Aglaonema, also known as Chinese evergreen, is a classic indoor houseplant well-loved for its stunning variegated leaves. This member of the Araceae (aroid) family comes in lots of different colors and varieties including various shades of green, silver, pink, and red!
It can even grow white flowers and tiny red fruits (watch out though, these are toxic!).
History of Chinese Evergreen
These plants are said to be lucky in Asia where they grow wild in tropical rainforests and have been kept as potted plants for hundreds of years. Chinese evergreen reached the west in the late 1800s and grew in popularity as a worldwide houseplant in the 20th century.
These plants are beautiful, adaptable, and relatively easy to grow. Here’s an easy guide for Chinese evergreen care!
A Guide for Chinese Evergreen Care
Soil and Potting
Choose a light, well-draining soil for aglaonema like cactus soil. Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes. This plant grows slowly, so you’ll only need to repot every few years.
Chinese evergreen’s light needs vary depending on the variety. In general, lighter-colored aglaonema needs more indirect sunlight while darker varieties can tolerate lower light. Very colorful varieties will also need brighter light to keep their colors. Whatever you do, keep this plant out of direct sunlight.
Darker green varieties can even adapt to fluorescent lighting, which makes this a classic choice for offices and malls.
Make sure to give your plant a quarter turn each week so all sides can be exposed to light. That way, your plant will keep a nice even shape!
Water when the soil is damp about 2-3 inches down or when your soil meter reads 3-4. If your plant receives only fluorescent light, let the soil get almost dry before watering. It will need a little more water in the growing season (spring and summer) and less in the winter. Don’t let it dry out completely.
When you do water, slowly add water to the soil until it starts to drain out the bottom of the pot. Use distilled water or tap water left out overnight so chlorine and other harmful substances can partially evaporate.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant likes fairly warm room temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it away from drafts, AC/heating vents, and fireplaces, and don’t let the temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aglaonema doesn’t need a lot of extra humidity, cut consider placing it on a pebble tray or setting up a humidifier nearby if the tips of the leaves start to brown.
During spring and summer, fertilizer with a gentle liquid fertilizer like Indoor Plant Food.
Pruning and Propagation
Chinese evergreen is slow-growing, so you won’t need to worry about pruning. Just remove dead leaves if you see them so the plant can redirect its energy to healthy growth. If you want your plant to grow faster, you can prune off the flowers when it blooms so the plant can channel that energy into leaf and stem growth.
You can propagate this plant by division, but it’s difficult to do with other methods.
- Drooping leaves – Your plant may need more light or water.
- Curling leaves – Your plant is probably getting too much light.
- Crispy, yellowing leaves – Your plant may be underwatered.
- Yellowing and browning – Your plant may be overwatered.
- Yellowing or browning stalks – Your plant may have root rot (If this happens, check out our root rot treatment!)
Note: This plant is toxic to humans and animals, so make sure to keep it away from curious pets and children.
Aglaonema is gorgeous and a great plant for beginning houseplant owners how have started to master the basics and are ready for something flashy and fun. You’ll love this colorful plant!