Dieffenbachia Sunlight Requirements

Dieffenbachia is a tropical plant grown primarily for its lush and sometimes highly variegated foliage. Dieffenbachia will either thrive or languish, depending on how much light it receives (indoors or out). 

Dieffenbachia is native to Mexico, Central and South America. In these areas, the plant grows in the understory of the jungle, shaded and protected by taller, more woody plants. It thrives in dappled sun or bright shade. Dieffenbachia grown as a houseplant will tolerate slightly more direct sunlight depending on the degree of leaf variegation. Placing the plant in bright but indirect light will bring out the best foliage coloring and leaf size.

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Best Rooms To Grow Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia prefers bright indirect lighting from west- and east-facing windows. An east-facing window provides direct sun during early morning, while a west-facing window is brightest late in the day. This timing protects the tender leaves from scorching during the brightest time of the day. South-facing windows expose the plant to too much direct light, although you can place the plant to the side of the window or add a sheer curtain to filter the light. 

If the plant's stem begins to elongate without forming new leaves, the plant is stretching for the light and needs to be moved closer to the window or to a brighter room. Sunburn or scorch marks mean the plant is getting too much direct sunlight. Move the plant out of direct sunlight or add a curtain. 

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Providing Supplemental Sunlight To Dieffenbachia

Supplemental lighting from grow lights is rarely needed when growing Dieffenbachia indoors. This plant will tolerate and even thrive in very low light, especially during the winter months when growth naturally slows. If your house or apartment lacks a bright window, consider using a grow light during the summer months when Dieffenbachia grows most rapidly. Inexpensive, single-light fixtures are great to use on single-stemmed plants like Dieffenbachia. They can be set up in an out-of-the-way corner and be run with a simple dial timer, so that the plant receives at least 8-10  hours of light. 

Sunlight Needed For Growing Dieffenbachia Outdoors

Dieffenbachia enjoys spending time in the great outdoors during the warm summer months. The sunlight is much more intense outdoors, and the houseplant will need time to adjust. Select a location with dappled or bright shade, protected from the hottest parts of the day. A shaded front porch or covered deck is an ideal spot for Dieffenbachia to summer. 

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Author Robbin Small - Published 11-30-2023