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dieffenbachia flowering

October 28, 2004

Hello there. My dieffenbachia is about five years old and is touching my eight foot ceiling. To my delight and shock I noticed a strange flower near the top. It look like a "jack in the pulpit" with a pink tube coming out of the centre about eight inches long. It is the strangest thing. Has anyone else ever had their dieffenbachia flower? I have looked in all my garden books and none of them mention a flower. I just hope it does not smell..haha! If I can figure out the gallery I will try to post a picture there.

Comments (39)

  • Woody_Canada

    They are a member of the aroid family, which includes Jack in the Pulpit, so it's not surprising that the flowers might look similar. I've certainly never seen a dieffenbachia bloom though so you're lucky and are obviously treating it right! Some aroids do have very smelly flowers so let us know if that one is!

  • Cat_Gal

    So, Winnie...was that flower on your dieffenbachia fragrant? Did you take a picture? Can you treat us to one ;-)?


  • Winnie12

    Hello Cat Gal. The plant actually ended up with five "flowers" and they had no smell whatsoever. They lasted about a month and then slowly shrivelled up and turned brown and flopped over. I pulled them off. Sorry, I did take pictures but I have trouble trying to post them on the site because they are scanned pictures. I have since bought a digital camera but that does not help me now!!LOL

  • tnorcros

    I too have a flowering dieffembachia. Mine is white and has just opened up to the world. It doesn't smell at all. If anyone wants a picture, let me know and I'll be glad to send one.

  • tnorcros

    oh gee...if only I had spelled it right. My dieffeNbachia has only been flowered for about two days or so.

  • mcmanus49


    I found this site with a google search, because this morning one of the "leaves" on my Dieffenbachia, started to open up, and is obviously going to be a flower!

    From googling, this seems to be a rare eventas a house plant. I live in England (London) and my Dieffenbachia is only 3 ft tall and 3yrs old from the shop.

    I have taken photos, and will try to post them, I can post more as if opens up if I get anyone interested.


    P.S. in the UK we call these leopard lillies

  • sammey19

    Hi, I too have a dieffenbachia that is flowering, It does smell, bad, but it is not a strong scent. If you would like a photo email me at: plantguy_19@mchsi.com.

  • kallyd

    I've had dieffenbachia's through out my life and never knew that they could flower... I was shocked to see 8 blooms on my plant tonight.. so cool! I have photos if you'd like to see... just email: kally@clearwire.net

  • seniorbella_hotmail_com


    I have one that has 10 inches wide and 17 inches long leaves and it just started flowering after 3.5 yrs. I see what appears to be 2 pods, maybe 3. I have had this plant since 2002, but for the past 3.5, it has gone from 2 feet to almost 7 ft beacuse i have move the locatation, watered it and repotted 3 times. I think that the that it's up to the plant and it's environment. This plant was a clipping from my mom's plant that she has had at at least 6 ft for years (leaves not as big as mine though) and hers has not flowered- she has 5 seperate stocks. It is rare...i'm gonna to re-grow the the flowrers by pollenating them. :)

  • mona_j

    My dieffenbachia is flowering also. I have had dieffenbachias for the last 15 years and this is the first time one of my plants has flowered. Is this normal? Could someone please email a picture of theirs?

  • garden_girl80

    Hello everyone! To my delight, I found this site and this forum on diefenbachia's flowering today and became a member of this site. How wonderful it is to share the joys of gardening with other people!

    I noticed today that my dieffenbachia is also beginning to flower (I think!) in 2 spots! I didn't think that this happened, until I searched the web and found this forumn. They looks like the beginnings of new leaves, but SO much thicker, with little white pods(?) inside! I'm so excited to see what happens when it begins to open more. :)

    Also, how often do you recommend repotting these plants? Any advice would be great! I will also try and post pictures once the flowers/pods open and I can see what they look like!

    Cheers plantlovers! :)

  • miket_09

    I can add another story about the rarity of diffenbachia flowering. I have vegetatively propagated a diffenbachia that my parents got when I was a child, so the plant has been in my family for about 50 years and has become a kind of family heirloom. My two children each have a piece. None have ever bloomed until this spring, when one of the two that I've kept has two flowers beginning to open.

  • bar10der4fun

    i typed in "do dieffenbachia bloom" and here i am!!! wow what a pleasant surprise! the dieffenbachia has always been a favorite of mine. usually if there is one plant in my house it is this one. imagine my delight when i saw these 2 "blooms/flowers" opening up!!!! never ever had one do this. global warming??? LOL ;~)

  • dalar_ca

    I'd also love to share that today, I was in a garden centre and noticed something interesting about a $4, 3/4' tall diffenbachia -- it had two shoots I had never seen before on such a plant! Immediately I remembered reading this thread a while back, and wondering when my 4 year old diffenbachia at home might finally flower (if ever), and promptly bought this $4 rarity so I can see the thing flower with no effort on my part.. haha.
    Will put up picures when the shoots open, it looks like it'll be a big flower.

