Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) Plant Profile

an aglaonema plant by the window

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Aglaonema, also known as Chinese Evergreen, is a highly decorative plant with several interesting varieties. It is one of the most popular houseplants and the color variations—from dark green to silver, and some with hints of red—add to your home's decor.

Aglaonemas are slow-growing, attractive, and make excellent foliage plants. They have large, narrow, and glossy oval leaves on short stems. Best of all, it does not like full sun, so it is perfect for indoors, especially if window light is a commodity in your home.

Botanical Name Aglaonema
Common Name Chinese Evergreen
Plant Type Houseplant
Mature Size 10–48 inches
Sun Exposure Low to bright light, depending on variety
Soil Type Well-draining potting soil
Soil pH Lightly acidic
Bloom Time Spring, summer
Flower Color White
Hardiness Zones 10–11
Native Area Asia, New Guinea
agloanema receiving light by the window
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida
a closeup of aglaonema leaves
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida
shoots which can be used in propagation
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

How to Grow Aglaonema Plants

There seems to be a little controversy over whether this plant is easy or difficult to grow. In general, it is easy if you follow one simple rule: the lighter the variegation, the more light it needs. Once you understand how that applies to your aglaonema, you should have no problems.

The number one rule to remember for aglaonema care is to keep it warm and moist. If you do, you will be rewarded with a long-lasting, stable houseplant that will not outgrow its pot anytime soon. It really is a great choice if you struggle with houseplants but want some colorful foliage around the house.

Light

The darker green varieties of aglaonema can grow in near shade, while the variegated varieties require brighter light. Do not expose any variety of aglaonema to direct sun.

Soil

A well-drained, lightly acidic potting soil is perfect for aglaonemas.

Water

Water thoroughly in the summer and mist the plant often to raise the humidity. During the winter, reduce watering but do not let the plant dry out completely.

Temperature and Humidity

These plants do not like cold drafts or temperatures below 65 degrees. Be sure to keep it away from drafty windows or vents and the warmer the spot you can find, the better.

Due to its high humidity requirements, some growers consider aglaonema to be a greenhouse plant. It will do best in the warm, humid, and bright environment of a greenhouse, but it can be successfully grown indoors by coming as close as possible to these conditions.

Fertilizer

Feed your aglaonema with slow-release pellets or liquid fertilizer during the growing season.

Potting and Repotting

Aglaonemas are slow-growing and will only need repotting every two to three years. They are also generally low-growing plants, so their trunks will be revealed very gradually.

Propagating Aglaonemas

Aglaonemas are not typically propagated by home growers. You can, however, divide the plants during repotting. Small shoots can also be potted as individual plants.

Toxicity of Aglaonemas

Beware of the fruit of the A. crispum, which is toxic. It is best to avoid this variety if you have children or pets who may be curious about its tiny red fruits.

Varieties of Aglaonemas

Aglaonemas have been hybridized to produce interesting variegated leaves. The A. commutatum is widely available, in both the Silver Spear (variegated) form and a green form. A pure green A. modestum is seen more rarely. Other variegated forms include A. pictum, A. Silver Queen (almost totally silver), and A. pseudobracteatum.

Article Sources
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  1. Chinese Evergreen, Aglaonema. University of Florida Extension