Aglaonema

Aglaonema: How to Grow Aglaonema

The challenge of working from home is finding ways to stay sane and productive. So I searched for something that I can easily do at home. I’ve found out about this popular house plant with vibrant colors that I can grow indoors.

The aglaonema is one of the easiest to grow house plants that originated in Asia. It’s a highly decorative plant, but demands easy care. If you’re also looking to grow a beginner-friendly plant, you can try this.

What is Aglaonema

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) is a vibrant decorative plant with dramatic patterned leaves. This indoor plant is easy-going, making it ideal for modern offices, living rooms, and even dim bedrooms.

Basically, aglaonemas have large and sleek oval leaves that make them attractive foliage plants. It doesn’t need full sun, that’s why they are ideal indoor plants that can thrive under fluorescent lighting.

There are different color variations including dark green, silver, red, and pink. It’s a perfect addition to your growing houseplant family. I personally recommend the one with hints of red. It’s simply beautiful.

Since aglaonemas can thrive in low light, they are perfect if you’re forgetful or your home has less ideal lighting conditions. There are several varieties you can choose from. I already have 5 types of this spectacular house plant and planning to get more.

Facts About Aglaonema

Origin

Aglaonema perennial evergreen plants are originally found in Malaysia and the Philippines. However, they can also grow outside Asia due to their adaptable characteristics.

They can endure both dry and moist conditions as these impressive houseplants are designed to adapt to changing temperature and climate.

There are different varieties of aglaonemas to choose from, the only difference is the leaf coloration. Some varieties are commonly found in China, Laos, and New Guinea.

Growing Conditions

When it comes to tolerance to dynamic growing conditions, aglaonemas can survive badly ventilated as well as poorly lit areas. With low watering needs and strikingly varicolored leaves, this is a perfect choice for beginners in gardening.

Despite having lush foliage, this favorite indoor plant only requires minimum care. It has the ability to conform to any office or home space, so it’s a versatile stunner that is truly a great find.

As a native to Asian tropical forests, aglaonema likes to be placed in an area where there’s not much sunlight. Otherwise, direct light can scorch their beautiful, colorful leaves.

In my home, my aglaonemas are kept several feet from well-lit windows in order to allow them to receive enough sunlight. Sometimes, they only get fluorescent lighting as I’ve noticed they really love lower light levels.

Plant Description

Plant Height

Unlike other common houseplants, aglaonemas can grow up to 48 inches in height. However, the mature size of your plant depends on the type of care they receive.

The height of my aglaonema plants are usually 10 inches, or somewhere around that size. But they still look attractive, perfect for my study room where I need a touch of nature to concentrate and be creative.

Normally, aglaonemas’ growth height is between one to three feet. If you want to cultivate taller Chinese Evergreen in your home, you need to repot them in a large vessel. The freer the roots, the taller they grow.

Aglaonemas are not just perfect decoration for tropical homes, but they are also one of the best air-purifying plants.

Leaves

What makes the aglaonema plant pleasing to the eyes is its unique and lush foliage. The large oval leaves are narrow and glossy, making it look elegant and ideal for office and home spaces.

The type of aglaonema depends on the color of the leaves. I have red, white, and dark green aglaonemas with satiny oval-shaped leaves that truly look amazing. The Harlequin obviously got its name due to the pink and white specks on the leaf.

Color & Shape

The elliptical shape of aglaonema leaves come in different colors, from greenish white to silver and red hints. One of the plants I have is a hybrid of aglaonema crispum and aglaonema pictum with decorated leaf colors and patterns.

Other types of this plant species that I have in my collection include the Emerald Bay, Silver Queen, and Silver King. They are all fascinating and perfect for my home decoration needs.

Growing Aglaonema

Aglaonema Varieties

Aglaonema Modestum

Among the types of aglaonema, A. Modestum is probably the rarest kind. It has a pure green color with abundant tropical looking foliage. The stems are dominantly dark green as well.

The large leaves are lance-shaped with glossy medium green color. They can grow from 10 to 14 inches long. With its evergreen appearance, many plant owners include this in their aglaonema collection.

A. Modestum is commonly found in northern Thailand, northern Laos, and southern China. They grow in humid valleys as well as in tropical swamps, making them one of the most adaptable plants in the forest.

Aglaonema Nitidum

Also known as Painted Drop Tongue, A. Nitidum is an ideal houseplant because of its low lighting requirement. One of the ideal places to grow this plant is under the shrubs or trees that offer deep shade.

It thrives in humid and warmer climates while adapting to lighting variations. This plant doesn’t need frequent watering, making it so easy to grow at home. Liquid fertilizer can be added once per year.

A. Nitidum originated in Borneo and spread across Asia. It is believed to bring good luck. Hence, the Royal Horticultural Society awarded this plant species with Garden Merit.

Aglaonema Widuri or Red Peacock

The striking red-tinted foliage of A. Widuri makes it one of the most stylish aglaonemas. This spectacular houseplant is perfect to decorate desks, windowsills, and tables.

True to its name, the Red Peacock aglaonema is indeed the best species among other color variations. During sunny weather, watering should be abundant in order to refresh the leaves.

