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Aglaonemas or Chinese evergreens originate from tropical Asia and are believed to bring good fortune. They come in a wide range of leaf variegation which adds to their popularity, especially as container plants.
Aglaonema care guide highlights: Looking after aglaonemas is easy. Most species require regular moisture and humidity. As for soil, it should be fertile, sandy, humus-rich, and well-drained. Since they are found in shady forests, they favor low to medium light, so avoid overly bright locations.
Continue reading to obtain detailed information on how to care for aglaonema plant species!
Aglaonema Plant Overview
Before we get down to Aglaonema care tips, let’s take a closer look at the plant itself. A common name of this group is Chinese evergreen and it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. The name comes from Greek aglos (splendid) and nema (stamen). It belongs to the family called Araceae.
This genus gathers more than 21 species of low-growing evergreen foliage specimens with patterned leaves found in tropical, Southeast Asia. They are also commonly grown in containers, but they look equally beautiful as a ground cover.
Aglaonema is a foliage plant and it is effective either in a mixed bed with flowering specimens or to create interesting color and texture on its own. It is particularly valuable in shady areas, and if they are also moist, aglaonema can grow under trees with little care.
Aglaonemas are clump-forming terrestrial plants. Their leaves have stem-sheathing petioles that impart a white translucence to the stem and this helps to distinguish them from Dieffenbachia plants that have cane-like stems. It features glossy, usually variegated leaves that bend outward in an elegant arch.
The inflorescences are bisexual, slender, and almost inconspicuous arranged in spirals on short peduncles, usually weak-stemmed and gradually declining from their weight, sending up new shoots from the nodes and forming large clumps. Aglaonemas also produce berries that are ellipsoid, at first fleshy green, gradually turning yellow and ultimately red.
Height and growth
Large aglaonemas can reach 36 to 90 cm in height, but they normally stay much smaller. Newer varieties form thicker clumps, so mature plants stay bushy rather than growing upright. New growth emerges from the crown, so plants that grow too tall cannot be pruned back without killing them.
Aglaonema plants can leave 10 years or more.
Small aglaonemas are ideal tabletop plants for dim living rooms, bedrooms, or cozy living rooms or offices without windows. Larger plants show best when combined with dark-leafed plants with a similar tolerance of low light, such as pothos.
Aglaonema plants are one of the easiest foliage plants to grow. Very small varieties will grow in plain water or in a container filled up with clean pebbles or marbles until you are ready to pot them up.
Stay tuned for a full aglaonema care guide!
What Type of Light Is Preferred?
When it comes to Aglaonema care light requirements, do keep in mind that they prefer low indoor light such as near north or east windows. In fact, they tolerate low light better than most houseplants. Medium-light also works and some bright indirect, but some growers prefer to maintain 70 to 90 percent shade.
They are also comfortable with artificial light.
How to Adjust Proper Temperature?
For optimal Aglaonema care, maintain the normal room temperature at 18 to 24 degrees Celsius. It goes without saying that nighttime and winter temperatures should be lower.
Nevertheless, the temperature should always be kept above 16 degrees.
Keep aglaonemas away from heaters and air conditioners. Avoid draughty spots too.
Regular household humidity is good for mature established aglaonemas, but they will benefit from occasional misting or a tray of pebbles.
Cuttings require higher humidity, so put them in enclosed plastic bags for that reason.
Which Type of Soil is Ideal for Aglaonema Care?
Aglaonemas aren’t picky about the soil. So, for Aglaonema care, any good, well-draining, well-aerated and rich potting soil for general-purpose will do.
How Often Is Repotting Advised?
Repotting should be done every 2 years since aglaonemas like to stay slightly rootbound. Repot in any season into a pot that’s only one size larger than the current pot.
Is Frequent Watering Good for This Plant?
Keep the soil lightly moist. Do not overwater nor keep so dry that the leaves droop. Watering once a week on average for optimal Aglaonema care, when the top inch of the potting mix is dry when you stick your finger in.
Aglaonemas tolerate dry air better than most houseplants, but still benefit from misting every day when indoor air is very dry.
Feed monthly from spring through summer with a balanced fertilizer for Aglaonema care. In winter, feed every 6 weeks as directed on the package of the fertilizer.
Pruning- How Often?
