Why Are My Dumb Cane Leaves Turning Brown?

Dumb cane leaves are turning brown and dying – what’s the problem? Dumb canes, or Dieffenbachia spp. as they’re scientifically known, are often grown indoors because of their beauty.

But sometimes you may find that your dumb cane is losing its color and looking sickly. This post will examine why this might be happening to your plant, so you can take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future!

Why Are My Dumb Cane Leaves Turning Brown?

Overwatering or leaf burn has caused your dumb cane to turn brown. Brown zebra leaves from overwatering are damp, while burnt leaves are dry and crispy.

Determining the source of the browning leaves is important. I’ll go through these two causes in greater depth, as well as what you can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Brown Dumb Cane Leaves from Overwatering

Brown leaves on dumb cane plants are often the result of overwatering. This is why it’s important to always use a pot with drainage holes, otherwise your plant will drown in its own water!

You should also ensure that you do not overwater your dieffenbachia at any point – wait until the top inch or so (about the length of your pinky finger) is dry before giving it more water.

You can test this by sticking your finger in the top inch of soil to see if it’s dry. If you can feel moisture, don’t water!

Failing to do this may result in your pant dropping its leaves in a few weeks’ time. This is because the water may have been causing root rot, which affects your plant’s ability to take up nutrients from the soil and causes it to drop its leaves.

You can fix root rot by pruning any rotten roots and repotting your plant I to fresh soil that drains well. You may have to wait a few weeks, but your dumb cane should recover just fine.

Brown Dumb Cane Leaves from Too Much Sunlight

Dumb cane leaves that are brown and crispy, rather than damp and wet like those from overwatering, may be the result of too much sunlight.

This is particularly common in summer when you’ve placed your dumb cane outside to enjoy its greenery for a few hours during the day before bringing it back indoors again at night.

It’s important to remember that just because your plant is outside, this does not mean it can handle direct sunlight.

This will dry out the leaves very quickly and burn them. So if you have placed your dumb cane outside for some sun, be sure to place it somewhere where there are only a few hours of indirect sunlight each day so as not to burn the leaves.

You can also block the sun by placing a plant nearby it, or moving your dieffenbachia to an area with more shade, like behind a curtain in your living room.

It’s also a good idea to rotate your plant every few days so that it gets an even amount of sunlight on each side for even growth and coloring!

Dumb Cane Leaves FAQs

The dumb cane isn’t the easiest plant to care for. As such, I will now answer some common questions I get asked about the leaves of this beautiful plant.

Will brown dumb cane leaves turn green again?

No, it is unlikely for dumb cane leaves to turn green again. However, if your plant was only recently turned brown and you’re still giving it plenty of water and sunlight, new leaves will grow.

Should I remove brown leaves from my dumb cane?

Yes, you should remove any leaves that are turning brown immediately. If you leave them, they may drop before new ones appear which will look unappealing and result in the plant looking scraggly or poorly maintained.

Will too much water cause the dumb cane plant to turn brown?

Yes, too much water will cause your dumb cane plant to turn brown. This is why you should always ensure that the soil of your dumb cane has good drainage so it doesn’t drown in its own water!

Why are my dumb cane leaves wet?

This is likely because of guttation, which is when the plant’s pores release excess water. This can be caused by too much heat, dry conditions or if your pot lacks drainage holes so that the soil stays wet for a long period of time.

Will direct sun cause dumb cane leaves to turn brown?

Yes, too much direct sunlight can cause dumb cane leaves to turn brown. This is why it’s important to place your plant somewhere that only has a few hours of indirect sun each day, or behind curtains if you live in an area with the more intense summer heat.


In conclusion, now that you know the cause of your dumb cane’s brown leaves, you can now take steps to save it. Just remember to give your dumb cane the correct amount of water and keep it out of direct sunlight during the summer season!

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