Dieffenbachia, commonly known as dumbcane is a tropical African plant most often grown as a houseplant in the United States. It is prized for its attractive, broad foliage and easy-to-grow nature. The plant’s name derives from its extremely irritating sap, which burns the soft tissues of the mouth and throat and may paralyze the vocal chords.
The nameDieffenbachiawas given to the genus by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott the director of the Botanical Gardens in Vienna to honor the head gardener Joseph Dieffenbach (1796–1863). Schott was a botanist well known for his extensive work on the aroids.
When grown in gardens within its hardiness zone range, dumb cane grows up to 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, bearing shiny, pointed leaves 12 inches long. Indoors in containers, dumb cane rarely reaches such an impressive size, but it can still grow 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The outsize leaves cluster around a central stem, and as the lower, older leaves fall, the stem is revealed.
Dumb cane cultivars come in a wider range of leaf colors, including yellow shades, variations on the regular green and white or cream hues and colored veins, dots, spots and stripes. Though it’s rare for dumb cane to bloom indoors, if flowers do appear, they are green and off-white and last for a long time. In its natural environment, insects pollinate dumb cane flowers, and the plants produce berries. Major Varieties of dieffenbachia plant include:
- Dieffenbachia “Camille”
- Dieffenbachia maculata
- Dieffenbachia “Hilo”
- Dieffenbachia ‘Compacta’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Paradise’
- Dieffenbachia maculata “Tropical Tiki”
- Dieffenbachia amoena “Tropic Snow”
- Dieffenbachia ‘Camouflage’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Seguine’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Carina’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Delilah’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Honeydew’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Mary’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Snow’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Sarah’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Sparkle’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Star bright’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Tropic Marianne’
- Dieffenbachia ‘White Etna’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Sublime’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Puerto Rico Variegated’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Tropic Rain’
- Dieffenbachia ‘Panther’
- Dieffenbachia Aurora
- Dieffenbachia daguensis
- Dieffenbachia ‘Triumph’
- Dieffenbachia Rebecca
- Dieffenbachia Sterling
- Dieffenbachia Delilah
Camille is one of the best-known Dieffenbachia cultivars. The large leaves of Camille are a creamy yellowish-white with dark green around the border. It is a lush, bushy variety that grows 2 to 5 feet high and spreads 3 to 5 feet. The Dieffenbachia Camille plant and most Dieffenbachia can tolerate low light and even heavy shade.
Also Read: Different Types of Anthurium Houseplants
Dieffenbachia maculata has large leaves up to 14 inches long and 8 inches wide. The rich green foliage is variegated, with irregular patterns and patches of off-white to ivory. New leaves grow in solid green, becoming variegated as they mature.
Dieffenbachia “Hilo” has large, pointed, coarse, dark green leaves with light green variegation and prominent white veins. It can grow to 4 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide.
Dieffenbachia ‘Compacta’ is more compact-growing than other varieties. Its cream colored leaves are brightly mottled with green, and it has a very full growth habit. It is perfect for areas of the home or office where space is limited.
Dieffenbachia ‘Paradise’ has soft yellow leaves covered with green speckles that radiate out from the midribs. Paradise has a more upright habit than either ‘ Camille’ or ‘ Compacta’ and will mature at nearly twice the height.
Dieffenbachia maculata “Tropical Tiki”
Dieffenbachia maculata “Tropical Tiki” is an upright variety that is one of the largest dieffenbachias, growing 2 to 5 feet high and 3 to 5 feet wide. It has silver leaves mottled with green and white, making it an interesting addition to any indoor plant collection.
Also Read: Major Types of Agapanthus Flower
Dieffenbachia amoena “Tropic Snow”
Dieffenbachia amoena “Tropic Snow” can grow over 6 feet tall. It has wide, dark green leaves with creamy white blotches along its veins. Your plant will be healthiest in medium to bright light, but protect it from full sun, which may burn the leaves.
Dieffenbachia ‘Camouflage’ features lush chartreuse leaves. The lanceolate shaped leaves are divided by a white central midrib with specks of green throughout the leaf. The dieffenbachia is a very easy-care houseplant and will thrive if you leave it in indirect light with occasional watering. This plant is toxic if ingested.
This is a clustered variety that features ovate-oblong to oblong pointed shiny leaves. Leaves are variable in color, generally being green with patches or blotches of cream/white. As lower leaves fall off, the cane-like stem becomes noticable. In its native habitat, plants will grow to 6-10 inches tall, however they are generally kept much smaller when grown indoors in containers.
Dieffenbachia Carina is among the most popular dump cane varieties. Their lush foliage is made up of large leaves in a vibrant medium green color, with variegated splotches in darker and lighter tones. They are super easy to care for, and just need an occasional spritz.
