Dieffenbachia Drooping and the Reasons Behind It

The dieffenbachia is a beautiful, lush plant that makes a great addition to any plant lover’s collection. The tropical plant is also known as “dumb cane” or “leopard lily” and is great for beginners since it’s an easy plant to grow and care for.

However, seeing your beautiful dieffenbachia leaves drooping can be disheartening. This guide will unpack the reasons behind drooping leaves so you can identify the problem and remedy it to return your dieffenbachia plant to its former glory.

Why Your Dieffenbachia’s Leaves Are Drooping

There could be many reasons behind dieffenbachia drooping leaves, including underwatering, overwatering, lack of light, cold temperatures, etc. We’ve explored the different reasons in detail below.


Most of the reasons for dieffenbachia drooping are moisture related. In this case, it’s dryness that causes wilting.

Your dieffenbachia’s leaves may be drooping because it needs more water. The plant’s leaves start to droop and curl when they don’t have enough moisture.

The moisture in them makes dieffenbachia leaves firmer. When the plant is dry, it curls up and loses its vibrancy.

Since dieffenbachias do well when the soil around the plant’s roots is damp, it’s important to keep watering it regularly. When dieffenbachias are underwatered, they’re quick to show signs of this.

To confirm if underwatering is the cause, feel the soil and see if it’s dry to the touch. If this is the case, your plant needs more water to become healthy again.

Another clue that the dieffenbachia is underwatered is if the soil is not only dry, not also hard-packed and peeling away from the plant pot. If this is the case, you can be sure that your dieffenbachia is dehydrated.

While a moisture meter is helpful for a time like this, it’s unnecessary. If you’re still unsure whether your dieffenbachia is dehydrated, you can use a wooden stick to confirm this.

Get a thin, wooden stick like a chopstick or skewer and push it into the plant pot’s base. If your plant is hydrated, it shouldn’t be completely dry when it comes out. If this is the case, your dieffenbachia is dehydrated and in urgent need of water.

Luckily, fixing this is simple. Water your plant thoroughly until you see water coming out of the holes in the pot. You’ll notice an improvement in dieffenbachia drooping in a few hours.

If you’re unsure how often to water your dieffenbachia, you can use your finger to see if the soil is dry. Insert your finger into the soil and see if the soil is dry until your first knuckle. If this is the case, the dieffenbachia needs to be watered.

Read: How Can I Tell if My Potted Dieffenbachia Plant Needs Less Sunlight?


If you touch the soil and it’s moist, the dieffenbachia’s leaves may be drooping because you’ve overwatered it. Remember that you only need to water your dieffenbachia when the top two inches of soil are dry.

If you’re unsure how much water the plant needs, try the “soak then dry” method. Water the dieffenbachia thoroughly and wait until the soil is dry to the touch before you water it again.

This is because dieffenbachias thrive when in lightly moist soil. Soggy soil is usually an indicator that you’ve overwatered your plant.

Dieffenbachias need oxygen to grow lush and healthy. Adequate watering allows this to happen since the soil is hydrated but full of air pockets that let the plant breathe.

When you overwater your dieffenbachia, there are no air pockets left since they get flooded with water. Despite so much water, the roots don’t have access to water and become dehydrated.

It’s vital to tackle this problem immediately since overwatering can lead to root rot. The wet environment encourages the growth of microbes, and root rot can result in the dieffenbachia dying if you don’t take quick action to address this.

If you’re unsure whether you’ve overwatered your dieffenbachia, you can use a thin, wooden stick to check. Push it into the base of the plant pot.

If you remove the wooden stick to find it soaked through, it means that you overwatered your dieffenbachia. Let the soil dry out and water it adequately following this.

However, if the dieffenbachia has developed root rot, the solution isn’t so simple. If you see fungus gnats or smell something musty or sour, your plant may have developed root rot.

This will require uprooting the plant, trimming away rotten roots, and repotting your dieffenbachia.

