We know what your greatest nightmares is when caring for houseplants. The moment when those feared brown tips appear! And dumb cane brown tips are all too common. But fear not, we have a solution...
Keep reading to learn the some of the top reasons why your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow, and what to do to tackle the problem. No more dumb cane brown tips for you. or your dearly beloved plants!
Who is the Dumb Cane?
The Dieffenbachia, mainly well-known as dumb cane, is one of the most famous houseplants. This tropical evergreen plant is native to Central American and South American jungles.
The bright green and colourful patterns on its wide leaves made it one of the most wanted plants to decorate houses. This Dumb Cane 'Tropic Snow' is living proof of how beautiful these plants can be.
But be careful, even if the dumb cane looks pretty and inoffensive, it is quite a poisonous plant that should be kept away from children and pets to avoid accidents.
Is Dumb Cane Care Easy?
It is relatively easy to take care of a dumb cane, which is one of the reasons why this plant is so loved by beginner gardeners in particular.
However, one of the main problems you can find is dumb cane leaves start turning yellow. Dumb cane brown tips may show up for different reasons and you will need to identify them to act quickly.
Dumb Cane Brown Tips: Underwatering
If your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow, the most common cause is due to watering-frequency issues. Even if it is considered a low-maintenance houseplant, you need to check out the soil moisture to avoid dumb cane brown tips.
Dumb canes come from the jungle, so they are not used to being watered too often. But when they do, they receive a generous amount of water that would keep the soil moist for a while.
When you see that your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow and they start to grow smaller and closer to the stem, that means your green friend is underwatered. Dumb cane brown tips happen because the soil on the base is too dry to provide water to the roots, the branches, and eventually also to the leaves.
What to do if your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow due to underwatering?
First, try to test out the moisture of the soil. Push your finger into the top inch of soil to see if the soil is wet. If the soil is too dry, it means that you need to increase the amount of water you give your dumb cane plant. You can do this by increasing its watering schedule or giving it more water each time.
Your dumb cane is going to need more or less water too depending on the area it is located and the temperature. If it is growing in a very warm place, it will certainly need more watering. As a general suggestion, you can start by watering once a week in the summer months and one time every two weeks if it is wintertime.
Evaluate how your plant is developing with these watering recommendations and make arrangements as necessary. Always watch out for the frequency and quantity of water. Otherwise, you make develop dumb cane brown tips because of overwatering instead.
Dumb Cane Brown Tips: Overwatering
Excessive watering can lead to dumb cane leaves turning yellow, too. When you water this plant more frequently than it needs or in a bigger quantity, the amount of moisture in the soil can cause roots rot, and curled dumb cane brown tips is an additional symptom.
This tends to happen especially in winter because this is the dormant season for plants. Plus, if your green friend is in low-light conditions, it would also need less water to maintain moisture.
What to do if your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow due to overwatering?
Push your finger into the top inch of the soil before you water it again. If the soil is wet to the touch, you may be overwatering it.
Make sure the top 3-5cm of the soil is dry before you water your plant, so you can prevent the dumb cane leaves turning yellow. Try to reduce the amount of water you pour every time or implement longer periods between waterings. A really good tool to measure the quantity of water and spread it correctly is the popular watering can. Check out this high-end Steel Watering Can!
If you think the roots of your dumb cane are already rotting, remove the entire soil from the pot and cut out the rotten roots with a pair of scissors. Rotten roots are mushy or brown in colour. Repot your plant in fully fresh soil, be careful with your waterings procedures, and the dumb cane brown tips would be likely to stop.
Dumb Cane Brown Tips: Bad Soil Drainage
Besides taking care of the quantity of water and how often you water your dumb cane, make sure to never leave it sitting in water. Any amount of water at the bottom of the pot can cause dumb cane leaves turning yellow, and you will notice it because the dumb cane brown tips will be concentrated just in that area.
If there are puddles of water standing in the soil, it can get water-clogged. A soil that can not drain water and moisture may cause roots to rot, and can even threaten your plants’ existence!
What to do if your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow due to a bad soil drainage?
First and foremost, always choose a soil with good draining for your dumb cane. Ensure that the pot has a few drainage holes so you can avert dumb cane brown tips.
Each time you water your green friend, make sure that there is no standing water or drops on the soil or the leaves. If there are droplets remaining on one part of the plant, dry it with a cloth so you will stop your dumb cane leaves turning yellow.
You can also mix the soil with shredded leaves, compost and perlite to increase the drainage capacity of the soil. A badly drained soil can be responsible for deficient root growth and fewer nutrients and oxygen to be absorbed, and therefore, cause dumb cane brown tips.
Dumb Cane Brown Tips: Lack of Light
Dumb canes come from the jungle, so they are used to growing behind big trees and do not need a lot of light exposure. But if they receive less light than needed or if their light conditions change drastically, dumb cane leaves turning yellow as well as wilting is a common symptom.
The reason why the lack of light produces dumb cane brown tips is that it inhibits the process of photosynthesis. If the plant does not receive enough energy, the chlorophyll levels decrease and its characteristic green colour disappears.
What to do if your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow due to lack of light?
Relocate your dumb cane so it can receive plenty of indirect and bright light a few hours per day. If you place it on an east or the west-facing windowsill, it is likely to receive six hours of light a day, which should help it thrive.
If you see that your dumb cane leaves yellowing more, even when you have made this change, maybe the place where you live is not receiving enough light. In this particular case, you might want to use full-spectrum grow lights indoors.
Dumb Cane Brown Tips: Excessive Light
Too much exposure to light can cause dumb cane leaves turning yellow because they can get burned easily. Because of its origins, this plant can not afford direct light for more than one hour, scorched dumb cane brown tips are going to pop up quickly.
What to do if your dumb cane leaves are turning yellow due to excess light?
Simply move the plant to another area that has more shade. Make sure it receives sufficient indirect light for a few hours, and it will be ok.
No more rough leaf surfaces, no more scorch edges, and of course, no more dumb cane brown tips. Always keep your dumb cane away from direct and bright light.
Dumb Cane Brown Tips: Natural Ageing
Ageing is a totally normal process that causes dumb cane brown tips to come along eventually, and even start falling off.
Unfortunately, there is nothing to do with this condition. Just keep taking care of your green friend as good as you were doing before. Dumb cane leaves turning yellow because of the natural ageing is a common process and is perfectly fine.
And there we have it!
Remember plants are living creatures as well. If you take care of them properly and give them a nice life, they will pay good back to you showing their best colours and spreading joy in your house or workspace for a long time.