Chinese Evergreen Houseplant Care Guide

Chinese Evergreen Houseplant Care Guide

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Chinese evergreen is a favorite among many novice and expert gardeners. Also known as Aglaonema, It is easy to grow as it tolerates every indoor environment. Its unique foliage also makes it an ideal indoor decoration for different areas around the house.

If you’re interested in learning more about Chinese evergreen, use this article as your guide. We will elaborate on everything you need to know about it so you can adequately care for yours at home!

What’s the Story Behind Chinese Evergreen?

The word Aglaonema came from the Greek words “aglaos,” which means shining, and “nema,” which means thread. These words refer to the beautiful foliage the Chinese evergreen has — rich green leaves with silver patterns. 

The Chinese evergreen is native to many South-East Asian regions, namely Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Philippines. The plant grows in tropical rainforests all around Asia, where there are high temperatures, high humidity, and filtered sunlight.

Chinese evergreen is small enough to fit on your tables, desks, and other compact surfaces. It is a slow-growing plant, which means that you don’t have to worry about it getting too big too soon.

As your it gets older, you can place it on the floors or corners of your rooms. You can also maximize these plants by using them as your accent pieces indoors!

What Are the Most Common Varieties of Chinese Evergreen?

Chinese Evergreen Variety

Chinese evergreen is becoming more and more popular because of its unique appearance and easy maintenance requirements. The plant is ideal for aspiring gardeners who live a busy lifestyle.

Chinese evergreen comes in many different varieties, and it’s essential to know how each differs from one another. With this information, you’ll know how to manage your expectations as you start your journey of caring for it.

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor

Aglaonema Pictum tricolor chinese evergreen

As the name suggests, this variety has unique foliage composed of three shades of green — light, medium, and dark. Having a few pots of Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor in your indoor garden will surely bring more color to your home’s interiors!

Aglaonema Pictum tricolor comes with oval-shaped leaves with a color combination that resembles camouflage. This variety is also a slow grower and does best in locations with access to indirect light.

Aglaonema Silver Bay

You’ll have many reasons to fall in love with the Aglaonema Silver Bay. This variety showcases stunning foliage with different hues of green and silver. This variety is definitely a showstopper because of its silver-colored, oval-shaped leaves that unfurl from the center.

Unlike other varieties, the Aglaonema Silver Bay is a fast grower. This plant will produce a brand new leaf almost every week as long as placed in the right environment.

Since the Aglaonema Silver Bay is one of the most popular varieties of Chinese evergreen, you won’t have any problems finding it. You’d be surprised at how many nurseries and online shops sell this beauty!

Aglaonema Silver Bay chinese evergreen

Aglaonema Chocolate

chinese evergreen Aglaonema Chocolate

Anything with the word “chocolate” in it is irresistible — and the Aglaonema Chocolate is no exception. If you plan to start your indoor garden filled with Chinese evergreen, caring for this variety should be on top of your to-do list.

The Aglaonema Chocolate will grab anyone’s attention because of its dark chocolatey green foliage combined with red and maroon streaks. This plant will surely add pops of colors when placed in dull areas inside your home.

However, the Aglaonema Chocolate isn’t as widely available as other varieties. If you want to get your hands on this plant, you need to exert resources to find it.

Aglaonema Prestige

All plants are pretty, but the Aglaonema Prestige takes the cake. This variety comes with stunning leaves showcasing hues of cream, green, pink, and red. With its large and waxy leaves, you can expect that this variety will stand out in your indoor garden!

The Aglaonema Prestige is unique from other varieties because of its pink-colored stem. Simply place this plant in a plain-colored room and watch how its colors will change the ambiance inside.

If you want to impress your friends with your houseplants, getting the Aglaonema Prestige is the best way to go.

chinese evergreen Aglaonema Prestige

Aglaonema Silver Queen

Aglaonema Silver Queen chinese evergreen

The regal appearance of the Aglaonema Silver Queen fits a queen, thus the name. This variety has colorful foliage with green and silver hues and brings tropical vibes indoors.

