The Dieffenbachia yellow leaves can be caused by various factors, including overwatering, low humidity, and pest infestations. When the leaves of your Dieffenbachia turn yellow, it is a sign that the concentration of chlorophyll is compromised and that affects the growth of the plant.

Dieffenbachia leavesLoss of chlorophyll comes with reduced rates of important plant processes such as photosynthesis. In this article, you will learn more about how to prevent Dieffenbachia yellow leaves, as well as deal with the condition in the event that it happens.

Why Are Your Dieffenbachia Leaves Turning Yellow?

Your Dieffenbachia leaves are turning yellow because of overwatering, underwatering, pest attacks, diseases, low humidity, nutrient deficiencies, lighting issues, and temperature extremes. However, you may fix it by having a watering routine, spotting the root rot, dealing with the pests, and the placing right soil.

– Overwatering

When you overwater your Dieffenbachia, its leaves are more likely to discolor and assume a yellow color. This yellow color distorts the detail on the plant leaves, thereby making them less gorgeous. Overwatering usually takes place when you give your plant a drink more often than you should.

Excessive watering causes waterlogging conditions that reduce aeration in your Dieffenbachia’s potting mix. As a result, the roots of your plant won’t be able to breathe, grow, and respire. Remember, the roots are the main plant part that is involved in oxygen intake, so when this role is affected, your plant will be equally unhealthy overall.

– Diseases

Improper care procedures play a huge role in promoting yellow leaves on your Dieffenbachia because they make your plant more susceptible to attack by diseases. For example, overwatering promotes root rot. 

While root rot can simply be a result of oxygen deprivation on the plant, it can be due to fungal infections that result from prolonged waterlogged conditions.

Root rot causes the roots of your Dieffenbachia to start rotting so they become absent from their responsibilities. For instance, affected roots won’t be able to absorb water and nutrients for the rest of the plant. This will result in the yellowing of leaves.

– Underwatering

Dieffenbachia leaves turning yellow might also be due to underwatering. The latter happens when you leave your plant for too long without giving it a drink, for whatever reason.

The yellow color that is caused by overwatering is more generalized than that from underwatering. This feature can help you to determine whether the yellowing Dieffenbachia leaves are due to overwatering or underwatering.

– Deficiency of Nutrients

Nitrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining the green pigment of your plant. This nutrient can be found in organic matter or commercial fertilizers. If your plants lack nitrogen, leaf yellowing results.

– Extreme Temperatures

Your Dieffenbachia will thrive well when you grow it in temperature ranges that are between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperature provisions move out of this range, the plant’s leaves may turn yellow as a sign of stress. Extremely low or high temperatures alter the efficiency of your plant’s processes, which then shows off through the yellowing of leaves.

– Too Low Humidity

Generally, the Dieffenbachia is quite tolerant to lower humidity levels as compared to other indoor plants. However, too low levels of humidity can cause the leaves of the plant to turn yellow. This is especially true when you suddenly move your plant from an environment that has high humidity levels to that with incomparably lower levels. 

A good example is when you buy your Dieffenbachia from a plant shop where it was maintained under higher humidity conditions and then you move it to a home environment where different humidity conditions exist.

– Poor Lighting Conditions

Your Dieffenbachia requires bright indirect light for it to grow well. Anything other than this can cause adverse effects on your plant’s growth. One of the signs that you might see when this happens is yellowing Dieffenbachia leaves.

Please note that the amount of light that you provide your plant with also determines transpiration and evaporation rates. This will also have an effect on your watering schedules. All these factors combined, do contribute to yellowing leaves on your Dieffenbachias.

– Changing Seasons

You might also realize that in some cases, the yellowing of Dieffenbachia leaves is associated with some seasons like the winters and autumn. In such seasons, the leaves of the plant will naturally die and fall. Take note of such patterns so that you don’t get alarmed and start taking unnecessary measures.

– Pests

When infected by pests, the Dieffenbachia leaves can turn yellow in color. Some of the most common pests that you should be on the lookout for as you take care of your Dieffenbachia plants are spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. 

All these bugs are sucking pests that survive by drawing sap from your plant. Initially, the effects of these pests may not be seen but as the infestations increase, the foliage of your plant will begging to turn yellow.

The scale will appear like innocent “scales” on the surface of your foliage. However, underneath that “scale” is a naughty pest that is feeding on the vitality of your plant. If you notice cottony-like patches on your plant, it is more likely that your Dieffenbachia is hosting mealybugs. These pests are wingless and soft-bodied.

Adult mites are reddish-brown in color. They are known for causing yellow spots on the leaves of plants.

– Drafts

If you feel that you are doing everything else right in terms of taking care of your plants, then check if drafts are not the cause of yellowing leaves on your Dieffenbachia.

Drafts can be in the form of heating vents, air conditioning units, and/or leaky windows. Drafts work hand-in-hand with extreme changes in temperatures, which is how they end up causing discoloration on your leaves.


How To Fix Dieffenbachia Leaves That are Turning Yellow

You can fix dieffenbachia yellow leaves by avoiding overwatering, following a regular routine of watering, checking the soil’s quality, controlling the temperature it stays in, dealing with pests, and dealing with the root rot that the plant might be suffering.

– Spot Overwatering

The first step in saving dumb cane leaves from yellowing leaves is by identifying the correct cause. This means that you should be able to spot overwatering as well. You can simply poke your finger a few inches into the soil of your plant and if it feels super wet over a period of time, then your plant might be living in waterlogged conditions.

