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Help! Is My House Plant A Plant Or TREE??

Ask The Plant Expert:

I received this plant a few years ago.  It’s now twice as tall as it is in the picture (hitting my ceiling).  Can you please tell me what kind of plant/tree it is and if I can get a new start from it?  Thanks! -Shannon


Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


It looks like a type of Dieffenbachia, most likely a Dieffenbachia picta or Dieffenbachia seguine. These types of dieffenbachia can grow to a height of 10ft.

They can be propagated several different ways:

  1. Root tip cuttings
  2. Stem cuttings
  3. Tip cuttings

I recommend stem cutting or tip cutting as your method of propagation. To do this you will need the following:

  1. Sharp knife
  2. Rooting hormone (I like the powder kind – you should be able to purchase it at your local garden center and nursery)
  3. Potting soil (you can simply stick the cutting in your current pot, but I like to place my cutting in a new pot with fresh potting soil.)

To take a tip cutting, go about three or four inches from the tip end and cut the plant right below a joint. Dip the cut end into the rooting hormone and place in the potting soil about an inch deep. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Roots should appear in the next couple of weeks. New shoots should also appear on the parent plant where the tip was removed.

As for stems cuttings, you will cut the stems in section 4 to 5 inches long and dip the bottom- end that has been cut in rooting hormone and place in potting soil and care for it the same way as a tip cutting.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.


  1. Angel Clark says:

    Hi, i have a dieffenbachia and it just wants to grow straight up! I’m not sure how to trim it or to get new regrowth. It never gets real thick with leaves but it is about 4, 4 an a half feet tall. Ant suggestions on how to get it thicker and where or how i should trim it for thicker growth? Thanks, Angel

  2. Angel,

    You can try topping it. If you do top it, make sure the piece you top has several leaves and 2 to 3″ of stem below the leaves. This way you can root the top in case the mother plant doesn’t flush out. To root the top section cut the stem at a 45 degree angle and dip it in rooting hormone, then place the cut end of the stem in moist soil. Keep the soil moist for the next couple of weeks – don’t let it get too soggy just moist to the touch. After a few weeks the top should have a good root system and you will have a new plant.

  3. Is this one also a Dieffenbachia?

    Attached Image: flower Svetlana.jpg

  4. Hard to tell from picture. Can you take an upclosr picture of leaf Nd trunk.

  5. a closer look at the trunk

    Attached Image: unknown plant 2.jpg

  6. a closer look at the leaves

    Attached Image: unknown plant 3.jpg

  7. Any idea about that plant?

  8. Ann Collins says:

    I have a similar plant. The leaves start 10 inches from the bottom of the stalk. The total size from the fertilizer to the top is 3 feet. Is it okay to leave it this way or should I cut the top off?

  9. Jamie Woods says:

    You can top it you want. Topping it is also a great way to start a new plant!

  10. Ron Johnson says:

    Hi, I also have a Dieffenbachia it is growing well. Like most it was a cutting. the problem is it has a very small stem from roots up growing into a large stem. I want to cut it off and root the large stem. Anything I should know before doing so?

  11. Miroslava Casiano says:

    Ron, you can cut through the diffenbachia cane at a 45-degree angle with a clean knife that is sharp. You should be good!

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