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Be Smart. Choose Dumb Cane.

This particular “dumb” decision is the smartest decision you’ll ever make. Not surprisingly, I have a dumb cane story (“dumb” story for short).

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia picta)

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia picta)

My grandma is all about houseplants. She’s 82 now and has been keeping houseplants growing in her home as long as I can remember. She’s pretty good at it but age is starting to creep up on her. That’s the nice way of saying that she’s bound to her motorized scooter and can’t really care for plants herself anymore. Since she’s only an hour away at any given time, my mother, sister and I usually rotate turns going over there to visit and to water her houseplants.

I was around 18 when she had hip replacement surgery and I stayed with her for a week to help out. She was so funny! All I remember was receiving instructions on how to do everything. If I decided to water the plants, I had to be shown how it was done 70 years ago. If I was dusting the furniture, I needed to know how it was done 50 years ago and why the 50 year old furniture still looks good. She’s a hoot and a headache all at the same time.

I’d never seen houseplant leaves polished the way Gram did it. A military spit shine would’ve left something to be desire compared to this woman’s plant care skills. She has Dieffenbachia all over her house so the first thing I remembered when I saw Dumb Cane plants in the photo gallery was the image of her bending over from her then hand-powered wheelchair to show me how experts care for Dumb Cane.

She gently rubbed the leaves of her dumb cane with the ease of a bomb deactivator but none of the steadiness. She mixed up some concoction of soap and water that I’m sure was repeated to me but it just seemed like soap and water. She washed the leaves and turned to me with a phrase I’m trying to forget but can’t. It was too funny. Her brow was furrowed and a bit sweaty. Her hair was mussed from the day’s chores. She looked at me with as deadpan an expression as she could’ve had and said “that’s why I’ve had this plant since 1991.” Knowing my grandmother, she was probably right. I still couldn’t stop laughing, probably to keep from crying.

I’ve loved Dumb Cane since that day. One look and I’ll always remember my Grammie.

What do you think of when you look at dumb cane houseplants? Did you receive one as a gift? Ever given one as a gift? Let us hear your Dumb Cane comments below!

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