Ideal for low light indoor conditions, Aglaonema plants (commonly known as the Chinese Evergreens) have striking and leathery foliage that never fails to impress.
Commonly seen in homes and offices throughout the world, the Aglaonema is a Philippine evergreen that offers plenty of hybrid types to choose from.
They’re increasingly popular ornamental plants and you can pick between blotched, variegated, plain, or speckled varieties. The narrow and long leaves can grow up to 2 feet whereas the plant itself can reach a height and width of 3 feet.
Silver Queen is the most famous variety; its foliage is covered in silver and there are some small patches of green.
I have several aglaonemas, not just because of their stunning foliage, but also because they’re awesome air purifiers. According to NASA, they’re among the top air-purifying plants!
They release a high amount of oxygen through the large leaves. It will cleanse the air indoors from benzene, formaldehyde, and other VOCs.
Although it has striking patterned foliage and it’s ideal for beginners in gardening, this isn’t a plant you want to keep near kids and pets.
It’s toxic upon ingestion, so it’s best to keep it where they couldn’t easily reach it!
According to Feng Shui, the Aglaonema is a symbol of happiness and good fortune!
How to Care for Aglaonema Indoors
The darker green types of Chinese evergreens can do just fine in a near-shade placement, but the variegated sorts prefer to be kept where there’s more brightness.
Never keep aglaonema plants exposed to direct sunlight for long hours because their foliage may get burned.
What I’ve noticed about aglaonemas is that they dislike temperatures that go below 65 degrees F and cold drafts.
With this in mind, I would keep this plant away from any vents and open windows where there’s cool air passing through. Keep them where it’s warmer.
Water & Humidity
With this plant, the key is to keep the soil moist, but not water-logged.
To maintain balance, do the watering thoroughly and then wait for the soil to dry out before the next watering, but not entirely. Maintain this schedule in the spring, summer, and autumn periods and reduce it in winter.
Chinese evergreens are known to thrive in humidity. In their natural habitat, they need warmth and humidity to prosper, so imitating these conditions as much as possible indoors is best for them.
If your home or office humidity levels are low, you can mist the plant or place it near areas where the humidity is higher like the bathroom or kitchen.
Small humidifiers can also help out!
This houseplant isn’t choosey when it comes to soil. Ideally, choose a medium that drains well and that’s slightly acidic.
If you happen to notice that the soil is reserving a lot of water, add some perlite and sand to boost the drainage.
Always use pots with drainage holes at the bottom.
I often feed my aglaonemas when I want to get the most out of their growth and beauty.
I, therefore, recommend using a balanced liquid fertilizer fortnightly between spring and autumn, or slow-release pellets twice per year, once at the start of the growing season and once at the end of it.
Ideally, aglaonemas should be repotted every two years or so.
This helps refresh the soil they’re growing in and also gives you an opportunity to propagate the plant and increase the size of the pot and allow for the roots to have more space for growth.
But, never choose a pot that’s much bigger than the current one, but one that’s proportionate to its size and only several inches bigger than the current.
This plant prefers strong and dense root structures; however, you shouldn’t put too much soil which can actually cause more water retention. When repotting, place the plant at the same height at which it originally grew to ensure proper development.
There are two ways you can share Chinese evergreens-one is through division and the other through stem cuttings.
The best time to do it is in the middle of the summer when the temperatures are the highest. You can do it during the repotting.
- Lay the plant on the side and loosen the soil on the sides. Gently remove the plant and soil out of the pot.
- Shake the dirt from the roots lightly and divide it at the roots. Do it carefully and slowly so that you have separate cluster/s.
- Repot the clumps into a pot filled with proper soil halfway. Water them well and maintain the soil’s moisture for a couple of weeks until the plants adjust.
Through stem cuttings:
- With a disinfected cutting tool, cut off a stem from the plant and make sure it’s several inches in length.
- Dip the end in root hormone and place it in a glass of water and put it where it’s bright, but without direct sun exposure. The roots take around a month to form.
- Carefully, transfer the cut into a pot with proper soil and maintain the moisture optimal.
Best Types of Aglaonema
- Aglaonema Silver Queen adds a royal splash of silver-green foliage with deep green specks. It’s dark green leaves heavily variegated with silver make this particular aglaonema a very popular indoor plant that’s very easy to care for.
- Red Aglaonema can have red or pink broad foliage with green areas.
Their unique foliage adds a remarkable vibe to any type of home or office. They tolerate lower light and drought well and are considered less picky.
- Pictum Tricolor Aglaonema is a stunning rare variety with foliage that’s a one-of-a-kind combination of three hues of green (light, medium, and dark), but it’s usually on the pricier side.
Bringing tropical vibes into any home or office, the oval leaves are a sight for sore eyes. This variety grows slower and prefers indirect brightness to keep its pattern.
Other Aglaonema Indoor Care Tips
- Cut yellow, brown stems that look damaged or dead. Do it at the level of the wilt or the damage
- You can prune the plant if it looks too big and messy. Cut some 5 inches of several stems and new petals and shiny frondage will appear. This also helps make aglaonemas bushier
- Terracotta or clay pots with drainage holes are the best option for Chinese evergreens
Trouble Shooting- Common Issues
Problem: yellowing leaves
Cause: Usually, overwatering.
Solution: Water aglaonemas only when the top 3 inches or so of the soil are dry. The soil needs to be kept moist, but not soggy. During winter, the period in-between waterings can be longer.
Problem: foliage is drying and browning (tipping)
Cause: Overwatering, excessive use of fertilizer, using tap water, etc.
Solution: Reduce the watering; use fertilizer as recommended; opt for filtered or rainwater that is free of added chemicals.
Problem: the foliage is droopy
Cause: Improper watering schedule or lack of light; too much direct sun
Solution: Water the plant only when 2 to 3 top inches of the soil are dry; keep it where it will receive enough brightness, but not long hours of direct sun exposure.