Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) - Expert Tips
How to Care for Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants
Aglaonema plants are not just pretty, they are also very easy to take care of. They can grow well in low-light areas and handle dry air very well. And, even if you accidentally forget to water them sometimes, they can still survive! That’s why a lot of plant lovers have an Aglaonema at home.
The Aglaonema is part of the Araceae family and originates from tropical areas of Southeast Asia. There are more than 50 recognised varieties of Aglaonema with endless variation in leaf colour and shape. Most Aglaonema’s are green with white or greyish colours, but there are also variations with pink or purple colours. The leaves usually have a marbled or mottled pattern.
The tropical Aglaonema is super easy to care for. Unlike other houseplants, these plants can take a beat! Although they are tolerant of many growing conditions, even worse ones, there are a few tips we would like to give you to make sure your beautiful plant can grow happily!
Aglaonema Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully
- Aglaonemas prefer bright, indirect light, so place them near a north or east-facing window. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause leaf scorching.
- Aglaonema plants can tolerate lower light conditions quite well, although their growth may slow down, and their leaves may be smaller compared to when they receive more light.
- Avoid overwatering. It’s best to water when the soil has slightly dried out. Remember that dry soil is better than overly moist soil.
- Aglaonemas can be sensitive to chemicals in tap water, like chlorine and fluoride. It's best to use filtered or rainwater. If you don't have access to that, you can let tap water sit for about 24 hours before using it.
- Aglaonemas love high humidity. They can handle lower humidity levels, but they'll be happiest if it's between 40% and 60%.
- Avoid temperature fluctuations. Keep your aglaonema in a stable environment, ideally between 18-27°C. Avoid placing the plant near drafts, air vents, or heaters, as sudden temperature changes can cause stress and leaf drop.
- Don't forget to give your Aglaonema plant some plant food every now and then. They don't need a lot, but giving them some once a month will help them grow strong and gorgeous.
- Make sure to clean and trim your plant often. Take away any dead, yellow, or hurt leaves and stems to keep your plant looking nice and healthy. Gently clean the leaves with a wet cloth to get rid of dust and help your plant make food from sunlight better.
- Make sure to repot your aglaonema when needed, which is about every 2-3 years or if the roots get too root-bound.
- Monitor regularly. Inspect your plant regularly for pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. If you notice any infestations, treat them promptly!
Aglaonema care tips
Light requirements for Aglaonema
Chinese Evergreen plants thrive in medium to low light conditions, aka indirect sunlight. It doesn’t matter where you place it in your home, but you should ensure that you place your plant in warm and humid conditions. Just avoid placing your Aglaonema in direct sunlight. This can cause leaf burn, and nobody wants that!
Expert tip! Aglaonema varieties with darker leaves can tolerate shadier conditions, while the ones with light or colourful variegation love a bit more light to keep their beautiful colour and patterns!
They can handle medium levels of shade pretty well, but they don't like really dark areas. Their growth can slow down when they're in low light, and their leaves may become smaller and may yellow.
They grow best on moderate watering. Not too much, not too little. The best time to water your Aglaonema is when the top half layer of soil is dry to the touch. This usually means watering once a week, but it can vary depending on the environment and the size of the pot. You can check if your Aglaonema needs water by touching the soil with your finger or using a water meter.
Expert tip! If you’re unsure whether it's the right time to water, keep in mind that dry soil is better than wet soil. It can recover more quickly from underwatering than overwatering, as overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues.
You should reduce the watering frequency in winter because your plant will hibernate. Aglaonemas are pretty sensitive to overwatering, so always check the soil before watering it again. Signs of overwatering include yellowing leaves, wilting, and a musty smell.
Aglaonema benefits from occasional fertilising but doesn't need to be fertilised very frequently. You can fertilise once a month using a water-soluble PLNTS nutrition houseplant fertiliser. Only fertilise in spring and summer, as this is the time your plant is ready to grow!
Temperature & humidity
Your Aglaonema will be happy as long as the temperature is between 18-27°C and humidity levels around 40-60%. Aglaonema can handle average home humidity but will enjoy higher levels. If you notice brown tips on the leaves, it might mean the humidity is too low. So try increasing it around the plant by misting the leaves or using a humidifier. Read more about how to raise humidity for your houseplants.
Soil & repotting
Your Aglaonema will be happy if you repot it every 2-3 years or when its roots outgrow the current pot. The best time to repot is during spring or summer, when the plant grows actively. For the best results, use PLNTS organic houseplant soil that's well-draining and full of essential nutrients.
When you repot, pick a pot slightly bigger than the current one and with drainage holes. Choose a pot that is wide and not too tall because Aglaonema tend grow branches from the bottom of their stem. With a wider pot, the branches of the plant can grow wider and make the plant look more lush and beautiful!
Want to make some teeny tiny Aglaonema plants? You can easily take stem cuttings from the mother plant, divide plants or separate baby plants that grow around it. The best and easiest way to propagate a Chinese Evergreen is by the division method. It may sound a little scary, but the division is a simple way to propagate a plant with immediate results.
Here’s how to do it:
- Carefully remove the mother plant from the pot and gently untangle the roots.
- Shake the soil from the root ball and carefully pull the plant apart from the centre in two or more pieces. Make sure each part has its own root system.
- If the roots cannot be pulled apart, cut them carefully with a clean and sharp knife or pruning shear.
- Plant each section in a new pot with fresh potting soil and give the plants a good splash of water.
- After propagating, make sure to keep the soil moist but not too wet and avoid direct sunlight until the new plants are established.
Most common pests on Aglaonema
Chinese evergreen houseplants can be affected by pests like spider mites, (soft)scale, mealybugs and aphids. Routinely checking the leaves for signs of pests will help to limit problems later. Misting your Aglaonema with clean water occasionally works preventively against pests. It removes any present bugs and dust and will make the leaves shine again! Win-win, right?
Do you think your plant is suffering from something? Check how to recognise and solve your plants’ plague on our PLNTSdoctor page.
Is Aglaonema poisonous for your pets or children?
Unfortunately, Aglaonema’s are toxic to pets and humans. Swallowing them usually causes mouth and skin irritation, stomach ache and irritation with possible vomiting. So keep an eye on your Aglaonema, your pets and your little kids.
Buy your new Aglaonema online at PLNTS.com
Looking for a pop of colour? Try an Aglaonema to brighten up your home or office. At PLNTS.com you can buy Aglaonema’s online, like the Aglaonema Pink Princess and the Aglaonema Prosperity or classics like Aglaonema Silver Bay.
Whether you like your Aglaonema big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - Buy your new Aglaonema online at PLNTS.com