Too Much Direct Sun

Dieffenbachias fare well in bright but indirect sunlight but can also grow in the shade. Because they’re tropical plants, they’re used to shade because they’re closer to the forest floor.

While indirect sunlight is beneficial, this isn’t the case for excess direct sunlight. Too much sunlight is one of the reasons behind dieffenbachia drooping. A good rule of thumb is less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Depending on how harsh the sunlight is, it may scorch the dieffenbachia leaves. To keep your dieffenbachia safe, move it to a less sunny area or filter the light, so it doesn’t get direct sunlight.


Age is another reason for dieffenbachia drooping. However, as long as it’s one or two leaves curling over, this is nothing to worry about.

This drooping is a result of the leaves’ life cycle. Old leaves curl up and wither so that newer leaves can grow in their place.

As dieffenbachias get taller, the leaves that are further down the length of the plant may shed to make room for new growth. This is completely normal and doesn’t require any intervention.

Nutrient Deficiencies

If your dieffenbachia lacks essential nutrients, its leaves may start to droop and yellow. This could result from the soil’s pH being too high or the soil lacking nutrients.

You can remedy this by using potting medium and fertilizer. A 20-20-20 fertilizer is recommended every 4-6 weeks during growth cycles.

Click to read: What Happens if Dieffenbachia are Grouped Together? [6 Key Reasons]

Mineral Buildup

While fertilizer is great and allows plants to grow healthy, the mineral ions in it can build up over time. This makes it harder for the roots to get water, and the dieffenbachia may dry up and start drooping as a result.

In addition to drooping leaves, you might notice signs such as the tips of the leaves getting brown, a white crust forming on top of the soil, or deposits on the dieffenbachia leaves. If this is the case, water is important to flush out the excess minerals.

Becoming Root Bound

As your dieffenbachia plant grows, you may have to repot it. When a plant remains in a pot that’s too small for it, it can become root bound.

When dieffenbachia becomes root bound, the leaves start to yellow, droop, and even fall. If you notice roots growing out of the soil or out of the drainage holes in your plant pot, your plant is root bound and needs to be repotted.

You can fix dieffenbachia drooping by repotting the plant in a bigger container. Alternatively, you can repot the same plant into many different smaller containers.


A pest infestation can result in dieffenbachia drooping since pests drain the sap from the plant. However, because these pests are so small, they’re not easy to spot.

Instead, you must rely on noticing the dieffenbachia drooping and taking action. When you notice the leaves wilting, always rule out pests.

Inspect the stems and leaves closely for pests such as scale, mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. If this is the case, keep your dieffenbachia away from other plants and use a pest removal treatment or insecticidal soap.

Temperature and Humidity

If dieffenbachia drooping is accompanied by yellowing leaves, it may be because of the temperature. Cool drafts can result in this kind of curling, making it essential to keep the plant in temperatures above 60°F.    

Both excessive cold and heat can result in dieffenbachia drooping. Avoid extreme temperatures by keeping your dieffenbachia plant away from heaters, drafty windows, and air conditioning units.

Keep your dieffenbachia between 65-75°F and avoid sudden changes in temperature for best results.

Humidity may also play a role in dieffenbachia drooping. Dieffenbachias thrive when the ambient humidity is 50% or more, so low humidity may cause the plant’s leaves to droop. This is usually the case in winter when heating is used regularly.

According to Planterina, the more moisture, the better. A 60% humidity level throughout the year is recommended. Use a humidifier or move the dieffenbachia to a bathroom.

Alternatively, you can move your dieffenbachia closer to other tropical plants. This also helps with humidity.

Final Thoughts

Dieffenbachias are lush plants that add life and color to any corner. Their marked leaves add flair to any room, making the evergreen a popular indoor plant.

That’s why it comes as a surprise when the dieffenbachia leaves start to droop and curl. Understanding the plant’s needs and monitoring its condition regularly allows you to spot when this occurs.

We hope this article helped you identify the reason for the droopy leaves so you can provide the proper care to ensure your plant continues blossoming. As soon as you ensure appropriate growing conditions, your dieffenbachia will recover.

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