How to care
for your Aglaonema
Aglaonema, also known as the Chinese Evergreen, is a member of the Araceae family and native to the tropical forests of Asia, like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. A floor plant, Aglaonemas are low-maintenance plants that make it a mainstay of many homes and offices thanks to their unique and lush foliage that come in vibrant colours. Depending on their varietal, you’ll bump into really stunning leaves, patterned leaves that are dark green, silver or red.
They’re quite a slow-growing and stable houseplant, so you can expect Aglaonemas to call the pot they’re in home for a long time while still looking splashy and beautiful AF. Rarely do they blossom, but once they’re in their element, they’ll flower small, pretty and inconspicuous flowers.
Aglaonema Widuri, Red Peacock
Aglaonema Black Lance
Aglaonema Emerald Bay
Aglaonema Georgi’s Ruby
Care Level : Beginner, Expert or Somewhere in the middle.
Aglaonemas are excellent beginner-level plants, especially if your home doesn’t have a ton of light to work with.
Chinese Evergreens are very adaptable and can thrive in all ranges of indirect light – even if its main source is completely reliant on fluorescent light. Not great for selfies, but it can work for Aglaonemas. And unless you live in the sewer with Pennywise, Aglaonemas can still be situated in dark areas of your home. Be mindful that they’re kept away from direct light as even one hour of exposure can quickly result in sun-scorched and bleached leaves. Variegated Aglaonemas can lose their famous patterns if they’re not getting enough light, whereas if it gets a lot of indirect light, they’ll get exaggerated variegations peppered with green pigmentation. A good rule of thumb for Aglaonemas is if their leaves and stalks are dark, it’ll need less light than their brighter kin.
Aglaonemas should dry out between watering. Use the golden index finger or stick method (stick either into the soil a few inches deep) to determine whether it’s drinking time for your Aglaonemas. Under-watering leads to symptoms similar to too much light: dry leaf-edges, yellow foliage and slowed growth. Over-watering leads to stunted growth, compost mould and stem collapse – if this starts to happen you should wait until your plant dries out completely before getting back on the watering train. If you’re the type who overwaters – you’re going to want to be mindful since Aglaonemas are prone to root rot. Consider aerating the soil by poking holes in it with a stick so excess water can move quickly through and out the drainage holes.
Aglaonemas really appreciate humidity – like really, really appreciate it. It reminds them of their rainforest past in days of yore. A humidifier, pebble tray submerged in water, trip to the shower and a good misting will keep them very happy and shiny. Browning leaf tips mean the air is too dry.
Aglaonemas thrive in 21 to 29°C conditions, they generally prefer warmer spaces but can also flex in colder conditions if you water them less in low-light conditions.
Aglaonemas are mildly toxic to pets. The plant is quite bitter – please take our word for it – so it’s unlikely Cooper, Max or Bailey will consume any more than just a nibble. That nibble might induce puking and drooling. If the whole plant is gone, you’ll want to take them to the vet, STAT.
Other fun facts:
- Add two more Greek words your lexicon, you aspiring polyglot! The name Aglaonema comes from the compound Greek words, aglos = bright or shining & nema = thread.
- Some Aglaonema produce red berries when they’re flowering – please feast with your EYES and not your mouth.
- For the 90s cinephiles out there, in the classic Léon: The Professional starring Jean Reno and Natalie Portman, Jean’s character, Leon, gifts Natalie’s character, Mathilda, an Aglaonema as a symbolic gesture of a fresh start at the (spoiler alert!) end of the film.
- An Aglaonema varietal, Silver Queen was a hybrid cultivated 40 years ago and is still considered one of the most popular indoor plants grown and sold today – it’s like the Wicked of Broadway.
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