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Not totally clear to me, but this site may be saying that when the plant gets leggy you can cut the top off and root it (rather than cutting back and expecting to get new growth from the original plant), but ????....
Video of guy dealing with an extremely leggy dieffenbachia:
Note that dieffenbachia is apparently toxic at some level, so probably shouldn't be accessible to pets or little children. As one site noted, "While this is usually not serious, it can cause suffocation." http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/dumb-cane/growing-dumbcane-dieffenbachia.htm
Thanks, @mjc. I did see a couple youtube videos like this, but they left me puzzled. The plant I have is beautiful, but if I cut the top third off each of the stalks, there wouldn't be much left to see. Rooting all those tops then would essentially be starting a new plant. Seems an odd way to proceed.
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We've inherited a large, healthy dieffenbachia plant. Never had one before. It's about 5 feet tall and follows what I gather is the usual pattern for these plants--i.e., lower leaves drop off as the plant gets bigger.
I'm not exactly sure how to maintain this plant. If I cut off the tops, the stalks, I assume, would just branch out at the cutting point, yielding top-heavy growth. But if I cut far below the tops, only a leafless stalk would remain.
Advice welcome. Also, how tall do I let the plant get before taking action?