One weakness of this plant is that new growth emerges from the crown, so when you prune taller varieties, you will have to cut new growth, unfortunately. You can avoid this step of Aglaonema care if you enjoy that kind of look, but you can also prune it a bit to maintain the desired shape.
When your aglaonema plant becomes too tall, cut off the tip. Root it like a stem tip cutting in the following way (13 simple steps):
- Fill small and clean containers with a medium of your choice.
- Dampen the medium well.
- Use a chop-stick to make a few holes for the cuttings.
- Sterilize a sharp knife or pair of scissors by leaving it in the boiling water for a few seconds. Let them cool down.
- Cut a healthy stem just below a node.
- Remove all except the topmost leaves from the cutting.
- Dip the cut end in water, then in rooting powder. Tap off the excess.
- Poke the cuttings into the holes in the medium.
- Use your fingers to make sure the medium is in good contact with the stem.
- Enclose in a plastic bag for 2 weeks.
- Find a spot where they will be protected from direct sunlight.
- Remove the plastic bag every morning and mist the cuttings very lightly.
- After three weeks, remove the bag, but continue to mist the cuttings every day. Still keep out of bright light.
The signs of new growth will appear after three weeks. When that happens, move them to a brighter spot and begin adding a small amount of fertilizer into the water.
Stem cuttings set to root in late spring will show new growth by midsummer, so they can be transplanted to a small container filled with appropriate potting soil. Rapidly growing rooted cuttings may need to be repotted again after a few months.
Aglaonemas can also be propagated by division, but this should not be undertaken until your plants become quite rootbound.
Common Issues and Simple Fixes
Leaves develop gray, greasy splotches that turn yellow.
Cause: Cold injury.
Remedy: Remove damaged leaves and keep away from cold windows or blasts of cold from entryways. It needs a temperature above 16 degrees C at all times.
Stiff, upright, and pale leaves.
Cause: Too much light.
Remedy: Find a shadier location. Chinese evergreens are native to the jungle floor, so they need low light. Grow them in 70 to 90 percent shade.
Small disc-shaped creatures appear on stems and leaf undersides.
Remedy: This is the most serious pest for aglaonemas. Dispose of badly infested plants. If infestation is mild, isolate the plant and conduct a control procedure as a part of regular Aglaonema care. Treat plants by first cleaning the plant using a soft cloth dipped in warm, soapy water. Dip a cotton swab or pad in soapy water to remove scale.
After that, use insecticidal soap and then place the plant in a shady place. Another option is to use horticultural oils. Repeat the application 10 days later. In any case, practice prevention by thoroughly cleaning the plant during regular Aglaonema care and treating plants a week before you bring them indoors.
New leaves are yellow and small with kinked edges.
Cause: Copper deficiency.
Remedy: Use a micronutrient spray for Aglaonema care, keep it in a warm place and repot to refresh the soil.
White cottony insects appear on stems or leaf undersides.
Remedy: Isolate plants and use a toothpick or a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol or vegetable oil. Repeat weekly. If the plant tolerates insecticidal soap, a thorough spray will often kill any mealybugs you missed. Look close and look at the bottom of the pots. If you see them there, repot in clean soil.
Naturally, if you advocate the policy of prevention, you can avoid all of those issues. Keep the growing area hygienic, regularly inspect the plants as part of your Aglaonema care routine and you won’t have to worry about pests.
Do I need to prune aglaonemas?
No pruning is not needed for Aglaonema care. Remove only yellowing or dying leaves.
Are aglaonemas poisonous?
Yes, aglaonemas are toxic because they contain calcium oxalate crystals. I suggest keeping aglaonemas away from children and pets since they can irritate the mouth or throat if ingested.
How do you take care of aglaonema?
Provide low light, regular moisture and temperature, regular humidity with most species and good quality soil-that will make your aglaonema healthy and happy. That’s pretty much all you need to know about Aglaonema care.
Aglaonemas are very easy to care for provided that you know how to do it adequately. Hopefully, this article has helped you obtain that information.
There are a lot of aglaonema varieties to choose from, such as ‘Emerald Star’ with white speckles on bright green leaves and ‘Silver Bay’ with leaf centers generously splashed with cream and several others. Newer varieties like these are less likely to be injured by temperatures below 10 degrees C. Check out more than 25 aglaonema species and select those that you find the most appealing.