Whether you’re a beginner or expert, Aglaonema (also known as Chinese Evergreen and Philippine Evergreen) provides a unique look and easy-care routine. One of the most common houseplants, this plant with wide, narrow, and glossy leaves can grow from your desk to about 1-2 feet tall.
With several different combinations of leaf variegation, some have dark green leaves. In contrast, others can be red, pink, or silver, giving you several ways to decorate with an Aglaonema. Here is what you need to know to take care of an aglaonema plant.
Is Aglaonema an Indoor Plant?
Since it originates from the tropical floors of Asian countries like China, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the Aglaonema enjoys environments with high humidity levels and indirect sunlight. However, Aglaonema can still be a great indoor plant if you keep them away from the cold drafts of doors and windows. Also, these plants can make terrific air purifiers but are toxic if consumed by pets or humans.
Soil and Repotting Tips
When choosing soil for an Aglaoenema plant, it is best to find one that you can find a loose, water-permeable mixture with a slightly acidic ph. A combination of leafy soil, peat, and sand (2:1:1) is a terrific way to start to find that perfect potting soil mix. When it comes to fertilizer, you have two choices.
You can either choose slow-release pellets or add liquid fertilizer at the beginning and end of the growing season. Though these plants are slow growers, you will want to repot them every spring when they are young. And as they mature, you can reduce the frequency to every 3-5 years.
If the soil conditions are not suitable for the plant, you may run into the disease pythium. This root problem is common and occurs in wet conditions and poorly drained soils. Check out this link to learn more about this disease.
Propagating is vital if you want to grow more than one Aglaonema at your place. There are two methods you can use, division and stem cutting. The division is best during the repotting process since you must take the plant out of the pot.
Propagating by Division:
- When the plant is out of the pot, lightly shake the dirt from the roots.
- Separate a clump for repotting by carefully teasing apart the roots
- Repot the clump.
- Keep the mother and divided portion in moist conditions until both are well established (a few weeks).
The other method, stem cutting, can leave the plant prone to disease and is better left in the warmer months of the growing season to heal faster.
Propagating by Stem Cutting:
- With sharp and disinfect tools, take a stem from the original plant.
- Put the bottom end in root hormone and put the division in a jar or glass until it forms roots (3-4 weeks)
- Transfer the cutting into a new pot.
Diseases and Issues You Should Be Aware of as An Aglaonema Plant Owner
During this pruning process, you may run into diseases that commonly affect Aglaonema; Fusarium Stem Rot, Myrothecium, and Colletotrichum. The first of these, Fusarium, causes a soft and mushy rot at the base of a plant or cutting and can only be solved by removing infected plants. Myrothecium and Colletotrichum occur during the propagation process leading to leaf spots.
Another problem you will run into is pests (scale, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites). If you find yourself dealing with these, you can use methods to treat them. For example, you can choose to use an insecticide, while you can also go the more natural route with a neem oil solution.
How Often Do You Water an Aglaonema?
Your care routine for this plant is relatively easy due to the plants’ adaptability to the environment. The most challenging part will be deciding when to water the plant, though. Since Aglaonema is prone to root rot and fungal problems, you should not overwater it.
You’ll want to ensure the soil is nearly dry between watering. When you test the soil with your finger or a moisture meter, you want to go halfway down the soil to check for moisture. And if you are using fluorescent lighting, it is best if the plant is dry almost to the bottom of the pot before watering.
The tropical origins of this plant mean it also needs a humid environment. The best way to achieve this is through frequent misting that gives your plant moisture without the worry of overwatering.
Does Aglaonema Need Sunlight?
This plant grows on the floors of tropical forests out in nature, which means indirect sunlight is the best light source. Indirect light means a few feet from a well-lit window with routine rotations will be ideal. However, when it’s in direct sunlight, you will notice the leaves begin to see brown scorching, yellowing, or curling.
With that said, there are some variations to light needs depending on what Aglaonema you have. For example, darker green varieties (Cutlass and Indo Princess) can thrive in low-light conditions. In contrast, colorful (Pink Dalmatian, Pink Splash, and Red Aglaonema) and lighter variegated varieties (Silver Bay, Spring Snow, and Silver Queen) will need comparably brighter areas.
Final Thoughts – How to Take Care of an Aglaonema Plant
Aglaonema is a great way to add variety and decoration to any home or office. With an easy plant care routine, it’s an excellent plant for beginners and an obvious addition for the well-trained. The only decision you have for your new plant is to choose from the wide varieties of Aglaonema.