You can also check if your plant is surviving under recommended growing conditions. Assess moisture levels using a soil moisture probe. All you have to do is to insert the probe into the soil and read the results. If the values on the probe are above five over time, you should be worried about possible overwatering.

When your plant is overwatered, its pot feels much heavier when you lift it up. 

– Follow Proper Watering Schedules

Once you realize that the cause for the yellowing leaves on your Dieffenbachia is overwatering, revisit your watering schedules. Be sure to cut back on watering a bit while you allow your plant to recover.

If you are using a soil moisture probe to assess the moisture of potting mix, only water when the readings are below five. Watering when the few inches of the topsoil are completely dry is also an effective measure against possible overwatering.

Please note that the Dieffenbachia is dormant during the winter seasons. This means that plant processes also slow down at this time so you should cut down on watering. If you maintain the same watering schedules as in summer, you expose your plant to waterlogged environments.

If the yellow leaves on your Dieffenbachia are due to underwatering, reassuming proper watering schedules can restore your plant. However, you might need to engage in consistent watering for about a month before you can prune off the yellow leaves on your plant. This way, you won’t excessively stress your plant.

– Check the Soil Pot and Potting Mix

Sometimes, overwatering can be due to discrepancies in the potting mix and soil pot, rather than the watering schedules. Check to see that the pot that you use for your plant has enough drainage holes. We strongly recommend that you use terracotta pots as they allow the roots of your plant to breathe well.

Furthermore, assess to see if the potting mix is well-draining and well-aerated. Clay soils are not a good idea because of their compacted structure. You can loosen your potting mix by adding some sand or perlite.

– Deal With Root Rot

If the cause of Dieffenbachia yellowing leaves is root rot, there is a chance that you can still save your plant. Simply and gently uproot your plant from its pot as a check-up procedure. If the roots of your Dieffenbachia are brown and mushy, it is more likely that root rot has taken its toll on your plant.

If the root damage is still light, you can cut off the affected parts using scissors that are sterilized with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Also, consider preparing a fresh potting mix and then repotting your plant. You can spray the roots of your plant prior to repotting it.

– Allow the Plant to Adapt to New Growth Conditions

Sometimes, all you need is to allow your Dieffenbachia to adapt to new conditions. This applies well to the case where the yellowing leaves are due to moving your plant to an environment with lower humidity levels. When the plant gradually adapts to the new environment, the color of the leaves will normalize without any extra input from your side.

– Control Temperature Extremes

Temperatures are something that you can control. Avoid placing your Dieffenbachia close to drafty windows during the winter. Also, keep it away from hot rooms during the summer. We do not recommend that you grow your plant in a room that has a heater and this causes sudden switches in temperature conditions.

You can also assess temperature conditions around your plant using a digital thermometer. Simply place this instrument close to your plant and read the current, highest, and lowest temperatures over time.

This way, you can be sure of what might be causing yellowing leaves and if temperatures are the culprit, you can then make calculated changes for your plant’s benefit.

– Correct Lighting Issues

Find a spot that will not expose your plant to direct sunlight for more than two hours. This is crucial so that you make sure that your Dieffenbachia receives bright indirect light most of the time.

Don’t forget that the windows in your house will expose your plant to different amounts of light at varying times of the day. You should, therefore, study this phenomenon and determine where to place your plant at any given time of the day.

You also need to take note of the effects of changing seasons on the amount of light that is available for your plant. Therefore, as seasons change, you might need to move your plant from one point to the other so that you ensure that it has adequate light that does not affect its appearance.

– Deal With Pests

Systemic pesticides are great for dealing with sucking pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. When these pests are available in lower infestations, you can use a hose to wash them off your plant.

We recommend that you isolate your plant prior to taking any further measures so that the pests do not spread to other houseplants. Be sure to sterilize the spot where your plant was previously seated.

Dabbing the pests with isopropyl alcohol works well, especially when the infestations are still low. For higher numbers of the pests, spraying the whole plant with 70 percent alcohol might yield better results. However, make sure that you spray a small portion of the plant using the alcohol before you can do so on the whole plant.

You can also use Neem oil, which is an organic pesticide. Neem oil is effective for all stages of the lifestyles of these sucking pests. Insecticidal soap is another option that you can consider. 

You can buy a commercially available one if you do not want to make your own at home. All you need to do is to mix 2.5 tablespoons of vegetable oil with the same volume of pure liquid soap in a gallon of water.

Dieffenbachia houseplant near window.


How do you know if Dieffenbachia’s Yellow Leaves are caused by root rot?

Yellow leaves in Dieffenbachia may indicate root rot if accompanied by mushy roots, foul odor, and excessive soil moisture.

How often do you rotate Dieffenbachia to prevent yellowing leaves?

Rotate Dieffenbachia every 2-4 weeks to ensure even light exposure, reducing the likelihood of yellowing leaves.

Can yellowing Dieffenbachia leaves be revived with coffee?

Reviving yellowing Dieffenbachia leaves with coffee is unlikely; address underlying issues like watering or lighting for better results.


When you know how to deal with common problems that affect your favorite plants, you increase your chances of success. This is where you are now but before you go and practice what you learned, here are the main points once again:

  • Destroy sucking pests using Neem oil, insecticidal soap, and 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
  • Maintain watering schedules that protect your plant from waterlogging conditions and excessive dryness.
  • Maintain the temperature, heat, and lighting conditions that are needed by Dieffenbachia plants.
  • Treat root rot using fungicides or by repotting the plant.
  • Keep your plant away from drafts.

With the wealth of information that you obtained from this article, you can take care of your Dieffenbachia plant with enhanced confidence!

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