Is this Dieffenbachia salvageable? – House Plant Journal

Is this Dieffenbachia salvageable?

Plant Parent

Do you think this plant is salvageable? I’ve tried placing it in direct and indirect sunlight and checked the soil moisture, but it’s not perking back up. I don’t want to give up and get rid of it, if it’s still got some life left in it.


A few questions:

1) How long have you had this plant?
2) Can you please show me the place where this plant lived most of the time?
3) Please tell me your thought process on watering and exactly how do you water?

Plant Parent

1) I purchased the plant from Lowe’s about 4 months ago. Here’s how it looked at that time:

2) I’ve also attached a picture of the planter it sits in with about as much light as it gets in my home (I recently brought it in to my office to see if the brighter lights in there help at all)

3) As far as watering, I pretty much water every 10-14 days or when the soil feels dry, whichever comes first.


After several months in such a small pot, a Dieffenbachia will begin shedding its older leaves. If the plant spent most of its time beside your television, that location is extremely low light – you must think of light as “view of the sky” – and, for all indoor plants, they should be placed where they will have the widest possible view of the sky and, if the sun will shine on the plant for longer than 2-3 hours, then block it with a white sheer curtain (this applies to all plants that need “bright indirect light”). So for the past few months, your plant has been starving for the view of the sky.

I would suggest two things:

1) Repot the plant into a bigger pot – gently loosen at least half of the old soil and tease apart some of the roots (don’t worry about breaking a few of them). Use a pot that is about 2-4 inches larger in diameter than the current one.

2) Get a fertilizer with ratio 3-1-2 and use it as directed on the package in terms of dilution strength BUT, use it whenever you see new leaves growing (not exactly during “spring” or “summer”).

Your plant is still looking fine. Dieffenbachias are sturdy plants that should last many years. Good luck!

Plant Parent

Thank you SO much Darryl! I will do just that. I appreciate your time and advice!

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

One response to “Is this Dieffenbachia salvageable?”

  1. i had a similar experience, this 12 noon i went out to check on my plants. and i noticed that my dumbcane’s leaves are droopy. and i noticed that the sun is hitting maybe half of it, and i moved it to a more open shaded area, whala after an hour the leaves are alive again… maybe in your case it doesnt get enough sun? try moving it out the house where it doesnt hit by the sun directly… and notice it for maybe 1-3 hours if theres any changes…

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