Dieffenbachia ‘Panther’, Dumb Cane

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One of the Easiest Houseplants to Grow

The Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane is a popular tropical that sports cream, yellow or white markings on rich green leaves. It tolerates low light conditions – one reason why it’s such a reliable grower indoors. It prefers warmth and humidity, so make sure to pick the right corner for it. One smart idea is to group it among other houseplants, as they release moisture into the air as they breathe. Speaking of breathing, Dieffenbachia does a great job of filtering and purifying indoor air. Outdoors, it does well in partial sun to partial shade. Placing the plant in full sun may burn the leaves.

So, how did the plant acquire the name Dumb Cane? All of its parts have microscopic needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, people and pets will end up with a painful, swollen mouth. In some cases, the swelling is so severe, the victim goes silent – hence the name Dumb Cane. Also remember to wear gloves when replanting or handling the plant to avoid coming in contact with its sap.


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