Dieffenbachia ‘Delilah’ is a very rare dumb cane as its leaves are 12 to 14 inches long by 6 to 8 inches wide, but the leaf color is very bright white that has centers with dark green splotches and margins which makes the plant noticed. The leaves are thick and waxy, making the plant resistant to insects and diseases.
Dieffenbachia Honeydew is a larger dieffenbachia variety with golden-yellow leaves edged in green. Its foliage is quite striking, making it a perfect plant for use as bathroom or bedroom plant.
Mary dieffenbachia shows off light green leaves that are heavily splashed with dark green and creamy green. This showy dieffenbachia can be the perfect decoration plant for home or office. You will find it to be adaptable to different kinds of lighting and conditions.
Also Read: Major Types of Monstera Varieties
Dieffenbachia ‘Tropic Snow’
Dieffenbachia ‘Tropic Snow’ is one of the largest dieffenbachia plants. The canes sport large, oblong green leaves that are variegated with white or cream. This robust plant is can grow up to 2m though houseplants average about 1.3m in height. Place it in a large container to make a decorative impact.
Dieffenbachia ‘Sarah’ is an excellent indoor dieffenbachia variety exhibiting beautifully variegated leaves, with green edges and irregular cream patches towards the center. It is one of the most striking types of dieffenbachia.
The dominant features of ‘Sparkles’ include its bright foliar variegation pattern, which is highlighted by white midribs and petioles; its compact growth habit; and production of numerous basal shoots.
Dieffenbachia ‘Star bright’
The dominant feature of Dieffenbachia ‘Star Bright’ is its bright foliar variegation pattem that is highlighted by whitish petioles. Two other distinctive features of ‘Star Bright’ are its narrow leaves, which are half the width of most Dieffenbachia leaves, and the arching manner in which the leaves are held on the plant.
Dieffenbachia ‘Tropic Marianne’
Marianne’s a beaut with big broad bright leaves, dark around the edges and luminous lime to white in the centre. They prefer bright, indirect light. Keep evenly moist not wet or dry. Mature height is up to 6 feet. Keep out of hot or cold drafts and never allow the plant to stand in water. This plant is not recommended around small children or pets.
Dieffenbachia ‘White Etna’
Dieffenbachia ‘White Etna’ is a a popular dieffenbachia variety. It has large, showy foliage with bold variegation. The green and white colours form a mosaic-like pattern across the leaves and create a beautiful camouflage-like appearance.
Dieffenbachia ‘Sublime’ is a stunning dump cane variety. It has large, showy foliage with bold variegation. The green and white colours form a mosaic-like pattern across the leaves and create a beautiful camouflage-like appearance.
Dieffenbachia “Puerto Rico” Variegated
Dieffenbachia “Puerto Rico” Variegated has a relaxed thick trunks topped with flourishes of long dusky green leave. It also has a white midriks and totally random irregular slashes of white variegation with no two leaves have a similar pattern.
Dieffenbachia ‘Tropic Rain’
The large, light green leaves of this plant feature tiny spots and freckles of white hues. Great for indoors or shady areas where most plants won’t grow. Very good for pots, generally 50 to 100 cm tall but can get up to 2 or 2,5 meters.
Also Read: Different Varieties of Hoya Plants
Dieffenbachia ‘Panther’ is a fast-growing plant, large dark green leaves with wide silver streaks etched down the mid-rib. Additional lighter green random “spots” decorate the leaf blade. Leaves can reach lengths of 24” long and 10″ wide.
Dieffenbachia Aurora is a beautiful variety with an uneven spread of white patches, splotches, and dotted markings across the leaf. The Dieffenbachia Aurora is a fast grower and is a low-maintenance plant. This plant has its origin in the Caribbean and South America. They can grow up to 3 ft. in height and 2 ft. in width.
The Dieffenbachia daguensis is an unusual variety marked with a dark or speckled portion on the surface of its leaves. An amazing feature of this plant is the only side of this plant would be splotched or speckled and is often in a different color other than the prominent foliage color.
Dieffenbachia triumph is the most impressive dieffenbachia variety that flaunts lime green leaves and dark green borders, with white veins in the middle of every leaf. It is one of the most spectacular types of dieffenbachia.
A new variety and distinct variety of Dieffenbachia maculata named Rebecca’s Jewel having the characteristics of bright yellow-green to near white foliage with green edges and blotches, clumping habit, vigorous, full and compact growth habit, short nodes, thicker caliper stems, and its ease of propagation.
Dieffenbachia sterling has really stunning bold white midribs that stand out in contrast to other varieties of dieffenbachia. It is a cool indoor plant and thrives in diffused sunlight or partial shade.
Dieffenbachia Delilah is an unusual variety, it has big pointy leaves that have greenish whitish patches in the center with unusual edges as well. It can also grow quite large which makes it a more wonderful houseplant. This plant is hardy, drought tolerant and easy to care.