The right way to Propagate Dumb Can (Dieffenbachia)


Whereas one dumb cane is nice, two (or three, or 4…) are even higher.

However if you happen to’re like me, you’d moderately spend your hard-earned money on a brand new pair of secateurs or some good gardening gloves – particularly when you can begin new crops for the price of some recent potting soil.

Propagating houseplants is a comparatively simple course of, however it’s absurdly easy with dumb canes.

Previously, I’ve snipped off the tip of a cane that had misplaced its leaves, plopped it in some soil, watered it, after which forgotten about it. A couple of weeks later, I had a rooted chopping able to go.

Wherever there’s a node on the plant, there may be the potential to encourage new roots and leaves to develop. And these crops are completely awful with nodes.

A close up vertical image of a dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) plant growing in a ceramic pot pictured on a gray background. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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There are three strategies accessible to you for propagating dumb canes. Arising, we’ll go over every of them intimately.

Right here’s what to anticipate:

If you wish to be taught extra about these fascinating crops, our complete information explains the historical past and the actual wants of dieffenbachias.

When you’re acquainted with what these crops want, let’s get began!

It doesn’t take a lot to propagate new crops, however you will want just a few instruments, and you must prep them upfront.

Initially, save your self some trauma and you should definitely put on gloves.

Dumb cane comprises oxalate crystals in its sap. These crystals are what trigger individuals who ingest dumb cane to expertise swelling within the mouth and throat. The identical crystals also can irritate your pores and skin.

In the event you’re tremendous cautious to keep away from getting any sap in your pores and skin, try to be high quality. But it surely’s fairly simple to by chance contact some sap, or to your hand to slide, and now you’re coping with dermatitis.

Gloves and lengthy sleeves are your mates right here.

You additionally need to have a clear pair of secateurs prepared. It’s vital to wash your instruments earlier than you utilize them since you by no means know what pathogens may very well be lurking on them.

A close up horizontal image of a hand holding a pair of secateurs and cleaning them with a cloth.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

Possibly you used your secateurs to prune a plant that had a fungal illness and also you didn’t notice it. Now you’ve unfold that fungus to your dieffenbachia, and all the brand new little crops you’re attempting to make.

The best solution to sterilize your instruments is with an answer of 1 half bleach to 9 components water. Use this combination to wipe your instruments down completely earlier than use.

In the event you’re taking cuttings from a number of crops, wipe them down in between crops as effectively. It’s a bit of time-consuming, however it’s going to decrease the danger of issues down the highway.

Lastly, it’s best in case you have your pots already crammed with potting medium and able to go.

Additionally, if you happen to’re reusing containers, you should definitely wipe them down with that very same bleach and water combination to sanitize them first. You may plant instantly into no matter container you propose to develop in, or you may spend money on some small seed-starting containers for propagation.

Utilizing four-inch pots is ok for dieffenbachia cuttings. For divisions, you’ll want one thing a bit of bigger of a minimum of six inches in diameter, relying on the dimensions of your divisions.

Skinny plastic nursery pots with good drainage are useful to have round if you happen to plan to do a lot of propagation. You may as well reuse them a number of instances if you happen to’re cautious to not crack them.

Plastic Nursery Pots

Choose up a pack of 120 four-inch pots at Amazon so as to add to your propagating toolkit.

In terms of choosing an applicable potting medium, commonplace potting soil will do. Nevertheless, I prefer to work in some rice hulls to enhance drainage and water retention.

Rice hulls work in the identical manner that peat moss does within the soil, however they’re much more environmentally pleasant.

A close up square image of a packet of rice hulls isolated on a white background.

Rice Hulls

In case your native nursery doesn’t carry rice hulls, you may at all times seize some at Arbico Organics in quarter-, half-, or one-cubic-foot containers.

Air Layering

That is probably the most sophisticated methodology for propagating dumb cane, and it may solely be finished on crops which can be a bit older.

You want a cane that’s a minimum of a foot tall and as thick as a pencil for it to be sturdy sufficient to help the burden.

The advantage of selecting this methodology is that even when the layering doesn’t take, you haven’t destroyed a part of your plant, as you may probably do when propagating stem cuttings in the event that they fail.

When you discover a cane that’s the correct dimension, strip the leaves off of the underside two-thirds. Subsequent, make a small lower about midway up the cane. The lower ought to go a couple of third of the best way by means of.