Also known as the “painted drop tongue,” the Aglaonema Silver Queen can grow up to 24-inches tall. The plant is also known for its thick, dark green leaves with heavy, silvery streaks.

The stems of the Aglaonema Silver Queen grow in clusters, making it a great addition to any indoor garden – especially if you’re eyeing varieties with heavy foliage.

Aglaonema Creta

Are you looking for a bit of drama in your indoor garden? Or want to spruce up your interiors with an elegant plant? Whatever the case may be, the Aglaonema Creta can help. This variety has colorful and lush foliage with pale cream spots on its leaves. You can also find a bright pink shade in the center of the plant’s stems.

Aside from its charm, the Aglaonema Creta is also one of the most undemanding varieties. If you’ve been struggling to keep your plants alive, caring for Aglaonema Creta is an excellent solution.

Aglaonema Creta chinese evergreen

Aglaonema Pink Dalmatian

Aglaonema Pink Dalmatian chinese evergreen

The Aglaonema Pink Dalmatian has jade-colored leaves with noticeable shades of pink all over. This plant’s thick, leathery, shiny foliage makes it charming, especially when displayed indoors.

The contrast of colors on the leaves of this plant is mesmerizing. Pictures can’t do justice to its beauty. It’s no wonder the Aglaonema Pink Dalmatian is one of the most sought-after varieties around the world.

How Do You Properly Care for Chinese Evergreen?

Now that you know the different varieties of Chinese evergreen, it’s time to learn how to care for them. Instead of being colorful decor, it will become an eyesore if you don’t know how to care for one. Your indoor garden will also have less chance of thriving if your Chinese evergreen only wilts and dies.

Fortunately, caring for different varieties of Chinese evergreen is a piece of cake. The task doesn’t require any experience or equipment — proper knowledge is enough. As long as you know what to do, you won’t have any problems caring for it.

Light Requirements

Different varieties of Chinese evergreen have different light requirements. Generally, green varieties of the Aglaonema thrive better when placed in low-light environments. Variegated ones, on the other hand, should be placed in environments with indirect sunlight. Proper light exposure is essential to maintain the luster of the plant’s leaves.

Never place Chinese evergreen in direct sunlight, as this can cause leaf discoloration. Placing your it under the afternoon sun for long periods can also hinder its growth and cause premature death.

Water Requirements

The Chinese evergreen thrives better when placed in moist soil, not waterlogged. You can keep the balance by watering your plant thoroughly and giving it time to dry out before watering again. Follow this practice when watering your it during the fall, spring, and summer months, but water less often during winter.

Since Chinese evergreens don’t like soggy environments, it’s best never to let their soil sit in standing water. You can do this by placing your plant in pots with proper drainage. 

Soil Requirements

Fortunately, Chinese evergreen isn’t very picky about the soil you use. You can use slightly acidic, well-drained potting soil for your these plant. The quality and nutrients of this potting mix serve as a suitable medium for your Chinese evergreen to thrive.

However, if you use other types of medium and notice that it retains too much water, act immediately. The plant doesn’t like moisture, so mix the medium with perlite or sand to improve its drainage.

Temperature Requirements

The Chinese evergreen originated from a tropical region, so expect that it won’t do well when placed in cold environments. Properly care for your these plant by placing it in environments with temperatures of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since Chinese evergreen is sensitive to the cold, avoid placing it near cold drafts and air-conditioning units. Too much cold can prevent it from getting nutrients and can stunt its growth.

Humidity Requirements

The Chinese evergreen is an easy-care houseplant, which can tolerate humidity levels in typical households. However, if you notice that the leaves of the plant turn brown, increase the humidity indoors. Leaf discoloration is a tell-tale sign of excessive exposure to dry, humid environments.

