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Dieffenbachia - Damage in Cutting?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Boris the Bear on January 25, 2006 02:16 PM
I have already found most of what I need to know about cutting my Diefenbachia, except for one question:

This is a beautiful plant with a very thick abundance of big, healthy leaves. Like most of my plants, he was rescued from beside an alleyway dumpster. He is thriving, and has reached 9 feet tall--which would be nice if my ceiling weren't pretty well stuck at 8 feet.

But when I cut this plant, I'll be cutting off a section with a lot of beautiful leaves. YIKES! Sure, I can stick that section into the soil, but will it lose all those leaves? It seems to have given us its trust, and I hate to do anything that will kill those lovely big leaves!

I have also thought of cutting a hole in the ceiling when my upstairs neighbour is out. What a nice surprise to come home to a brand new Dieffenbachia coming up through a brand new hole in the rug!

Please tell me whether the leaves will survive the trauma of the stalk being cut. Thank you very much.
by Triss on January 25, 2006 04:02 PM
Borris, I am not really sure about the leaves, but I do have another solution to your problem. I have 10 foot ceilings, send him on over! [Big Grin] Please before you cut that beautiful plant, post a pic of it so we can drool over it. My dieffenbachia is currently about 3 feet tall.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Boris the Bear on January 27, 2006 05:17 AM
Ha ha! Well, it is a very humble plant. I think it has no idea that it is so beautiful. Our apartment jungle is mostly plants rescued from our back alleyway in the downtown city core--I hate to see living things abandoned. In return, our plants have lavished us with overwhelming beauty, way beyond what we deserve.

This one we mist-spray like in the jungle, with water dripping from the leaves. We don't actually water it too much, though--the soil feels nice, but not wet. Once in a fairly long time we drench it, but seldom. We try for what the plants would get in nature.

As for the cut, I think I'll do the formal air-layering technique, so it has the best-formed roots in advance.

I have a feeling dieffenbachias grow faster as they get bigger. Maybe take a picture of your baby Dieffenbachia now, Triss, so you'll be able to compare it at 10 feet tall!
by Triss on January 27, 2006 07:46 AM
I do not even have a pic of mine when it was a baby cept when cept as a background plant. I will have to get a recent pic of him. He is currently at my Mother in laws and will stay there, but I am going to start over with one of his babies when I transplant his this spring.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Andi on January 29, 2006 10:53 AM
Borris, have you considered air layering your plant. If you cut off the top you could (for lack of a better term) disfigure your beautiful plant. By air layering you can maintain the natural shape of the plant and ... well, have two!

Andi

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