I have a Dieffenbachia camilla, sometimes called 'Dumb Cane', that I got about two years ago. It seemed like it needed a new pot so I put it in one size larger, and it did very well: it started growing new leaves and looked healthy. Not knowing much about plants, a month or two after I put it in an even larger pot, thinking it would help too. Now that I know more about plants, I know this was a bad idea as it wasn't ready for a larger pot. Some of the leaves started falling off and the leaves look thin and spindly. Also, new leaves grow on fairly slowly, and sometimes before becoming mature they turn yellow and fall off. Also, many mature leaves have also yellowed and have fallen off, making the trunk look a little bare.

Question. I was thinking that perhaps it's in too large a pot, as it started to decline when it was put in the larger one. It's been in this pot for a year but barely grew, so would it be a good idea to transplant it back to the smaller pot it was in before?

1 Answer 1


Too large a pot rarely kills a plant. Transplanting it back will give it another shock. What is more likely is that there are spider mites on the undersides of the leaves. This will cause slow growth and yellowing of the leaves.

See this answer for more about spider mites. They look like tiny grains of salt on the underside of the leaf.

  • Thank you! It actually did seem to have some kind of mite, and I started soap treatments. Hopefully it will recover :)
    – user11159
    Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 0:51

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