There are many ways to increase the humidity indoors, and using a humidifier is one. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, creating an ideal environment for any plant to thrive.

You can also improve the humidity indoors by placing pots in trays filled with pebbles and moisture. This technique can help retain the moisture in the air and ensure that your plants get the proper humidity levels.

Chinese Evergreen: Fertilizers Requirements

The Chinese evergreen is an excellent houseplant because it doesn’t require too much food. You can still use fertilizer to encourage growth, especially when caring for young plants.

You can apply fertilizers to your Chinese evergreen at least once during their growing season (spring to summer months). Using slow-release fertilizer, complete liquid fertilizer, or seaweed and fish emulsion to fertilize your Chinese evergreen provides the best results.

Chinese Evergreen: Pruning Requirements

Since the Chinese evergreen is naturally small, pruning for this plant is optional. If you want to pull off a specific look using your Chinese evergreen, feel free to trim the leaves accordingly. Don’t forget to use the right tools to prevent damaging the plant or getting cuts on your hands.

Most varieties of Chinese evergreen grow straight up, but you can cut its leaves back to let it grow horizontally. Doing so is also an effective tactic to make the plant look like a colorful bush rather than a miniature tree. 

Chinese Evergreen: Propagation Requirements

Propagation is an excellent way to fast-track your goal of having an indoor garden filled with Chinese evergreen. When done correctly, propagation enables you to create a healthy indoor garden without breaking the bank.

Propagating the Chinese evergreen is simple and doesn’t require too much equipment. You can propagate using the stem cuttings, tip cuttings, or seeds of the plant.

Properly propagate your Chinese evergreen by following these steps:

  • Cut off a few six-inch-long stems using a knife, garden shears, or pair of scissors.
  • Collect your cuttings and place each in cups of water. It’s best to place these cups in a location with access to indirect sunlight.
  • Once the roots start to grow, remove the stems and place them into pots of fertile soil. Don’t forget to add holes to the pots to improve the drainage of the soil.

Repotting

You’ll need to repot your Chinese evergreen when it starts to outgrow its old pots. Placing your Chinese evergreen in the same pot throughout its lifespan will prevent it from growing. 

Repotting your Chinese evergreen is another simple task that only requires trowels, pots, and garden shears. With the right supplies, you can finish repotting these plants within minutes!

Follow these tips to repot your Chinese evergreen properly:
  • Find a pot that’s larger than the current home of your Chinese evergreen. Ideally, use pots about three to four inches larger than the old pots.
  • Prepare your new pots and fill them with soil. 
  • Carefully dig around these plants to loosen the soil and remove its roots. Pay attention to the roots and make sure that you’re not hitting any when digging. Roots are fragile, and hitting them with a shovel will prevent the plant from growing.
  • Lay the older pot on its side so you can wriggle the plant out. Don’t worry about losing a few leaves during the process.
  • Grab the Chinese evergreen through its root ball as you remove it from its old pot. Look for any damaged roots and remove them immediately.
  • Place the Chinese evergreen in its new pot and fill the container with soil.
  • Keep the soil of the new pot moist by spraying with water or adding some liquid fertilizers.

Pests and Diseases

Just like most houseplants, the Chinese evergreen is also attractive in the eyes of pests and insects. The Chinese evergreen is food to many microorganisms, which is why you should know how to protect it. You don’t want to exhaust resources for your Chinese evergreen and find out that pests are feasting on it.

Below are the most common pests that feed on Chinese evergreens and tips on how to get rid of them. With this information, you can easily keep your indoor garden healthy and pest-free!

Mealybugs:

  • Usually found on stems and leaves, mealybugs appear as tiny white pieces of cotton. These pests suck out the sap from your Chinese evergreen by inserting a stylet. When left untreated, mealybugs can stunt the growth of your plants and cause leaf discoloration. Mealybugs can also cause premature foliage droppings and create honeydews that attract feeding ants.

