How to Prune a Dieffenbachia

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

If your Dieffenbachia is looking a little overgrown, it’s time for a pruning. Learn how to prune a Dieffenbachia and keep it looking its best.

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Pruning Basics

Pruning is a great way to keep your Dieffenbachia looking full and healthy. It’s important to understand the basics of pruning before you get started. This section will cover the basics of pruning a Dieffenbachia.

Pruning tools

Pruning tools include shears, loppers, pole pruners and pruning saws. Shears are small scissors used for delicate work, such as shaping shrubs. Loppers are long-handled shears used to cut branches up to 2 inches in diameter. Pole pruners have a cutting blade at the end of a long pole and are used to cut high branches without the use of a ladder. Pruning saws have either a straight or curved blade and are used to cut branches too large for shears or loppers.

Pruning techniques

Pruning your dieffenbachia is a great way to keep it looking its best. These plants can grow quite large, so you may need to do some serious pruning from time to time. But don’t worry, it’s easy to do and your plant will thank you for it!

Dieffenbachias can be pruned using a variety of methods and techniques. The most common are listed below.

Pruning method: Cut back to a healthy bud or node
What it is: This method involves cutting back the stem of the plant to a point where there is still a healthy bud or node present. This will encourage the plant to produce new growth from that point.

Pruning method: Cut back to the desired height or shape
What it is: This method involves pruning the plant to the desired height or shape. This is often done to keep the plant from getting too big or out of control.

Pruning method: Dieback pruning
What it is: This method involves cutting back all of the stems of the plant to just above where they meet the main trunk of the plant. This will cause the plant to produce new growth from those points.

When to Prune

If you want to keep your Dieffenbachia looking its best, you will need to do some periodic pruning.Dieffenbachias will flower and produce berries, but the main reason to prune them is to keep them from getting too large for their pot or growing too leggy.


The best time to prune your dieffenbachia is in the spring, just before new growth begins. This will allow the plant to heal quickly and redirect its energy into new growth. You can also prune dieffenbachias in the fall, but avoid doing so in late summer or early fall, when the plant is trying to harden off its new growth for winter.


Summer is the best time to prune your dieffenbachia. This will help the plant to recover from any winter damage and give it a chance to grow new leaves. Pruning also helps to keep the plant compact and prevent it from getting too large.

To prune, simply cut back any leggy or damaged stems to the desired length. You can also remove any dead or dying leaves. Be sure to use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.


To encourage new growth, prune your dieffenbachia in fall, winter or early spring. Regular pruning also helps to control the size of the plant. When pruning, cut the stems back to about 6 inches (15 cm.) above the ground.


Pruning dieffenbachia is best done in winter when the plant is dormant. You can cut back dieffenbachia any time of year, but winter pruning will minimize stress to the plant.

How to Prune

Dieffenbachia, also known as dumb cane, is a tropical plant that is prized for its large, showy leaves. The leaves are typically variegated with shades of green, yellow, and white. Dieffenbachia is a fast-growing plant and can quickly become unmanageable if it is not pruned on a regular basis.

Cutting back dieffenbachia stems

Start by cutting back the tallest stems to about 6 inches (15 cm.) above the soil line. If necessary, also remove any unhealthy or damaged leaves. Cut dieffenbachia stems at an angle just above a node—this is where new leaves will sprout. Make all cuts cleanly with sharp shears to avoid bruising the plant.

Removing dieffenbachia leaves

To remove dieffenbachia leaves, cut them off at the stem with pruning shears. Make sure to make a clean cut so that the plant can heal quickly. You can also remove entire branches if you need to thin out the plant.

Propagating dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachias are easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Fill a clean pot with moistened potting soil. Cut 4- to 6-inch sections from the tips of dieffenbachia stems. Each cutting should have two or three leaves.Remove the leaves from the bottom half of each cutting, and dip the leafless end in rooting hormone powder. Plant the cuttings in the potting soil, and water gently. Place the pot in a warm location with indirect sunlight, and keep the soil moist. New roots will form in two to four weeks. When the roots are 1 inch long, transplant the seedlings to individual pots filled with potting soil

Dieffenbachia Pruning Tips

Pruning a dieffenbachia is a simple and easy way to keep your plant healthy and to encourage new growth. It is important to prune your dieffenbachia on a regular basis, especially if it is growing in a pot. When pruning, be sure to cut back the leaves that are yellow or brown. You can also cut back any stems that are longer than you would like.

Avoid pruning too much

You can prune your dieffenbachia as often as every few months, but be careful not to remove too much of the plant at once. If you prune more than one-third of the plant at a time, it may not be able to recover.

##Heading: Pruning for shape
Pruning is also a good way to shape your dieffenbachia. To do this, simply remove any stems that are growing in the wrong direction or that are too long. You can also prune stems that are crossing over each other, as this can damage the plant.

Be careful of the sap

If you have ever pruned a dieffenbachia, you know that the sap can be irritating to your skin and eyes. The best way to protect yourself is to wear gloves and glasses while you are working. If you do get the sap on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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