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Dieffenbachia is a perennial herbaceous plant with straight stem, simple and alternate leaves containing white spots and flecks, making it attractive as indoor foliage. Species in this genus are popular as houseplants because of their tolerance of shade. Its English names, dumb cane and mother-in-law's tongue (also used for Sansevieria species) refer to the poisoning effect of raphides, which can cause temporary inability to speak. Dieffenbachia was named by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, director of the Botanical Gardens in Vienna, to honor his head gardener Joseph Dieffenbach (1796–1863). With a minimum temperature of 5 °C (41 °F), dieffenbachia must be grown indoors in temperate areas. They need light, but filtered sunlight through a window is usually sufficient. They also need moderately moist soil, which should be regularly fertilized with a proprietary houseplant fertilizer. Leaves will periodically roll up and fall off to make way for new leaves. Yellowing of the leaves is generally a sign of problematic conditions, such as a nutrient deficiency in the soil. Dieffenbachia respond well to hot temperatures and dry climates. The Dieffenbachia prefers medium sunlight, moderately dry soil and average home temperatures of 62–80 °F (17–27 °C). Most require water about twice a week. As Dieffenbachia seguine comes from the tropical rain forest, it prefers to have moisture at its roots, as it grows all the time, it needs constant water, but with loose well aerated soils