I was gifted two very unique houseplants and have no idea what they are or how to care for them. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!!

1 is very woody stemed plant with both dark green, light green and clay red colored, arrow shaped leaves all with white spots on them (see photo) plant 1plant 1

2 is a large plant with very large leaves shaped in an oval with white lines from the center of the leaf to just shy of the outer edge of the leaf. Plant 2 large leaf e

The stalk of the plant is about 1.5 inches in diameter and very bendable, in fact the stalks would just flop over if they weren’t staked upright. See photo stalk of plant 2 e

Another photo of plant 2 - Plant 2

  • 1
    Can you split this into two questions, one per plant? Thanks
    – kevinskio
    Oct 14, 2018 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


The top one is correctly identified in the other answer as a Begonia - it's actually Begonia coccinea, commonly known as Angel Wing Begonia https://www.houseplantsexpert.com/angel-wing-begonia.html. The second plant, also as already said, is a Dieffenbachia https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/dieffenbachia-dumb-cane-plant-how-to-grow-care-for-a-dieffenbachia

Neither of these plants appreciates direct sunlight; in the case of Dieffenbachia, medium to good day light is what's required - very bright light and direct sunlight will cause bleaching of the leaves; in front of a south facing window is not a good position for either of them, better to choose a window facing any other direction.

With regard to the Begonia, it appears to be in a tiny pot in comparison to the its topgrowth - it looks to be lanky, with lots of bare stem showing with no leaves except at the top, most likely because it doesn't have enough root room. I suggest you find a bigger pot for it, one with drainage holes in the bottom, and repot using new potting soil, as well as cutting it back to encourage new leaf growth off the bare stems. It's better to cut back hard in spring really, but without cutting it back, you'll still be looking at bare and lanky stems, so I'd cut it back by at least half now - I can see a growth bud on one of the stems (that little, pointy, orangey looking blob visible in the picture) so cutting back to just above that should encourage it to 'break' and grow new leaves.


The first one is Begonia and the second is Dieffenbachia or Dumb Cane. Do you have cats or dogs or parrots? Kids? The Dumb Cane is poisonous. They both do well in the home but get them as close as possible to a southern window without allowing them to get direct sun. Water when the pot feels light to lift. Find out what they've been fertilized with and the last application. If that soil is not potting soil I would prepare to transplant these plants in a slightly larger pot, 2" wider in diameter using plain old sterilized potting soil. Potting soil without fertilizer added or those water holding sponges/gels. Holes in bottom of pots. Lift bottom of pot off surface 1/4 inch with pieces of tile. Water well, then allow to dry out a bit before watering again. Too much water for both these plants will kill them. Allow these plants to get situated a month or so before transplanting. Use Osmocote 14-14-14 extended release fertilizer and use half of what the directions tell you. After you've transplanted and after they've been able to get used to their new spot in your home. There is also some pruning to be done in the near future but wait until after transplanting and acclimating. Ask questions anytime.

  • 1
    I disagree that Dieffenbachia needs to be near a southern window. I've been growing mine (same variety as yours, Melody) for 30+ years in indirect light. This has meant in an area of a room that doesn't get any direct sunlight and isn't even near a window-usually, across the room from a window, or in a window with a northern exposure. For propagation, just cut a stem off and bury the stem you just cut off deep enough to keep it from toppling (a stake is a good idea if stem is tall). Water well and wait; it'll root without problems. The plant mine came from is still alive and over 60 years old!
    – Jurp
    Oct 14, 2018 at 13:28
  • Hey Jurp...you most certainly can grow Dumb Cane in the dark or lower light conditions. Did you check out that last picture? Tells me that possibly it got plenty of fertilizer and not enough light, thus the twisting. This plant as all plants will do better with as much light as possible, just no direct sun unless they do a little acclimation process. I was going to look up the species of begonia...would that be Rex Begonia as a common name? Please make this an answer. Most people do not have room for plants at a south window.
    – stormy
    Oct 14, 2018 at 19:57

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