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Grow with KARE: Plant rescue - Dieffenbacchia

Pruning your cane plants not only makes them look better, you can make more of them by cutting and replanting.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Cane plants can get a little unsightly when they eventually drop their bottom leaves to become bare. But there are a few ways to remedy that situation, and by doing so, you end up with more plants than before!

The first is the easiest. With a sharp pruner, cut just above a node a few sections down from the last leaf. Pop your cutting into water until it develops roots, when you’ll repot it into soil.

Second, cut a 3” section of bare cane and let it sit in a dry location for a day or two to develop a callous on the freshly cut ends. Then lay horizontally into fresh potting soil. Burying the cane about halfway. Water as needed. New plants will sprout up!

Your third option is air layering, which can be a bit tricky but has a great success rate. Using a sharp knife, make a notch in the cane. Cover with moist sphagnum moss and wrap tightly with tin foil or plastic wrap. Drip water into the foil/wrap to keep the area moist as needed. Leave in place for several weeks until roots have developed. Prune off the section that has developed roots and repot into fresh potting soil.

Dieffenbachia is a popular candidate for these methods, but any cane plant - like Dracaenas and rubber plants - will also benefit. 

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