How to Grow a Perfecta Dief House Plant

Overview

"Perfecta Dief" is short for dieffenbachia perfecta, a hardy and pretty houseplant that's low-maintenance and easy to grow indoors. It's popular for growing in offices because it can tolerate dry conditions. With little more than bright light, dieffenbachia can thrive, growing 18-inch leaves on stems that spread 3 feet across and 6 feet high. Its biggest problem is occasional root rot from inadequate drainage.

Step 1

Place dieffenbachia perfecta where it will get the most light. A sunny, south-facing window is best, especially in winter. This plant will grow in lower light conditions, but much more slowly, and the leaves won't be as colorful.

Step 2

Make sure the pot containing the perfecta dief is draining properly. If the holes in the bottom of the pot are blocked, water will pool around the roots and cause rot and mold.

Step 3

Water thoroughly, but allow dieffenbachia to dry out between waterings. Water when you can't feel moisture when you stick your index finger in the soil up to the second knuckle.

Step 4

Fertilize once a month with water-soluble plant fertilizer measured at half strength. Be on the lookout for brown, curling edges on the leaves, a sure sign of too much fertilizer.

Step 5

Pinch off faded or struggling leaves to keep dieffenbachia bushy and healthy. If they grow too tall, cut back stems and it will produce new growth beneath the cut.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not ingest dieffenbachia---it is toxic to people and pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Dieffenbachia perfecta
  • Water-soluble plant fertilizer
  • Water
  • Bright light source

References

  • Clemson University: Dieffenbachia
  • UCC Biology Department: Dumbcane
  • Hawaiian Sunshine Nursery: Dieffenbachia perfecta 'Compacta'

Who Can Help

  • University of Hawaii: Growing Plants Indoors Under Supplemental Lighting
  • University of Illinois: Selecting Houseplants
Keywords: dieffenbachia perfecta, office plants, growing plants indoors

About this Author

Cat McCabe has been a freelance writer, editor, director and actor since the early 1980s. Her work has been featured in commercials, regional magazines and business publications throughout North America. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from New York University, and is currently a contributing writer for a national quarterly.

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