Dieffenbachia, Houseplant of the month July

The Houseplant of the month for July is the Dieffenbachia, a plant that steals the show in your home with its lovely patterned leaves, colourful character and air purifying qualities.

The Dieffenbachia’s colourful, patterned leaves
The pattern on this plant’s leaves is certainly a distinctive characteristic. Dieffenbachias, available with either large or small leaves, come mostly with plain green leaves, although you may often discover this different plant with interesting designs on their leaves, ranging from yellow, white and green; always giving you a unique feel for your home.

Beautiful, air purifying qualities
The Dieffenbachia is not just unique due to its striking leaves, but also for its air purifying qualities. The plant delivers clean air not only around the home, but also in the office environment. The Dieffenbachia, therefore, is a great option to brighten up and refresh a desk space at work.

Moisture loving, South American shoots
As the Dieffenbachia originates from South and Central America, it appreciates moisture and therefore soil should be kept moist, but not sodden, and sprayed with water regularly. The plant should be placed in a light position, without direct sunlight. This will allow the plant to kindly produce shoot after shoot. It’s best to wear gloves when re-potting the plant, and it should always be kept away from children and pets.

Fun facts:
• The plant was named after Mr. Dieffenbach, who was head gardener at the Viennese Schönbrunn palace, the favourite palace of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria
• In Brazil some believe that the Dieffenbachia protects against negative energy and the evil eye
• The plant loves temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius and lots of water
• There are approximately 30 varieties of Dieffenbachia, which originated from tropical Middle and South America
• Re-pot a young Dieffenbachia in the spring and the plant can then stretch its roots in fresh earth
• If the colourful patterns are diminishing the Dieffenbachia is probably not getting enough light
• The Dieffenbachia plant enjoys a small amount of plant food every 3 to 4 weeks
• Don’t place your plant in a draughty area or it will attract insects
• The Dieffenbachia is family to flowering plants such as Anthurium, Spathiphyllum and Zantedeschia

For more information see www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

Published on: 26 June 2014