  • jbroses

    First off, I'm a plant novice, almost always kill every plant I touch. However, I have a diffenbachia that must have incredible DNA... it survived losing 60% of its stem, and has since given me 2 additional plants that are doing really well.

    Last year, the plant was getting top-heavy with too many leaves and a thin stem, and a new shoot had started coming out of its stalk, which worried me. I brought it to a garden store and some very nice folks helped me cut off the new shoot and repot into a much bigger pot, burying the stem deeply so it was no longer top heavy.

    It's doing great now, and actually flowering (which I'd never seen before). Unfortunately, I just noticed a new plant pop out of the soil; it looks like a shoot came off of the stem that's underneath the soil, and has pushed its way up.

    My question is what should I do about this? Should I cut off the new growth at the level of the soil? Should I dig down and cut it off at the stem of the main plant? Or should I just leave it alone?

    Also, I've never pruned a plant before... if it starts getting too big, how exactly do I do that? Cut off leaves? How far from the stem do I make the cut?

    Any thoughts are appreciated!

  • chicago_farmer

    I rescued a diffenbachia out of the alley trash three years ago, repotted it and have been cutting off tops when it gets top heavy and repotting it deep in the same pot. I now have five good sized plants in full leaf which I like lots more than one tall skinny stem. The oldest and tallest plant is now blooming its second flower. It has an earthy fragrance but not unpleasant like a carrion flower. I find stripping off all but the top leaves and burying old stems deep into the pot works well for new plants.

  • airehead_2010

    I have a dieffenbachia that is 30 inches tall and I just noticed last night it is flowering! I have had them for years, but never had one flower. I took pictures if anyone would like to see them, email me at: linda_j@telus.net.

    I was planning to repot the plant this month due to it leaning a bit, so I am glad I didn't! I have it in a 'sun room' and I can't remember, but I may have put it out on our deck last summer or the summer before, but otherwise it lives inside. Can't wait for my husband to see it!

  • lorne_raney_comcast_net

    I have been growing diffenbachias for about 20 years, and I always have several in bloom. They start like normal leaves, and then produce a long white stalk. They don't have any smell, but are very neat. If anyone would like a picture, I could email them. I only have a few as they are a regular occurence and I guess I take them for granted.

  • jbenson0604_gmail_com

    I have had my Dieffenbachia for the last 4 years or so and have never seen one flower either. One day when I was watering it, sure enough there were 2 flowers sticking straight up from the top. I was shocked and took a couple pictures to ask someone about them. Probably 36 hours later, the "leaves" had wrapped back around the flower and sealed. Now there is a really dark sticky substance leaking from around the sealed flower and getting on the other leaves. Has anyone ever heard of this? Should I remove it?

  • blackcloud61_hotmail_com

    I have not had my dieffenbachia for even 6 months yet, it has almost trippled in size ( about 3 ft now ) full of lush leaves. I have it on the west side of our apartment between the sliding glass door and the kitchen window, so it gets lots of indirect sunlight. Absolutely georgouse. however, it is now starting to flower. There are 2 "pods" at the top of my plant that are about to bloom. Is there any special care for it while and after it blooms?

  • bensonsbz_earthlink_net

    mine have been flowering prolifically for the past month. when they first open there is a definite scent--kind of a dusty, musty smell for a couple of days.

  • Lylda

    I've had my Dieffenbachia for 30 years (We call it George)
    2 days ago it produced 2 blooms,my question is --will it now bloom every year?
    Seems everyone on this site are seeing these blooms for the first time.

  • OgieSmith

    I have had my plants for three years and they have bloomed twice now.
    I get very excited to see this beautiful flower.

  • McDove

    I bought a 4" Camille Dieffenbachia about 3-4 months ago and immediately repotted it. I keep it in my west bdrm. on the dresser where it gets low filtered light. I mist it about every other day. Yesterday I noticed it has a shoot with a large white pod coming out of it! I was excited and very surprised! I looked up everywhere on the computer, including in my large houseplant book, and could not find anything about them flowering, not until I came across this forum. I read your posts and joined right away! It's cool we are all surprised! I am especially, since mine is just a baby! It does not have an odor, thank goodness, since I sleep in the same room!

