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Why Is My Dieffenbachia Turning Yellow? | 5 Likely Causes!

Why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow? This is a question that every dieffenbachia plant owner asks at least once in his indoor planting journey.

If you are an active gardener and love to adorn your home with bright houseplants, you must have heard of the dieffenbachia plant, better known as the “dumb cane.”

The dieffenbachia is an indoor plant with large leaves curved in an elliptical shape. The leaves of these plants can grow over 12 inches long.

The patterned green color of the leaves makes them an apt choice to amp up the interior of your home.

Moreover, the dieffenbachia is a low-maintenance plant and doesn’t need to be cared for excessively. This makes it a popular choice for busy people.

However, even the dumb cane doesn’t come without its issues. If you have this plant at home, you must have faced the problem of your dieffenbachia turning yellow, leaving you wondering: “Why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow?”

You don’t have to worry anymore, as this guide will explore the reasons behind the yellowing of your dumb cane plant.

Keep reading as we peel off the layers to understand the causes behind your question. Let’s begin!

Yellow leaves on dieffenbachia plant—why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow
Why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow? – Image via Reddit.

Why Is My Dieffenbachia Turning Yellow?

There could be several reasons for the dieffenbachia plant turning yellow.

  • Most of the time, some environmental stressors cause the plant to become discolored.
  • The plant can turn yellow if you are negligent in providing the prerequisites in the correct amount, such as underwatering or overwatering.
  • Depending upon the severity of the situation, you may be able to reverse or rectify the problem and get the lustrous green leaves of your plant back.
  • Still, in some cases, the plant may be beyond repair.

Before you begin taking steps to remedy the yellowing of the dieffenbachia, you must first diagnose the causes of the issue.

Let’s find out the answer to why my dieffenbachia is turning yellow!


Overwatering is one of the most common reasons the dieffenbachia plants turn yellow.

This can happen even more quickly if it’s your first time with indoor plants and you are unsure how to handle the dieffenbachia. As a result, you could end up giving more water than necessary.

  • Overwatering can make the soil soggy and waterlogged.
  • This can cut off the oxygen supply in the soil and obstruct the plant from taking up nutrients.
  • As oxygen can’t move in and out of the soil, the plant will gradually die and turn yellow.
  • An excess of water in the soil also provides a perfect habitat for fungus to grow in, so the plant can be infected with fungal diseases such as root rot.
  • If the infection spreads far and wide, you might have to throw away the plant.

There is a simple solution to prevent overwatering the dieffenbachia.

Solution: Check the soil by poking a finger. A general rule of thumb is to water the plant when the top 2–3 inches of the soil get dry. Just let the soil dry in between waterings. Make a schedule and keep it flexible in different seasons.


The yellowing of dieffenbachia due to underwatering is much less common than overwatering.

This is because this plant can survive in harsh conditions, but there is a threshold, and if you fail to provide enough water to the plant consistently, it will show signs like yellowing.

You can clearly distinguish between underwatering and overwatering by looking at the leaves.

  • While in overwatering, all the leaves start turning yellow, and the younger leaves are affected more before the adult leaves in underwatering.
  • You will also notice that the leaves are dry and crisp in this case.

The good news is that it is easier to treat underwatering than overwatering.

Solution: Keep adding more water and ensure the soil is moist and capable of holding enough moisture. If you are busy, make a schedule to remind you to water the plants on time. Instead of instantly pouring buckets of water into the pot, saturate your dieffenbachia consistently and thoroughly.

Nutrient Imbalance

If there is an imbalance of nutrients in the soil, the plants won’t be able to develop with their full might.

They will become vulnerable to diseases, attacks, and destruction. Yellowing of the dieffenbachia could be a symptom of nutrient deficiency in plants.

If you don’t rotate plants or change soil with a fresh batch when sowing new plants, it could become stripped of all nutrients.

  • First, make sure you use the perfect soil mix for your plants.
  • Your potting mix must contain a perfect balance of nutrients.

Let’s see how you can treat this nutrient imbalance.

Solution: You can treat the soil with fertilizer. Make sure you use a balanced fertilizer for your indoor plants. Dilute the fertilizer in at least 50% water and add every 2-4 weeks.

Inadequate Lighting

The dieffenbachia plant does not do well in direct sunlight.

You need to ensure that your plant gets bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day, but not more than 1–2 hours of direct sunlight, as this can burn the plant and cause it to turn yellow.

Too much sunlight and the dieffenbachia can even die from dryness.

Solution: Ideally, you should place the plant in a room where it doesn't get in the path of direct sunlight for more than 2 hours a day but gets enough indirect sunlight. The direction of the sun and the intensity will change with different seasons, and it can affect plant growth; you might have to move the dieffenbachia several times a year to keep it out of excessive sunlight.

Extreme Temperatures

The optimal temperature range for the dieffenbachia plant is between 50–80 degrees F.

If they bear extreme temperatures outside this range, the plants can show signs of stress, like turning yellow.

Solution: To prevent the plant from being exposed to extreme temperatures, keep a tab on the forecast and keep the plants indoors in a room with normal temperature.

Beware of changes in seasons, such as summer to autumn, because that’s when the plants might turn yellow due to some stress, but it will get back to normal once the temperature becomes stable.

Dumb cane plant—why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow
Why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow? – Image via Reddit.

That would be all!


After reading the whole list of causes and their solutions, I hope you must have got an answer to why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow.

The dieffenbachia will be a great addition to your indoor natural décor. It doesn’t need much attention and only brightens up your home with little care. Keep an eye out once in a while, and your plants will be fine.

If you have any unique experiences with your plant, don’t forget to share them with us in the comments below!

Happy planting!