Although A. Widuri can manage direct light, but it’s still advisable to place them under some shade in order to avoid scorching their beautiful leaves. You can fertilize this indoor plant for a few times each year to enjoy more flowers in the summer.

Aglaonema Cutlass

Normally, A. Cutlass should be moist during hot seasons including summer and spring. In winter months, it’s important to make sure the soil is dry before watering to avoid root rot.

It can withstand low humidity conditions, but thrives in high humidity levels. One thing I do to increase humidity levels is to mist my aglaonemas regularly. This is essential during warm weather.

During the summer and spring, you can fertilize your A. Cutlass for lusher foliage and more beautiful flowers. If you notice tipping or drying out of the tips of the leaves, check for overwatering and too much fertilizers.

Aglaonema Emerald Bay

Just like other aglaonemas, A. Emerald Bay also needs indirect sunlight to prevent the leaves from scorching. If you don’t have enough lighting at home, there’s nothing to worry because your plant can tolerate it, and still thrive.

When watering, check the soil if there’s no more moisture before pouring water thoroughly. For healthier Emerald Bay aglaonemas, put some fertilizer every month during summer and spring.

In order to make sure the color of the leaves stay vibrant, it’s important to be careful in using tap water. Fluoride, chlorine, and salts in tap water can cause the leaves to turn brown. I use purified water so I can water my plants directly without harming their leaves and stems.

Aglaonema Harlequin

The deeper green color of A. Harlequin with pink veins and yellow streaks make it one of the loveliest houseplants today. This was my first aglaonema as I immediately fell in love with its Harlequin-like resemblance.

However, the vibrant color of this plant can turn into plain yellow while the pink blotches become pastel when exposed to bright conditions. It thrives under medium to low lighting with natural air ventilation.

Like other aglaonemas, watering should be done once the soil becomes completely dry. You can grow this in 5-inch plastic pots or in concrete pots, as long as the pot size is appropriate.

Aglaonema Silver Queen

This evergreen perennial can grow up to 24 inches tall with free branching throughout the year. The A. Silver Queen is a popular houseplant that thrives well under indirect light.

The strikingly variegated leaves are more interesting than its flowers. It has large elliptic foliage with silver gray streaks, making it unique from other aglaonema houseplants.

During summer to early fall, the flowers begin to bloom with creamy white axis surrounded by yellowish green spathe. After the flowers, you will see clusters of gleaming orange berries.

Aglaonema Silver King

A. Silver King is a slow-growing tropical houseplant with thick, glossy foliage in narrow oval shape. The leaves have short stems and are often varicolored, giving them an enchanting appearance.

This type of aglaonema requires bright light but not direct, adequate moisture, and warmth in order to grow well. True to its name, this popular houseplant has pale green and silver variegated 30-centimeter long leaves.

When it comes to potting, you can put it in a 5-inch plastic pot with organic soil and some manure content. Liquid fertilizer can also be added during summer for the flowers to bloom.

Aglaonema Suzy

At first sight, you may think that A. Suzy is a very common houseplant. But if you’re going to look at it closely, you will notice the beautiful pink stems with speckled leaves.

This highly decorative plant doesn’t like full sun, so make sure to put it somewhere with low light. If there’s enough window light in your home, this is the perfect indoor plant you can grow.

Watering is essential every week, but make sure the soil is really dry before pouring in some water. More importantly, you should fertilize your A. Suzy every month during summer and spring seasons.

Aglaonema Red Gold

A. Red Gold is a hybrid type of Chinese Evergreen with shiny green leaves and reddish-yellow markings. The mature size can reach up to 3 feet tall with balanced spread.

This houseplant is a typical herbaceous plant that blooms with white to pale pink spathe around a stalk. Flowers are seasonal, typically between summer and spring.

To achieve the red gold coloration, make sure to place your A. Red Gold in a partly shaded area. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to fade and even turn to brown when scorched.

How to Grow Aglaonema

Location

Aglaonemas are common in homes and offices because of the natural charisma they have, especially in decorating spaces. These houseplants can adapt to any office or home space with its versatile properties.

Since it’s native to tropical Asian countries like Malaysia and China, this perennial evergreen appreciates any area with indirect sunlight. The ideal location for these houseplants is in windowsills and desks.

All types of aglaonema can tolerate low lighting as well as fluorescent lighting conditions. Therefore, it’s important to keep them under adequate shade, instead of full sun.

Never put your aglaonema near cold and hot air drafts such as air conditioning, heaters, and window breezes. If you place it somewhere with direct light, make sure to water it thoroughly to prevent extreme drying.

Soil

The recommended potting soil for aglaonemas is well-drained, slightly acidic soil. It should contain enough moist to nurture the plant without wilting. Before you water the soil, check for moisture using a soil probe or your finger.

It’s also important to aerate the soil before watering thoroughly in order to avoid root rot. If you place your aglaonema in a well-lit location, then it will need to be watered frequently before the soil dries out completely.

Water

During the summer and warmer months, you need to water your aglaonema more frequently. If you need to increase the humidity level, you can simply mist your plant using a misting spray.

