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Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia!

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Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia!

Postby Lisathienpondt » Feb 28, 2014 5:56 pm

As long as I can remember my grandmother had this huge tropic snow dieffenbachia. When she died in 2011 we brought it to our house. It was doing great for awhile although it was getting a little too big, it was touching the ceiling and the bottoms leaves started to die off. I was planning on cutting it down but then I had a baby in 2012 and then another in 2013 and all my poor plants got severely neglected :( now it is just a few leaves right at the very top of the plant and they are all pressed up against the ceiling. I really want to cut it down but I am so scared that I will do it wrong and the plant will die. I have tried to research and I feel like I have read conflicting information. One says not to cut more than a third or the stock off, another says I can leave only 6 inches of stock. I have also read that I should leave at least a couple leaves. I am fairly sure that because it has well established roots that leaving some leaves isn't necessary but this plant is older than me and it was my grandma's so I would hate to take a risk. Does anyone have any experience with dieffenbachias that they can share with me??
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Re: Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia

Postby Justanotherider » Feb 28, 2014 9:11 pm

Lisa:

I'm far from expert on dieffenbachia, but I've seen them grown from cuttings. In your case, assuming your plant has more than one leader, I would be very tempted to start a new plant or two (or more) from cuttings from one branch of your plant. That way, when you decide to prune the rest of the plant, you'll have some babies from Grandma's plant to carry on should the mother plant fail, (my siblings all have begonias started from our Mom's old plant, so I know what you're going through).

If you do a search on propagating dieffenbachia or dumb cane, (another name for the same plant) you'll find lots of advice on how to do it. It may offer differing methods; but you should be able to have lots of cuttings and will be able to try more than one method, (I wasn't sure how to propagate my Mom's begonia, so tried all three methods recommended, and all of them worked).

Good luck with the plant and the kids...
Just when you learn how to garden really well, you're too old to do it anymore...
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Re: Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia

Postby otnorot » Mar 02, 2014 9:07 am

You can air layer your plant.After it has rooted you can cut it off and pot it then you can cut off 3 to 4 inch sections until you have cut it down to about 6 inches from the roots.Let these 3 to 4 inch sections dry out on the ends then lay them flat in your potting mix in pots and the should root.The main plant will start a new growth from a nod (circle around stem).
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Re: Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia

Postby otnorot » Mar 02, 2014 9:08 am

You can air layer your plant.After it has rooted you can cut it off and pot it then you can cut off 3 to 4 inch sections until you have cut it down to about 6 inches from the roots.Let these 3 to 4 inch sections dry out on the ends then lay them flat in your potting mix in pots and the should root.The main plant will start a new growth from a nod (circle around stem).
Bill
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Re: Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia

Postby Lisathienpondt » Mar 03, 2014 10:44 am

Thank you both so much for your replies! My dieffenbachia only has one leader. I have read before that I can cut it into sections and having it confirmed here has given me the push I needed to try it!! Thank you!! Any suggestions what size pot I should plant all these sections in? Also do I need to feed it anything special (certain fertilizer or plant food or growth/rooting hormone or anything)?
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Re: Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia

Postby otnorot » Mar 03, 2014 8:38 pm

No fertilizer because at first there isn't any growth so nothing to absorb the fertilizer.Notice the rings on the main stem,you should have at least two on each cutting.Cuttings are laid in soil not upright,half in half out.I have air layered 100rds of Defs
More questions?Just ask.
PS even if you dont get the top section to root the plant in the pot will start new growth,don't over water
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Re: Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia

Postby Justanotherider » Mar 04, 2014 2:03 am

Lisa:

Did some reading - apparently your plant doesn't like to be cold (minimum 16C) or drafts; likes regular watering from spring to fall; but to be watered sparingly in winter; needs bright light in winter; but partial shade in summer. They suggest frequent misting of leaves, washing leaves occasionally, and surrounding the pot with damp peat moss. This treatment is supposed to help the plant retain lower leaves. They also suggest repotting every spring.

They suggest cutting leggy plants off 4" above the soil and say the stump will sprout. They also suggest cutting the top into sections to root. Having read all that, I think I still might try air layering first, as ontorot suggests.

Sorry, I haven't.found any material on starting cuttings, so I can't suggest a pot size.
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Re: Desperate for help rescuing my Tropic Snow Dieffenbachia

Postby Lisathienpondt » Mar 12, 2014 2:39 am

That's so awesome! Thank you both for all the info! I can't wait to try it now, I just have to pick up some pots for all the cuttings it am going to have :). I can't tell you how grateful I am for the help! Also, thank you for understanding the importance of this plant to me!
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