Dumb Cane Plants #618006 - Ask Extension


Dumb Cane Plants #618006

Asked March 21, 2020, 12:13 PM EDT

Should I get rid of my dumb cane plants? If so, what is the best way? My neighbor was moving and had no space for the plants, so she gave me her two dumb cane plants. The larger (huge) of the two was in poor condition. I cut the plant in 5 pieces and rooted them. I now have 5 thriving plants, one which is very big and the other medium size. After all that, two of the plants are leaking fluid, so I went online to determine the cause. I just read an article from the NC extension Program indicating that the plants are poisonous to humans and animals.

Baltimore City County Maryland

Expert Response

The fluid may be sap, and yes, it is harmful for humans and pets to ingest. While not reported to be toxic, it does have unpleasant effects and may require medical treatment. If you are concerned about family members or pets coming in contact with the plant's sap, then perhaps re-homing them would be the best choice. Otherwise, if not ingested or not leaking sap which can irritate someone's skin, they are considered safe. Dumb Canes (Dieffenbachia) are commonly available on the houseplant market and have been popular foliage plants in homes for decades.

If you choose to re-home them, current neighbors, family members, or even local businesses with well-lit windows or lobbies may be happy to have them. Of course, it may be difficult to distribute them at present. They are too cold-sensitive to put them outside in our area until around mid-May.

Thank you so much for your response.  Based on your input,  I do not plan to rehome them.
The Question Asker Replied April 23, 2020, 12:55 AM EDT
You're welcome.

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