Chinese Evergreen Care
A Beginner's Guide to Chinese Evergreen Plant Care
Common Name: Chinese Evergreen, Philippine Evergreen, Poison Dart Plant
Botanical Name: Aglaonema Commutatum
Are you looking for a houseplant that can tolerate almost any indoor condition? Ranking high on the “easy care houseplant” list, the Aglaonema makes a perfect office plant because it tolerates low light, but also grows well in bright spots and tolerates fluorescent lighting. The Chinese evergreen starts out small enough to fit on desks and tabletops, and will remain there for a while because it’s a slow-growing plant. However, over time it will get big and end up becoming a floor plant (and a good excuse for a bigger office!).
You can easily propagate your Aglaonema by root division when you re-pot. Keep in mind, the more color variety on the leaves, the more light it will need to retain its markings. Also, even though this plant tolerates a lot, it will thrive if exposed to medium to bright, indirect light. To really help this plant flourish, cut the flowers off as they siphon `growing power’ from the leaves to encourage more foliar growth.
Important! Aglaonema is poisonous if ingested, so be very careful if you have pets and/or small children.
Green varieties of Aglaonema can tolerate low light, but the variegated ones will maintain their luster in medium to bright, indirect sunlight. They should never be placed in direct sunlight. They can grow under fluorescent lighting, making them ideal for offices and interior low-light spaces.
Water as needed in the growing season (spring through summer), and water less frequently in the winter. Chinese evergreen located in lower light areas should be watered less often; indoor plants placed in brighter spots will require more frequent watering. These plants don’t like being soggy, so wait until the top two inches of soil is dry, and then water thoroughly. Never let the roots sit in standing water; ensure the pot has proper drainage.
Aglaonema houseplants prefer to live in temperatures of 60℉ and up. Keep them away from cold drafts, air conditioning, and heating vents as they’re cold-sensitive.
Aglaonema potted plants can tolerate typical household humidity levels. If the tips of the leaves turn brown, it means the air is too dry, and you should increase the humidity with a humidifier. Trays filled with pebbles and water can also help increase the humidity immediately surrounding your plants, as can grouping your indoor plants closely together.
Aglaonemas don’t require much food, so use a complete liquid fertilizer, fish/seaweed emulsion, or slow-release fertilizer once or twice in the growing season (spring through summer).
- Leave the lower browning leaves on the plant until you can pull them out by hand. This will help prevent any unwanted critters from invading the plant.
- When going on vacation, place your Chinese evergreen house plants together with your other indoor plants in a low light area. They’ll use less water and the nearby plants will help keep the humidity higher.
- Rotate your Aglaonemas 90 degrees (quarter circle) every week so they’ll maintain a well-rounded shape.