Chinese evergreen care is not too demanding making the plant a good choice for those new to indoor gardening.
Chinese Evergreen or aglaonema, is a genus of flowering plants from the Araceae family with 22 known species.
They originate from the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Asia and New Guinea. Their natural habitat is shady and humid tropical forests.
They’ve been cultivated as ornamental plants in Asia for centuries, as well as in the west since they were first introduced back in 1885. There are also various hybrids and cultivars.
The plant is durable and tolerant to low light, dry air, and draft.
But, being tropical plants, they can’t tolerate low temperatures-the foliage will develop dark and greasy patches if it’s too cold.
These evergreen perennials have stems that grow erect or decumbent and creeping. Their foliage is a stunner- the leaves are liner or oval and can reach up to 1 and 3 feet in height and 1 and 3 feet in width.
Depending on the species, the leaves have unique patterns of gray, cream, and green color.
In summer, a mature Chinese evergreen may grow small flowers that turn into berries.
Chinese Evergreen Benefits
They also make a great plant for air purification- according to a NASA study; they’re one of the top 10 plants to remove toxins from the air!
Important to know:
These plants are toxic to pets and can cause numerous symptoms, including drooling, swollen throat, and inability to swallow. In humans, ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes.
Chinese Evergreen Care Indoors
A Chinese evergreen will grow happy and healthy in an area which is bright, yet not directly exposed to the sun.
Even though there are slightly different light requirements depending on the variety, generally speaking, the darker its leaves and stalk, the more able is to tolerate lower light.
All varieties dislike full sun because it can burn the foliage.
This versatile houseplant wants to grow in a standard room temperature, ranging between 65 and 80 degrees F. Anything below 60 degrees F should be avoided.
Also, don’t place the plant in areas exposed to very cold drafts, for example, near windows and doors-this can damage its leaves.
Water & Humidity
Water the soil when the several top inches are dry, approximately every 7 to 9 days in the spring and summer and every 2 to 3 weeks in the colder months.
Interestingly, although they originate from the subtropical and tropical areas, the plant has the ability to adjust well in homes that have a drier air.
It will do well in a room with average or high humidity.
If you feel the plant has become stressed due to low humidity, you can place a tray with water and pebbles underneath and mist it several times in 10 days or so.
To ensure this plant thrives, plant it in a soil that drains well and choose a pot with good drainage system.
Once you’ve planted it, water it well and wait for 2 top inches of the soil to dry before you water it again.
If you place it in dimmer light areas, wait for the soil to dry out a bit more before you water it.
A diluted liquid fertilizer is a good choice for your Chinese evergreens- apply every two weeks in the spring and summer and once per month in the winter when the plant is dormant.
Repot the Chinese evergreen every two or three years. Don’t think this is too long- the plant likes being a bit root-bound.
It’s best to do it in spring or summer or early fall if you live in warmer regions.
You can share this plant through stem cuts- opt for 6-inch ones and place them in water. When it develops roots, it’s time to transplant it in a pot with soil.
Another option is to divide it during repotting- remove the plant from the pot and gently pull apart its roots to get several clumps.
Place them in different pots with soil and water them properly.
Best Chinese Evergreen Species
This beautiful Chinese evergreen has dark green, waxy, glossy, and lance-shaped leaves with wavy margins on their short stems.
It’s good choice for low light and low humidity areas.
This hybrid has rich and shiny deep green foliage with feather-like silvery markings-a beautiful gift idea for friends and family.
This variety offers more colourful leaves and a stunning combination of cream, green, red, and gold.
This could be the perfect choice for people who want unique plants in their indoor spaces.
Make sure you don’t over-feed the plant as it can lead to salt build-up and eventually, root rot. Avoid fertilizing when the plant seems stressed-too dry or too wet.
There are around 20 known species of Chinese evergreens and they differ in their colours and patterns on the foliage.
There are also beautiful cultivars with speckles and streaks of yellow, white, pink, and red.
Use clean pruning shears to cut off dead or bad-looking leaves from the plant so that it can direct all of its energy into growing new ones. Also, if you want your Chinese evergreen to grow bushier, prune the taller growths.
Trouble Shooting- Common Issues
Problem: yellowing leaves
Cause: Overwatering or copper deficiency.
Solution: Before watering, test the soil first and do it only if the top layer is dry.
If the the problem is a deficiency, feed the plant regularly in the growing season and every other month in autumn.
Problem: brown tips
Cause: Fluoride from tap water.
Solution: Instead of tap water, use rainwater or distilled one. Or, repot the plant if there is a build-up of minerals in the soil from previous tap water watering.
Problem: root rot
Cause: The soil isn’t a good fit- it probably doesn’t drain well and fest or overwatering.
Solution: Repot the plant in a more suitable soil or reduce the watering until the top layer is dry.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on Chinese evergreen care.
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