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How to Take Care of a Cane Plant

A few types of cane plants exist including Fragrans cane, Massangeana cane, Dracaena cane and Arundinaria gigantean. They vary in appearance but share certain similarities including the rate in which they grow. Cane plants make statements when planted as tall floor plants. They are pretty easy to take care of, as long as you pay attention to their water, sunlight and pruning requirements.

Examine the leaves of the cane plant. If the edges are light gray or brown, the plant is dealing with temperatures that are too cool. Cane plants need tropical or subtropical weather.

Move cane plants indoors if they are suffering from cool temperatures. Put them back outside when the weather warms up.

Notice whether cane plant leaves have moved off to the side. Plants that are too hot will do this to lessen the amount of sunlight exposure. The leaves may also lose color if they're too hot. If this happens, move the cane plant to a more suitable location.

Keep the cane plant in a spot that gets moderate sunshine. They grow best with 50 percent shade.

Touch the soil often to feel for the moisture content. Cane plants should not sit in water. Let the soil become mostly dry before adding more water, especially in low-light environments. Leaf spots indicate that fungi is growing from too much water.

Prune cane plants to keep their growth under control. They will easily grow as tall as the ceiling if you don't control their vertical growth. Cut across the cane in the desired spot. New leaves will form next to the cut.

Dumb Cane Plant Care

Large, lush, variegated leaves make dumb cane (Dieffenbachia seguine) an attractive houseplant, or you can grow it outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12. In homes, it helps remove indoor air pollution. Dieffenbachia care is generally fuss-free and usually only involves watering and fertilizing the plants. If you love bold, architectural plants, dumb cane fits the bill. Indoors in containers, dumb cane rarely reaches such an impressive size, but it can still grow 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. An air temperature range between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Don’t place dumb cane in a drafty spot or in a place that experiences wide fluctuations in temperature. Water dumb cane regularly while it’s actively growing. Move the plant to a sink or another place where water can drain away, and gently pour water onto the potting soil until it appears through the drainage holes in the base of the container. Alternatively, fertilize dumb cane with a time-release fertilizer for houseplants. Don’t apply more fertilizer than recommended in the manufacturer’s directions, or the plant could suffer from a condition called marginal leaf burn. Dumb cane slows down its growth rate in winter and may stop growing altogether. Lower light levels in winter should not bother dumb cane. The plant tolerates heavy shade, though in a shady site, its growth rate is slower during the growing season. Bacterial leaf spot causes small dark green or spots that grow larger. The two major pests that infest dumb cane are mealybugs and aphids. Both of these insects suck sap from the plant’s leaves and excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which coats the leaf surfaces. Alcohol dissolves their waxy covering and destroys them.

Tip

Wipe gardening tools off with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol if you're using them on a diseased cane plant. This will keep the fungus from spreading.

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