  • Chony

    I have had this dieffenbachia for a few years and two days ago, as I was watering it, I saw two things sticking out of two different leaves. I found this site and I read the comments and then today I look at the plant and the two "flowers" were inside the leaves, like Jackie 5 above explains. I have two plants and the one upstairs which is 5 feet tall doesn't seem to have any blooms. I'll see what happens to this "flowers" in the next few days. By the way, this plant had gotten so tall that I cut the stems about 6 inches from the soil surface and rooted the cuttings which became the plant I have upstairs. The cut stems all got tall and produce leaves and is now beautiful. So they can be pruned without being hurt.

  • Chony

    Yesterday I looked at plant while watering and it has 4 more "flowers" wrap by leaves. The first two an\re totally enclosed by the leaves. Weird stuff!

  • Chony

    Yesterday one of the so called flowers, wrapped inside the leave, was hanging there totally rotten. Can anybody explain this? I still have about 6 "flowers" wrapped in leaves.

  • kparal

    My dieffenbachia is 39 years old and I've had to cut it back a number of times when it reached the ceiling. It has four flourishing stalks in it that are currently about 4 feet tall. I have never seen it bloom in all these years until last week. I smelled it before I saw it, after my livingroom took on an eye-watering strong odor best described as a combination of sour pickles and black pepper. Stinging, like Mace. I couldn't imagine what was causing the offensive smell and searched all over the room until finally following my nose to the plant. Imagine my surprise when I saw this large lily-like bloom nestled amidst the leaves on my old dieffenbachia which had never before flowered. And there were 2 additional yet unopened blooms clustered against it. Sadly, I had to cut them all off due to the unpleasant smell, but within a matter of days another bloom popped up in the same area. It seems to be making up for 39 years of dormancy. :)

  • chicago_farmer


  • Vlatka Pejanovic

    Dieffenbachia Flowers have unusual smell. My dumb cane is almost 6 feet tall. It's magnificent. But I'm contemplating to cut flowers off. I cut some leaves off two weeks ago with my bare hands because I was clueless that this plant is actually poisonous. Sigh. I'm fine but next time I'm using gloves just in case.

  • hmeganherrick

    I live in Wasilla Alaska I've had this same strand of plant for years, propagated many times. Last summer they all flowered to my amazement. I squired another strand ( plant) last summer and this winter it is blooming like crazy ten to thirteen and still going. I also had a hard time finding anything in my books. This technology is a new adventures for me but what a great way to share with other plant inthusants.

  • charityjgoodman

    Hi All,

    My Aunt gave me her plant about 40 years ago. I have shared rooting and divisions from the plant to many others. In all the years I have had it, it has never bloomed until now. I am happy to hear it is related to the Jack in the Pulpit family, since I love this plant. My blooms look like the ones above.


  • catstil68

    My mom gave me her dieffenbachia 30 some years ago, I don't really remember how long she had it before they moved and it was too tall to move. It has broken off because it got to tall to support itself several times. The last time I thought it was dead. I took the large pot outside and planted flowers in it that my kids bought for Mother's Day one year. After that year I put the pot in the basement for 2 years to get it out of the way. We recently moved and to my surprise when we were moving the pot the dieffenbachia had started growing out of the dirt. Two years we have been in our new house and today I was looking at it, because it's growing out of control and I need to figure out a support system for it. I have my very first flower bud EVER. I didn't even know they had flowers. I don't have good luck with small house plants but this baby won't die

  • arlor

    I bought this plant 3 weeks ago because it said on the tag it was an air purifying plant. Until that day I had never seen or heard about it. Then I read up on it and found about it being poisonous and to be careful about brushing up to it. Ok. My kids are grown. Don't have animals so I kept it. One week later I start to see buds. Wow, bonus time, didn't know it would bloom. Great! No, not so great. I can't take the smell. To me like rotting wood. I brought the plant to purify the house, not stink it up. Is this smell typical of the plant or just from the flowers?

  • rookie151997

    I have had my plant for the past 3 years. It has flowered every year. This year has surprised me. My plant currently has 13 flowers on it. Guess it is happy

  • Romans Philemon
    My dieffenbachia bloomed yesterday. Is it going to be okay? One blog said it may die after it blooms? Its a brand new plant. I've had it 3 weeks. I love it. Its a star brite.
  • Romans Philemon
    Another picture
  • Valeriya Kostinenko

    I cut the top off my grandmothers plant that she has had for 15 years. Since I haven’t bought a pot I have kept it in a very tall vase. It seems to be very happy. I also thought it was another leaf opening up and then upon closer inspection I saw this and there is a second bus that hasn’t opened.

  • Aim Noor

    My almost 5 years old, around 8 feet tall has now started giving flower. I’m over the moon.

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