House Plants/tropic snow plant
I have a tropic snow whose buttom leaves are turning yellow. In a months 5 to 6 leaves have turned yellow. Is that normal or is it a sign that it is lacking nutrients?
Of course, it depends to a certain extent on the size of your Dieffenbachia, but 5 to 6 yellowed leaves in a month is probably indicative of a problem. Lack of nutrients is not the cause of the problem, however. It could be a light problem, but is most likely a watering issue.
Dieffenbachias do best in very bright indirect light - in front of a north window or within a couple of feet of an uncovered east window. If your plant is more than 4 or 5 feet away from a sunny window, then it is shedding older leaves because in reduced light it cannot support as many leaves.
Assuming light is not a problem, then watering incorrectly probably is. To water properly, Dieffenbachias must be kept quite potbound. If you repotted in the last 6 months, then that is causing the excess soil added to stay moist for too long. When soil stays moist for too long either because the pot is too large or because you water too frequently, roots begin to root and leaves start to yellow. There is no cure for root rot so it is important to avoid it by keeping your plant tightly potted and watering only when the top quarter of the soil feels dry.
To sum up, good light, proper pot size and allowing the soil to dry sufficiently are all essential to good Dieffenbachia health. If any one of them is not right, then the plant will respond by developing yellow leaves.
I have written articles on repotting and on Dieffenbachia care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.
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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC
Visit my website at: A link to HorticulturalHelp.com