To get rid of mealybugs from Chinese evergreen, place yellow sticky cards in your indoor garden. Yellow is an attractive color to pests and will serve as effective bait. You can buy ready-made yellow sticky cards from nurseries or make some using yellow index cards and honey.

Spider mites

  • Because they’re the size of a pinhead, spider mites are often harder to detect. The most common sign of spider mite infestation is the appearance of webs on the stems of your plant. Over time, spider mites can also leave webs on the leaves and undersides of your Chinese evergreen.

You can effectively remove spider mites with different DIY solutions. You can mix three tablespoons of dish soap with one gallon of water and spray the mixture weekly for starters. Using rubbing alcohol and essential oils, such as coriander and spearmint, also works.

Aphids

  • These soft-bodied insects will feast on the fluids flowing through your Chinese evergreen. Aphids are a cause for concern because these insects can distort leaves and cover them in honeydew.

You can terminate aphids by wiping your plant’s leaves with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. You can also remove these insects from your Chinese evergreen by spraying them with a water hose.

Toxicity

If you have children or pets at home, be wary of the placement of your Chinese evergreen. This plant is toxic to your tots and pets because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can severely irritate the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. The Chinese evergreen can also cause the upper airway to swell, making it difficult for children and pets to breathe.

Chinese evergreen will only cause symptoms once ingested or if its sap is touched. Protect your household from the toxicity of these plants by placing them in hard-to-reach areas. You can also place these plants on high tables or hang them using a sturdy cable.

5 FAQs About Chinese Evergreen

Your knowledge about Chinese evergreen is your key to properly caring for it. Having in-depth information will help you determine the water, light, and soil requirements of the plant. Additionally, you won’t have any problems keeping these plants pest-free if you know which pests to look out for. The more you know about this unique and beautiful plant, the easier it’ll be for you to care for it.

If you have any unanswered questions about Chinese evergreen, the section below should help. Utilize the information below so you can start caring for and growing it in your indoor garden!

Unfortunately, the Chinese evergreen is toxic to children and pets. This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that affect the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Ingesting the sap of Chinese evergreen can also cause vomiting and decreased appetite among children and pets. 

To keep your household safe from Chinese evergreen, place the plant in hard-to-reach areas. You can also hang them around your house using cables and lightweight pots.

The Chinese evergreen isn’t immune to pests and diseases. In fact, the foliage of this plant is attractive to many pests and insects.

Some of the most common pests that feed on Chinese evergreen are mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. You can get rid of these pests with yellow sticky cards or DIY solutions using dish soap or essential oils.

Wiping the leaves of your plants with cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol can also help. If none of these work, forcibly remove pests using a hose.

It’s best to use slightly acidic, well-draining potting soil for Chinese evergreens. You can still use other mediums but pay attention to its moisture over time. If you notice that the medium retains too much water, add some perlite or sand.

The care requirements of Chinese evergreen depend on the variety. Green varieties thrive when placed in low-light environments, while variegated ones need exposure to indirect sunlight. Regardless of the variety, it’s never advisable to place your Chinese evergreen in direct sunlight for long periods. Harsh sunlight can hinder the growth of the plant and cause premature death.

When it comes to water, Chinese evergreen loves moist soil. Make sure to dry out its soil between waterings. Prevent waterlogging the soil by placing them in pots with holes for proper drainage.  

There are 20 known varieties of Chinese evergreen. The most common ones are the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor, Aglaonema Silver Bay, and Aglaonema Chocolate. These varieties come in different colors and grow in different sizes.

One of the most undemanding varieties of Chinese evergreen is the Aglaonema Creta. These plants thrive well in almost all indoor environments, making them an excellent option for aspiring gardeners. This variety also has pale cream spots on its leaves and bright pink shades in the center of the stems.

Other noteworthy varieties of the Chinese evergreen include the Aglaonema Pink Dalmatian, Aglaonema Silver Queen, and Aglaonema Prestige.

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