How to Split a Dieffenbachia Plant?[With 6 Easy Steps]

Usually, a Dieffenbachia plant propagates from cutting. However, you don’t always have to chop the stem to multiply the lovely Dumb Cane. You can divide it at the root.

As a result, you can create smaller clones. By doing so, you can keep the actual trunk intact. In the following paragraphs, we will examine how to split a Dieffenbachia plant into various healthy plants.

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Splitting a Dieffenbachia Plant: What You Must Know

When a Dumb Cane matures, it tends to produce shoots from its root balls. These shoots can be separated from the main mass of your Dieffenbachia plant.

First, uproot the plant altogether. Then, cut the lesser stalks towards the roots.

It would be best if you planted the newly cut secondary stalks into new pots. As they take root in the new pot, ensure keeping the environment nice and humid for them.

Also, don’t overwater them, or else root rot might occur.

When compared to the traditional stem cutting methods, splitting a Dumb Cane is advantageous for many reasons.

Furthermore, it doesn’t take very long for these plants to take root, and you don’t even have to cut the top of the mother plant.

Please read on for more details on how to split a Dieffenbachia plant.

Also read: Should I Use Coffee Grounds on My Dieffenbachia?

Signs Your Dieffenbachia is Ready for Splitting

When you look at a Dieffenbachia plant, you first notice the solid woody trunk. The next thing that comes to your mind is that there isn’t a way around killing the plant altogether. Well, it is perfectly alright if you think that way. But think again.

You can’t propagate a Dieffenbachia plant by splitting it in half. It’s time to give a good look to your plant once again.

Propagation after breaking depends on whether or not the plant has additional trunks in combination with the actual one.

It is worth noting that Dieffenbachia grows offshoots at maturation. These offshoots are also called pups.

While these stems are connected at the root, they can serve as individual plants if separated at the root. Once separated and planted elsewhere, they can become individual plants.

If you are surprised, please don’t be, because this is exactly how the Dumb Canes reproduce in nature.

They produce several clones of themselves, so they can produce offspring without going through the energy-intensive seed and flow process. Even if one stem dies, the plant will have several copies to reproduce.

It is easy to determine if a Dumb Cane can be divided successfully. Just check if it has multiple canes. Even if you have a small unresponsive shoot, you can make it grow with proper care.

Things You Need to Split Your Dieffenbachia Plant

Before you start slicing the root of your Dumb Cane, check if you have the right tools. In the following paragraphs, we will look at everything you need to split your Dieffenbachia plant.

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Knives and Shears

When splitting a Dumb Cane, it is important to have the right cutting tools at your disposal. If the stems are light and small, you can get away with some pruning shears.

However, you will have to invest in a serrated garden knife for big and thick stems. It is better if you have both.


Remember, you will need a different pot for every stem. Every bank you use should have ample drainage to prevent water clogging.

If water backs up in a pool, it can easily smother a fresh new plant, thus hindering its growth.

Check out: Do Dieffenbachia Like Humidity?  [Signs And Process]

Potting Mix

Unlike the English Ivy, Dumb Canes prefer a damp potting mix. Your potting mix should be similar to a wrung-out sponge.

The right ingredients are necessary to make the perfect potting mix. Your mixture should have perlite, coconut coir, orchid bark, and some African Violet mix.

Don’t make the mistake of using garden soil. First, it isn’t sterile, and second, your plant can be easily infected.


Before cutting into any part of your plant, remember to disinfect the cutting tool. Otherwise, you can infect your plant, thus ruining all of your efforts. Before using the cutting tools, rub them well with alcohol bleach solution.

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Gardening Gloves

When it comes into contact with bear skin, Dumb Canes can cause a rash. Therefore, it is important to put on gardening gloves when working with dumb canes.

Newspaper, Towels, and Tarps

When splitting a Dumb Cane, a lot of soil is thrown out of the pot. This process can make the space extremely messy. Make sure to spread the waste soil over a tarp, towel, or newspaper on the ground.

How to Split Your Dieffenbachia Plant?

Now that you have all the supplies, it’s time to spit the Dieffenbachia plant. Make sure to follow the below-mentioned steps.

Step#1: Pot Preparation

Fill up the containers with some fresh potting mix for your new plants. Next up, moisten the potting mix. It should be damp but not at all soggy. ⅔ of the pots should be filled with soil.

Step#2: Uprooting the Dumb Cane

Pulling the plant right out of the soil is never a good idea. Instead, you must hold the stalks at the bottom and tilt the pot to get it out.

Firmly tap towards the bottom of the pot until the plant comes out. When tapping the bottom, don’t be too aggressive. Be as gentle as possible.

Click to know: Dieffenbachia Repotting – What You Need to Know

Step#3: Cleaning the Roots

Use your fingers to brush off the soil from the roots. Be gentle when removing the dirt, or you will damage the roots.

Very softly, put your fingers into the hearts, and crumble away the chunks of soil clinging to the roots. If necessary, rinse the roots with water.

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Step#4: Removing the Secondary Shoots

First, use a sanitizing solution to wipe the blades down. As discussed earlier, you can either use alcohol or a bleach solution. Focus on the areas where the offshoots branch out of the main stalk.

Start snipping or sawing in those areas. The cuts should be clean. If the stems are slender, opt for pruning shears. With each removed stalk, there must be a decent number of roots.

Step#5: Planting the Clones

Now is the time to place the Dumb Canes into smaller pots you have made for them. Fill each jar with the potting mix at the base.

To keep your plant upright, bury some of the roots within the potting mix. And save some of them with the stem.

If you want to keep the mother plant alive and well, it is better to return it to the original pot. Sometimes, mother plants get shocked when the growing conditions change, thus losing their ability to grow and stay healthy.

Have a look: Why My Dieffenbachia Leaves Are Turning White? [7 Reasons]

Step#6: Wash Your Hands

When you’re done splitting the Dumb Cane, it is very important to wash your hands thoroughly. As discussed above, these plants can cause rashes on your hands.

Also, you wouldn’t want any of that sap to enter your mouth or your eyes.

Even wearing gloves, you can still get some of that sap on your arms and wrists. Make sure to wash your hands up to the elbows. Rinse your hands and arms with soap to get that sticky sap off you.

Other Propagation Techniques

As discussed earlier, Dumb Canes can be propagated by cutting the stem. Cutting the branch is a viable option for increasing the number of clones from a single plant.

You can also take this route if you’re not ready to haul your Dumb Cane.

Instead of dividing your plant by uprooting it, you can snip the plant’s stalk into the number of segments you require, as long as each part has multiple nodes, as a new plant will appear when it is rooted into the soil.

If you don’t know already, nodes are the tan rings found on the trunk of a Dumb Cane. From these rings, roots and leaves emerge. A new segment doesn’t need the existing foliage and roots to grow.

You can also try air layering to make your cutting process successful. Air layering is a process that involves stem cutting in various places. The stem is then packed with a damp growing material for a couple of weeks.

As a result, roots can grow from the stem segments before you can cut them off. The cuttings should be planted and nurtured the same way you would for the clones.

The easiest way to propagate your plant is by standing the cuttings in water-filled jars.

The last method is the easiest because the cuttings can quickly grow roots. Then, you can transfer the cutting and its root into a pot containing fresh soil.

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Final Word

Splitting your Dumb Cane into new plants is a great way to add to your plant collection. It can also benefit you monetarily if you run a plant business.

However, to split the Dieffenbachia correctly, it is very important to follow the above-mentioned steps.

Also, make sure you have the right tools at your disposal. Lastly, don’t forget to wash your hands after you split your Dieffenbachia.

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