During the winter or colder months, it’s advisable to reduce watering to avoid root rotting and tipping. Overwatering can kill your plant, which usually starts in the roots. I’m always careful not to overwater my aglaonemas as they are sensitive to extremely moistened soil.

Light

The variegated types of aglaonemas need brighter light than the ones with darker green foliage. However, most of them thrive well under near shade conditions – making them a perfect indoor plant for homes and offices.

No matter the varieties of Chinese Evergreen you have at home, never expose them to direct sunlight. Or else, the leaves will turn brown or suffer from tipping and other diseases.

Temperature

These houseplants don’t like temperature levels below 65 degrees. Thus, they should be kept away from cold drafts or draughty vents and windows. The perfect location for your aglaonema is somewhere with warmer temperature.

Aglaonemas grow well from 70 to 85 degrees. During night-time, the ideal temperature level should not exceed 10 degrees drop. Make sure to check your plant from time to time in order to ensure their optimal condition.

Humidity

Typically, Chinese Evergreen varieties require high humidity so that they can maintain their coloration. I even consider my aglaonemas as greenhouse plants because of their humidity requirement.

They do well in warm, humid environments with bright lighting just like in greenhouses. However, aglaonemas can quickly adapt to indoor spaces with similar conditions that a greenhouse offers.

Fertilizer

There are two forms of fertilizers you can use to nurture your aglaonema at home, liquid fertilizer and slow-release pellets. These are best added to your plants throughout the growing seasons.

Generally, Chinese Evergreen houseplants thrive more when they are given adequate fertilizers every year, that’s basically from spring to fall. Fertilizing once every six weeks using organic fertilizer is recommended.

Repotting

Since aglaonemas are typically slow-growing houseplants, you only need to change pots every 2 to 3 years. These are also low-growing herbaceous plants so the trunks are revealed gradually.

My desktop plants were repotted after a year because they already need a bigger pot to accommodate their growing needs. Ideally, you need one to two inches larger from your old potting vessel to ensure healthy growth.

However, don’t use a much larger pot than the old one because it may lead to excessive moisture. Too much water in the soil can drown your plant and cause root rot.

You can maintain the original vessel when repotting, but make sure to provide new soil and trim away some leaves and roots. The best time to repot aglaonemas is during summer and spring.

Pruning

The best way to prune your aglaonema is when you see new growth at the base. Remove the shoot and replant it in another potting vessel. Avoid pruning after removing dead leaves or when the plant is beyond dying.

Cutting is a good way to propagate aglaonemas. I use division or cutting method in order to grow more Chinese Evergreen in my indoor garden. Once you see growth emerging at the base, prune it and transfer to a separate pot.

Propagation

Propagation of aglaonemas is easier than you think. All you need to do is chop the top of the stem that has grown tall and allow it to grow roots in water container or soil.

Too much soil may lead to rotting, so mix perlite and soil with 2:1 ratio in a pot. Once the stem has developed new roots, you can now propagate it to a new potting vessel.

Keep in mind when transplanting aglaonema that it should only be done once every two to three years since these houseplants grow slowly. However if you need to transfer them into a bigger pot, then you may do so regardless of the season.

Uses of Aglaonema

Aglaonema House Plant

With the growing popularity of Chinese Evergreen, it’s not surprising to see these plants in many households. You can use it as single species to decorate your home with its beautiful varieties.

In my home, I’m planning to grow them in mass to create a tropical effect. However, I was surprised that some varieties of aglaonema can be used as medicinal plant to cure certain illnesses.

Some of the most common uses of aglaonema include mass planting, ground cover, indoor gardening, above-ground planting, and landscaping. It’s a versatile plant that you can count on for decorative purposes at home.

Summary

Aglaonema or what is commonly known as Chinese Evergreen is a very popular houseplant that is both easy to grow and care for. A few varieties are commonly found in homes and offices, but there are actually over 20 species of this highly decorative plant.

Some advantages of choosing this plant over other common houseplants include low maintenance, lush foliage, adaptable to any environment, and easy to take care of. This stunner is truly an ideal option for beginner gardeners and those who are too busy to check their plants every minute.

Whether you’re planning to decorate your study room or adding some natural elements in your home, the wide varieties of aglaonema can help you. Some great options are Silver Queen, Aglaonema Harlequin, and Red Gold.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Aglaonema poisonous to pets or people?


Aglaonema can be poisonous to humans and pets because it contains calcium oxalate properties. These toxic crystals can irritate mucous membranes if ingested. In addition, the juice may lead to painful rash and irritation when it comes in contact with skin.


Is Aglaonema an indoor plant?


Due to the ability of aglaonemas to adapt to low lighting conditions, they are among the most ideal indoor plants today. These species love indirect sunlight and fresh air, making them the best houseplants.

However, sun exposure depends on the variety you are growing at home. Some thrive under bright light, while most of them grow well under low to medium lighting conditions. If you’re not sure, do a little research on the exact species you have at home.


Does Aglaonema purify air?


A fun fact about aglaonemas is that they are excellent air purifiers. You can place more of these in different parts of the house in order to purify indoor air. Plus, they love being near the window, which is a perfect way to filtrate polluted air coming in your home.

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