Characterization of nutrient disorders of Dieffenbachia maculata

P. Cockson, D. Cockson, I. McCall, B.E. Whipker
To produce dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia maculata 'Exotica'), growers must be equipped with cultural information, including the ability to recognize and characterize disorders. Diagnostic criteria for nutrient disorders of dieffenbachia are absent from the current literature. Therefore, dieffenbachia plants were grown in silica-sand culture to induce, characterize, and photograph symptoms of nutritional disorders. Plants received a complete modified Hoagland's all-nitrate solution of (macronutrient concentrations in mM) consisting of (macronutrient concentrations in mM) 15 nitrate-nitrogen (NO3), 1.0 phosphate-phosphorus (H2PO4), 6.0 potassium (K+), 5.0 calcium (Ca2+), 2.0 magnesium (Mg2+), and 2.0 sulfate-sulfur (SO42-) plus (micronutrient concentrations in μM) 72 iron (Fe2+), 18 manganese (Mn2+), 3 copper (Cu2+), 3 zinc (Zn2+), 45 boron (BO33-), and 0.1 molybdenum (MoO42-). Nutrient-deficient treatments were induced with a complete nutrient formula minus a single nutrient. Boron (B) toxicity was induced by increasing the element 10-fold higher than the complete nutrient formula. Plants were monitored daily to document and photograph sequential series of symptoms as they developed. Typical symptomology of nutrient disorders and critical tissue concentrations are presented. Out of 13 treatments, nine exhibited symptomologies; copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn), and calcium (Ca) remained asymptomatic. Symptoms of nitrogen (N), iron (Fe), and sulfur (S) deficiencies, manifested early therefore, these disorders may be more likely problems encountered by growers. Unique symptoms were observed on plants grown in Mg and Zn deficient plants.
Cockson, P., Cockson, D., McCall, I. and Whipker, B.E. (2020). Characterization of nutrient disorders of Dieffenbachia maculata. Acta Hortic. 1273, 235-242
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1273.32
dieffenbachia, toxicity, deficiency, macronutrients, micronutrients, nutrition

Acta Horticulturae