genus belonging to the araceae family, which includes 30 species of evergreen perennials with a robust stem and very large, oblong leaves.
Although it is native to Central America and West Indies, the name of this plant derives from J.P Dieffenbach, administrator of the gardens of the royal palace in Vienna.
Genus with very poisonous lymph, in particular contact with the mouth and eyes is dangerous.
Among the many species we have chosen 3 of the most widespread: D. Amoena, D. Maculata and D. sanguine.
This variety is native to tropical America and is characterized by robust stems that can reach five feet tall. The leaves are about 30-40 cm long, are dark green and have characteristic white / yellow irregular spots and numerous white spots.
The Spotted variety is native to Brazil; It is up to a meter high, has green leaves about 20-25 cm long, and with lighter green and cream-colored spots.
The variety Seguine is one of the largest species; the stem can in fact reach 2 m in height. The elliptical leaves are about 40 cm long and are bright green and shiny.
It is a plant that can be grown in greenhouses, in apartments, or outside in hot and humid countries where the winter temperature does not drop below 15 ° C. For short periods they can withstand even lower temperatures, but in this case we recommend watering moderately, as they are plants that rot easily.
In winter it is better to keep them exposed to light, but in the summer months it is advisable not to expose them to direct sunlight. If grown in particularly hot places it is advisable to spray the leaves with a steamer once or twice a day in the hottest months, with water at room temperature, to avoid dangerous changes in temperature. The most suitable temperatures for growing these plants are between 20 and 30 ° C.
If you want to have fairly large specimens, it is advisable to repot every year, starting from 10-15 cm pots up to using about 30 cm pots.
In the period between April and June, remove the apex with a part of the stem about 8 cm long, remove the lower leaves, and place in a compound of sand and peat (in equal parts), at a temperature of about 22- 24 ° C.
The rest of the stem can be cut into parts about 6 cm long, which, once covered with the same peat and sand mixture, can be ground and then placed in containers with a diameter of about 10 cm.
Pests and diseases
These plants can be affected by red spider mites, cochineals or fungal diseases, resulting from excessive humidity. If they are hit by a particular rot of bacterial origin, due to Erwinia chrysanthemi var. dieffenbachiae, it is difficult to save the plant. It is important to intervene promptly by eliminating all the affected parts and decanting the healthy part into a new soil. For scale insects, on the other hand, if they are not widespread, they can be eliminated manually with the use of a cloth or a cotton ball. Red spider mites can be eliminated by frequent water sprays on the leaves or with the use of specific insecticides.