Dieffenbachias have been decorating homes and offices for decades. These showy houseplants are prized for their vividly variegated foliage and large bushy growth habits. Some varieties grow up to1 1/2 m tall. The large pointed leaves grow from a central stem, or cane. As the plant ages it will lose its lower leaves, giving it a palm like look.

It gets the nicknames “Dumb Cane” and “Mother in Law Plant” as a result of the effects of the milky sap it contains. If ingested it causes a burning sensation in the mouth, swells the tongue, and paralyzes the vocal cords, literally taking one’s voice away.

These plants can be easily grown outside in the tropics and subtropics.

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