I believe this plant to be Dieffenbachia (dumb cane). My mother got it about 40 years ago. The lower leaves have suddenly turned yellow (see pictures). Is this plant sick? Does the soil lack proper nutrients? The plant is in a 10-inch pot - might be the original. It's in a house that is very hot and though it's near a large sunny window, it mostly gets light filtered through blinds. It gets water about 3 times a week. It's in the same location it's been for the past 40 years. I very much want to keep the plant alive and healthy.

Here's the Dieffenbachia

2 Answers 2


If it's only a few leaves at the bottom that are dying off, and there is still new growth at the top, don't worry about it; that's how these plants grow.

Notice the rings around the trunk. Every one of those rings used to be a leaf that yellowed and fell off.


Just cut off the yellow leaves with a pair of scissors. Put the yellow leaves and kitchen scraps in a compost pile in your front or back yard. The co.post will turn black after more than 6 months and will make excellent fertilizer for your lawn, flowers, or other plants, should choose to spread the fluffy black compost outside over a large area.

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