Dieffenbachia yellowing – House Plant Journal

Dieffenbachia yellowing

Plant Parent

Love following you on Instagram. I’m a newbie in houseplants and need your help.

I recently purchased this plant. Is this a dumb cane plant? Why is it yellowing? Is it root bound? Too much water/not enough water? Looks like there are 3 plants in one pot, should I separate them? I would appreciate your help.


Could you please show me the plant in relation to the window? That way, I can assess the light situation. Yes, this is a ‘dumb cane’ (Dieffenbachia).

Please also explain your thought process on watering and how exactly do you water? Leaves yellowing isn’t only linked to watering issues so it makes more sense to just know what the caretaker is doing/thinking.

Plant Parent

The plant is placed far from the window about 15 feet away, but the room have large south east windows and is bright during the day.

I touch the soil and put my finger into the soil about 1 inch to feel it’s moisture to determine if I need to water them.

I started learning about lighting through your Instagram posts but unfortunately I don’t have any space by the window to put my plants. I have another area which is about 2 feet away from a large south east window that I place other houseplants.

I really love having houseplants in my home and want them to do well. I will be grateful to hear your advice and guidance.


Thanks for the details. Could you please show me the space – words are too vague to make any meaningful analysis.

Plant Parent


Thank you for sending the photo! I can assess perfectly now!

What you think is “bright” not the same as how a plant thinks about brightness. I keep saying: “put your plants where they have the WIDEST possible view of the sky; and if the sun shines directly on that plant for more than 2-3 hours, block it with a sheer curtain” – this is my complete explanation of how to give a plant “bright indirect light”.

When you put a plant far from the window, its view of the sky is blocked by the walls and ceiling – the farther you put it, the SMALLER the view of the sky. The matter of light is not just about whether the sun is in view – the overall visible area of the sky is equally important.

All of your new plants, fresh from the nursery, grew that way because they had perfectly diffused light completely surrounding them.

In their current positions, they will gradually lose their lower leaves until their leaf mass is in balance with the tiny bit of light they are currently experiencing. Rather than blame over or underwatering, I’m treating the plant as a living system that adjusts to its current environment – your plant will just try its best to grow with whatever light you give it.

Now even if you move all the plants right up in front of that window, you’ll simply lose the older leaves slower than in their current locations. Remember, the greenhouse doesn’t have a ceiling or 3 other walls surrounding the plant.

Plant Parent

Thank you so much for your precious assessment. I truly appreciate your comments and will try to find a better location for my houseplants.


You’re welcome! I’m happy to help people have long-term fulfillment with houseplants!

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

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