All about the Aglaonema
Aglaonema is a beautiful colorful plant with variegated narrow, glossy oval-shaped leaves on short stems, adding a decorative vibrancy to your indoor spaces. Easy to care for and maintain, this is the perfect indoor plant, adaptable to different indoor environments and forgetful owners.
Native to Asia, this plant will add an exotic touch to your collection while ensuring that you won’t need extra special care. This plant is being grown in Asia for centuries and is believed to bring luck, as well. Requiring an average amount of light, fertilizer, humidity, and water, this plant can thrive quite well and very easily under your care. The following plant guide of Aglaonema will provide you with the necessary information you will need to care for them.
Commonly known as Chinese Evergreen or Philippine Evergreen, this plant is found in the Asian tropical forests.
Different Types of Aglaonema
The plant has about 22 different varieties, the most popular of which are:
- Cutlass Aglaonema
- Indo-Princes Aglaonema
- Pink Dalmatian Aglaonema
- Pink Splash Aglaonema
- Red Aglaonema
- Silver Bay Aglaonema
- Spring Snow Aglaonema
Origin of the Aglaonema
The plant is native to Southeast Asia and New Guinea and is found in the Tropical and Subtropical forests there. From the arum family of Araceae, they can adapt well to European temperatures and thrive as indoor plants, with little requirement of sunlight.
How to (generally) take care of an Aglaonema
If you are not so careful with taking care of plants in general, this is the ideal plant to begin and have in your home or office. These are slow-growing and low-maintenance plants, so you will not need to adjust lightning or room temperatures to accommodate them.
Before watering your Aglaonema, it is best to check soil moisture by poking your finger or using a soil probe and aerating your soil, allowing it to breathe and let the moisture release. Soil moisture is essential in watering this plant because if your plant is in a bright location, it will need to be watered when the soil is halfway dry to the root.
However, if you place your plant in lower light conditions or fluorescent light, you should wait until the soil is dry all the way to the bottom before watering it thoroughly. Taller Aglaonema will have moisture built up at the bottom of the pot, which will have to consider before watering it. Overwatering can cause the plant to have root rot, causing the leaves and stalks to turn yellow and mushy. In this case, dry out your soil entirely before watering again.
This Chinese Evergreen is adaptable to different light conditions and can be placed in dim or bright places indoors. Direct sunlight can burn its leaves, so placing them a few feet from indirect sunlight from a diffused window is most suitable for this plant. Some types of this plant can grow in even lower light conditions or fluorescent light, while variegated varieties of this plant may require slightly more sunlight than others.
Aglaonema isn’t very fussy about being planted in a specific kind of soil. It requires it to be slightly well-drained and slightly acidic. The soil chosen can be leafy soil with peat and sand and an additional crush of charcoal.
If your soil is retaining too much water, you should consider mixing it with sand or perlite while also ensuring the chosen pot has ample drainage holes as well. Slow-release pellets or liquid fertilizers should be added to the plant twice a year in Spring and Summer, at the beginning of the growing season, for a healthy plant. Fertilizers should not be added to dry soil and should be diluted to half the recommended strength for best results.
This plant grows well in a warm, humid environment, with temperatures not below 18 C, since they don’t do well in cold surroundings. Misting your plant frequently can help increase humidity around the plant, or you can place them in humid areas of your house like the kitchen, or consider investing in an air-humidifier. You can also set the plant near trays of wet expanded clay for more humidity. While Aglaonema can survive in low humidity, it will thrive in higher levels of humidity. It is necessary to clean the leaves from dust, but it is advised not to use shine solution on the leaves.
If you own any indoor pets, you may want to reconsider getting this plant, because it contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which is toxic. Pets do not consume this plant in large amounts due to its bitter taste. Still, if they begin to show symptoms of burning and irritation around the mouth, diarrhea, convulsions, choking, swelling, difficulty breathing, etc., you will have to rush them to the emergency care or your vet immediately.
Propagating an Aglaonema
Philippine Evergreens can be propagated with stem cuttings or dividing the plant while you are repotting it. Propagation with stem cuttings should be carried out during the warm summers, where you should select a stem of approximately 7 inches with 2-3 leaves from the mother plant. Place the piece in a soil-filled pot, and treat it with root hormone.
If the soil remains moist, the plant will take root in three to four weeks. Some people even use seeds for propagation; however, those require three months or 2-3 weeks to germinate, depending on how fresh the seed is.
Seeds should be sown in February or March in bowls containing light soil, sprayed with water frequently, and covered with glass. The grown seedlings are then planted separately in 7cm pots. Most people prefer cutting to using seeds.