Chinese Evergreen- An Easy Care Accent Plant
Chinese Evergreen, or Aglaonema, is one of the easiest plants to care for indoors. The distinctive foliage and compact size make it an ideal accent plant. For a low light area, choose the Chinese Evergreen.
Aglaonemas have also been found in testing by Dr B C Wolverton for NASA to be highly efficient in removing formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
Chinese Evergreens will tolerate a wide range of light conditions from very low light to bright, but not direct sunlight. The medium light from near a northern window will be ideal to keep the Aglaonema healthy.
The Chinese Evergreen likes the temperature in the warmer range from 70 o to 85 oF. As with most plants a temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower at night is desirable. The Aglaonema does not tolerate temperatures below 55 degrees F very well. Keep your plant out of the cold and away from drafts.
The Chinese Evergreen should be planted in soil that provides good drainage. If a regular potting soil is used, 1 part of coarse sand or perlite should be added to 3 parts of potting soil to improve drainage.
Although Chinese Evergreens prefer humidity above 30%, they will tolerate the lower levels usually found indoors. The humidity around your Aglaonema can be raised by the use of a pebble tray. Pebbles are placed in a flat tray and the plant pot is placed on top of the pebbles. Water is then poured into the pebbles. This water will then evaporate, increasing the humidity around the plant. The Chinese Evergreen can also be misted periodically to help raise the humidity.
The Chinese Evergreen likes moist, but not soggy soil. Allow the top 1 inch of the soil to dry and then water thoroughly until a little water runs out of the holes at the bottom of the pot. Never let the Aglaonema stand in water as it is susceptible to root rot. If the lower leaves turn yellow, it is a sign of under watering.
Fertilize your Chinese Evergreen with 1/4th strength liquid fertilizer every two months during its growing season from March to October. Take care as over fertilizing will burn the roots and leaf tips.
The easiest method of propagation of Chinese Evergreen is division of the new shoots that grow around the plant. The can be carefully removed and repotted when they reach a height of about 6 inches. New shoots will form around the plant to fill the pot.
Aglaonemas can also be propagated by rooting stem or tip cuttings in water.
Decoration and Placement Tips
Chinese Evergreens, with their distinctive silver-grey leaves blotched with green, provide a welcome display of color in a low light area. As Aglaonema grow to a maximum height of about 36 inches, they can be used as a lower level accent plant. Their color will provide an interesting contrast to other low light plants that are often mainly green. Every year new hybrids are developed that add to the variations of leaf coloring and patterns that are available.
If some of the lower leaves yellow, pick them off so that the plant puts it’s energy into generating new growth.
The greenish blooms of the Aglaonema are not the most attractive part of the plant, so they should be picked off and the plant will put it’s efforts into producing new foliage.
In your placement, be sure to protect the Chinese Evergreen from the cold and drafts.
Brighten up that low light area with the lush, distinctive foliage of the Chinese Evergreen.