My friend's dad is growing this plant inside the house with very little sunlight, but this plant looks magnificent. *Anybody know what it is?
The plant pictured looks like a very old, etiolated Dieffenbachia (a.k.a. dumb cane). Even with a healthy plant, Dieffenbachia are not allowed to grow so large because they don't retain the "full" appearance of a young plant. You may want to propagate it and start over.
If not, could you move the plant to a spot with stronger light? Bright light shaded by a curtain, that is. Maybe supplement it's light with fluorescent growlights suspended above it? Also, the pot looks too small for a plant so large...gently pull the stem of the plant out of the pot, including all the potting mix. It the rootball appears to be tightly wound around the inside of the pot, the plant's health is being affected, so repot.
Additional questions are welcome.
Eastern Massachusetts, United States
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I think it looks cool because its so massive. Is this thing easy to grow? How long would it take for a baby plant to reach that size? The pot is rather small for such a large plant, but I find that amusing too [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
DE is right it is definitely a Diffenbachia, also called dumb cane because the white sap is supposed to cause paralysis of jaw muscles if ingested. Whether that's a myth or not? Can't say cause I'm not willing to eat it and find out.
They are tropical and grow as weeds by the roadside here in some places in Bali but I think they are pretty tolerant of non tropical conditions. I have also grown them in Australia. I believe they are originally from Sth America.
They grow EXTEMELY quickly in the right conditions.
To propogate (not that I ever need to, but... ) just cut the top off and plant it in moist soil and it grows roots very quickly and the bottom grows a new top just as quick.
Given sufficient water and warmth, if you cut that plant in two it should grow back in a couple of months.
They do need cutting back periodically. The few that I have deliberately planted get too tall and straggly and fall over every 6 months so I just lop the top off with a machette and either throw the top away or stick it in the ground.
Hope this helps.
This sounds great, I'll give it a try. Now to convince his dad to cut off the top. He's under the impression that if he cuts off the top, it will stop growing [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]
I've seen the plant called "mother-in-law tongue" as well. These guys are very common in house plant sections of stores. Be aware that the sap of this plant is very poisonous. If you use a knife to chop the top off, please wash it very well. (especially if you use it to eat) [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
For some info go to:
Dumbcane, Propagating Dieffenbachia plants by Air Layering
Another propagation option with remaining stem.
"Plants such as Chinese evergreen, Dieffenbachia and Dracaena that develop cane-like stems can be propagated by cane cuttings. The cane remaining at the base of the plant after the older leaves drop off is cut into sections. Between the circular rings or leaf scars are dormant buds. The cane is cut with at least two leaf scars on each section. The piece is laid horizontally under the soil surface with the dormant eye facing upward. This eye eventually will sprout and form a new plant."