening skill. However, if you want the plant to thrive, you need to keep the following basic tips in mind.
The dumb cane plant can produce flowers. Because they are mostly grown indoors and can withstand neglect, not many house owners know that this plant can produce flowers. The buds are 5 inches long and will only come out if the plant is healthy. However, with the unique color and pattern on the 20-inch long and 10-inch wide leaves should be enough to make it suitable as a house decor.
Any soil mix will do. Although you do not need a specific soil mix to grow the dumb cane plant successfully, uou should avoid orchid and sand mixes. The best mix is perlite and potting soil with a 1:1 ratio.
It needs a large space to grow. This is a perfect indoor plant for a large apartment because it can grow up to 6 feet in height. You should also check the root density once a year and consider re-potting the plant if it is growing too big for the container. Before re-potting, reduce watering until the leaves are rubbery. You can also propagate it by planting new growth in moist soil.
The dumb cane plant needs bright lights. But it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Too much light can burn the leaves, but too little of it will lead to stunting. You can ensure that it gets indirect but bright lights if you place it in an east-facing window.
Keep constant temperature. Indoors, the dumb cane plant should be exposed to temperatures between 18°C to 23°C. Outdoors, it can tolerate temperatures up to 35°C. Anything below or above the average can kill the dumb cane, so make sure to place it in areas protected from direct sunlight, drafts, and sources of cold or heat.
The dumb cane plant thrives in moist soil. Whether you grow it outdoors or indoors, it is important to keep the top soil moist all the time, but do not over-water the plant. You can tell if it is getting too much water if the leaves are stiff, while dehydration is indicated by shriveled leaves.
Use a fertilizer to encourage growth. To get the best results, you should use a full-strength balanced fertilizer every 4 to 5 weeks, however, if the leaves start drooping, it might mean that it is getting too much fertilizer.
The dumb cane plant is poisonous. If you have pets in your apartment, it is important to keep the plant away from them. Even humans can get poisoned from the sap if ingested and it is also a skin irritant. Try not to touch the plant when unnecessary and keep it away from your kids.