Break a toothpick in half and wedge it into the lower to carry it open. Wrap moistened sphagnum moss across the lower, and wrap clear plastic across the moss.

A close up horizontal image of a hand from the left of the frame applying a layer of moss to propagate Dieffenbachia by air layering.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

Tape the bottom of the plastic securely, and safe the highest of the plastic with one thing you may open and shut repeatedly, like a twist tie or a bit of string.

You want to have the ability to open the highest so you may really feel the moss and decide if it’s nonetheless moist.

If it isn’t, you must use a twig bottle to re-moisten the moss. It wants to remain moist however not soaking because the air layered portion sprouts new progress.

When you begin to see roots forming contained in the plastic and moss, it’s time to separate your new plant from the guardian. Take away the plastic and the moss, and lower the cane slightly below the place the roots have fashioned.

Plant this rooted chopping and proceed to take care of it as you’ll a transplant, in its personal container crammed with potting medium. The roots and about an inch of the bottom of the cane must be buried within the medium.

Water effectively, and add extra potting medium if the soil settles.


In case your dieffenbachia has a number of stems, as most do, you may divide these to create a number of crops. This is a superb methodology in case your plant is rising too large for its container and also you need one or two extra crops.

To begin, gently pull the plant out of its container. For rootbound crops, you would possibly must run a butter knife across the rim to loosen up the foundation ball.

As soon as the plant is free, knock away as a lot soil as you may. The much less soil that’s hanging out within the root ball, the better your job shall be.

Now that you just’ve cleared out the soil, gently tease aside the stems, taking care to incorporate as a lot of the roots which can be hooked up to the stem as doable.

You would possibly want to make use of some scissors to snip aside a few of the roots, which might grow to be fairly twisted up as they develop.

A close up vertical image of two dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) divisions set on a gray surface.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

Every stem with hooked up roots may be planted by itself in a person container.

Set the division gently right into a clear container in order that it’s sitting on the identical peak it was earlier than. Gently fill in across the roots with potting soil, and water it in.

If the soil settles after watering, add a bit extra.

Stem Cuttings

If you wish to propagate many new dieffenbachia crops unexpectedly, it is a good solution to do it, as a result of you may flip a single stem into three or extra.

It’s additionally helpful in case you have a stem that has grow to be tall and naked on the base, as dieffenbachias are susceptible to doing as they age.

Begin by clipping the stem at your required peak. The stem will kind new leaves on the first node beneath the place it was lower, so you should definitely clip it simply above a node.

A close up horizontal image of the stem of a dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) plant pictured on a soft focus background.
Nodes on naked stems. Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

In the event you aren’t acquainted with the looks of nodes on dieffenbachia crops, these are the components of the stem the place the leaves emerge.

Every node appears like a raised ring across the stem, and it’s often lighter inexperienced than the remainder of the stem, and even brownish-yellow.

Take the stem that you just eliminated and lower it into two-inch items, every with a minimum of one node.

A close up horizontal image of a dumb cane cutting set in soil in a small white bowl for propagation.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

Every chopping must be positioned sideways or upright in its personal container crammed with potting medium. These positioned on their sides ought to barely be coated with soil.

These positioned upright must be buried about midway so {that a} node is underneath the soil – it doesn’t matter which manner up they’re planted, supplied the node is roofed.

Water the medium effectively in order that it seems like a effectively wrung-out sponge and place the containers in vibrant, oblique mild. Hold the soil moist.

A close up vertical image of a small Dieffenbachia cutting starting to put on new growth.
Picture by Kristine Lofgren.

It is best to begin to see new foliage and canes rising inside just a few weeks. At that time, deal with as you’ll any younger dumb cane.

Propagating Dieffenbachia Couldn’t Be Simpler

Dumb cane is a kind of crops that can make you’re feeling like a propagation grasp. There are a number of strategies you need to use they usually’re all mainly foolproof.

As long as you present soil, water, and solar, the possibilities are extraordinarily excessive that you just’ll be having fun with your new dieffenbachia infants very quickly flat.

A close up horizontal image of a dumb cane (Dieffenbachia) plant growing in a small white pot set on a white table.

Which methodology did you decide to go together with? How did the method go? In the event you run into any bother, you should definitely hit us up within the feedback beneath so we might help.

Need to make extra plant infants? In the event you discovered this information useful, then it’s possible you’ll need to take a look at a few of our different houseplant propagation guides, together with: