The Aglaonema Cutlass is also called the Chinese Evergreen Cutlass. Its name comes from the shape of its leaves which are long, slender and blade-like.
These are beautiful to look at since they spread out. They have a green color with silver-light green patterns that cover most of the foliage surface.
The plant is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia.
How do you care for the Aglaonema Cutlass? Keep the Aglaonema Cutlass in bright, indirect light for optimal growth. It can tolerate low light as well. And will do well in artificial light if needed.
The plant enjoys warm, humid environments and moist soil. But make sure to let the soil dry between waterings. Use well-draining soil and feed monthly during its growing season.
Aglaonema Cutlass Plant Care
Chinese Evergreen Cutlass Light Requirements
The Aglaonema Cutlass does well in just about any lighting situation. This allows you to keep it almost anywhere indoors.
The plant does well in low, medium and bright, indirect light.
It will grow best in medium to bright light as the abundance of light gives it a lot of fuel for photosynthesis to spur growth.
However, it does not have any problem with low light either.
That said, like all plants, there is a limit to how low the light can get. That’s because photosynthesis relies on light to create sugars for the plant to produce energy.
Therefore, too little light will result in decreased energy which will slow down its growth.
The good news is that the Chinese Evergreen Cutlass has very good tolerance to low light. So, the light threshold is low.
If you’re thinking about keeping the plant in a root with no windows, don’t worry either. All it needs is office or rom lighting and it will be fine.
In case you want to improve its growth, you can likewise use LED grow lights.
The only thing you really want to watch out for is excessively strong light. This usually comes in the form of direct sunlight especially between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The other time is summer when the sun’s rays get quite harsh.
The Chinese Evergreen Cutlass cannot tolerate more than 2 or 3 hours of this on a regular basis. Therefore, keep the plant away from the sun’s rays during these times.
Otherwise, the intensity can cause the leaves to burn.
Outdoors, the same is true. Avoid full sun. Instead, keep the plant in partial shade or semi-shade.
Chinese Evergreen Cutlass Temperature
The Chinese Evergreen Cutlass enjoys temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is its sweet spot where it feels most comfortable.
Since it comes from the tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, the plant is used to warm to hot weather. So, it does not mind higher temperatures even those reaching 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the same cannot be said for the cold.
Since its native habitat does not have winters or even cold months, the Chinese Evergreen Cutlass cannot withstand the cold.
Once temperature drops under 55 degrees Fahrenheit, it will begin to struggle.
Therefore, keep it away from cold drafts, air conditioners and the outdoors during the colder months. It will not survive winter weather which is why most growers will bring their Aglaonema Cutlass indoors by mid or late fall when the temperature drops.
That said, the plant enjoys USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 12 as it can happily live outdoors all year round.
That’s because the temperature in these locales stays consistently warm and sunny 12 months of the year.
Ideal humidity for the Aglaonema Cutlass is between 60% and 80%. It can tolerate lower humidity as well but try to keep it at least 40% to 50%.
The high humidity requirements of the plant can make it tricky to grow indoors depending on where you live.
It won’t be much of a problem if you live somewhere with tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean climates. The same is true if you reside in a coastal city or near a large body of water like a like.
But the air could be too dry if you live in the desert or desert-like places.
If average humidity in your area tends to run between the low 30s or even in the high 20s, then you’ll likely need a humidifier to keep the plant healthy and happy.
Of course, you can increase humidity in other ways as well including misting regularly, grouping it with other houseplants or placing it on a pebble tray.
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How Often to Water Aglaonema Cutlass
The Aglaonema Cutlass enjoys moist soil. Ideally, you want to keep soil consistently moist but not wet or soggy.
This can make watering challenging.
The reason is that you want to be very careful with overwatering.
Watering too frequently can lead to rotting which is one of the common problems of the Chinese Evergreen Cutlass.
Its roots don’t particularly like sitting in lots of water for long periods of time. As such, don’t add water when the soil is still moist or wet.
Instead, the best way to know when to water is feel the soil.
Checking the soil once a week or every 3-4 days lets you know when to water the plant. It takes but 5 seconds. Just touch the surface of the soil to see if it is wet or dry.
If the soil is moist or wet on the surface, don’t water.
If the surface of the soil feels dry, it is time to check. Stick your finger into the soil down to about 1-2 inches.
Dry soil at this depth means it is time to water. If the soil at around 2 inches still feels moist, don’t water.
That’s pretty much it.
Of course, if you want to play it safe, you can wait until the top 50% of the soil dried up before watering.
To do this, you can use a wooden chopstick or any kind of wooden stick.
Just insert the chopstick into the soil all the way down until it hits the bottom of the pot. Then take it out.
The wet portion of the wood will tell you until where the soil is still moist. If this is around halfway down the pot, it is time to water.
If not, wait longer before you add water.
Aglaonema Cutlass Potting Soil
The Chinese Evergreen Cutlass is not picky about soil. But you do want to make sure the soil drains well. Additionally, keep soil pH between 5.5 to 6.5.
It likes slightly acidic soil.
The good news is that this is easy to achieve.
And you can pretty much use any kind of indoor potting mix. Regular houseplant potting soil works well in most cases.
However, I always like to have some perlite on hand.
If you notice that the soil mix happens to hole a bit too much moisture, then add some handfuls of perlite. This will increase drainage.
You can likewise use orchid bark if you wish.
The key is to make sure that the soil drains enough moisture so the plant does not end up with wet feet.
Its roots don’t like being in too much water for extended periods of time. When this happens, they can rot which puts the plant in serious danger.
In addition to using well-draining soil, also choose a container with drainage holes.
These holes will allow any excess water that drains from the soil to easily escape out of the pot.
Chinese Evergreen Cutlass Fertilizer
The Chinese Evergreen Cutlass needs fertilizer to grow optimally. But it does not need a lot of plant food.
As long as you give it the nutrients it needs, it will be happy.
Since the plant is not fussy about the kind of fertilizer it gets you can use just any kind.
That said, the most common is balanced houseplant fertilizer. You can use any complete or all-purpose fertilizer as well.
Apply once a month during the spring and summer, diluting it to half strength.
Don’t feed the plant during fall or winter.
You can likewise opt for slow release fertilizer if you prefer to only apply 2 or 3 times each year.
Another option is fish emulsion or seaweed emulsion. This will work just as well.
Chinese Evergreen Cutlass Pruning
The Aglaonema Cutlass can grow to about 1 to 4 feet tall and 1 to 4 feet wide. However, in most cases, it averages around 2 to 3 feet high with a spread of 1 to 2 feet.
It produces long green leaves that come from the base of the plant and go up or bend outwards.
Since the plant stays pretty much in the center, it does not require a lot of maintenance.
However, pruning may or may not be a regular task.
This depends on how lot or trim you want to keep the plant.
Some growers will let it grow out. Here, you’ll not only see the plant grow upwards but also spread out towards the sides.
However, other growers prefer a “taller” plant. Therefore, they’ll regularly trim the sides to keep most of the leaves pointing upwards.
One thing to note is that when the Chinese Evergreen Cutlass gets really long and unkempt, it will look like a flat shrub.
Some people like this while others don’t.
How to Propagate Aglaonema Cutlass
The Aglaonema Cutlass can be propagated from stem cuttings and division. Both methods work well but are very different in how they’re done and what you get when you’re finished.
Stem cuttings take healthy stems and grow them into new plants.
This takes longer than division because you still need to let the cuttings root.
On the other hand, division entails dividing the plant, which leaves you with 2 or more smaller Chinese Evergreen Cutlass plants.
However, because you separate the root ball, you don’t need to wait for each of the new plants to root since each division already has roots.
Of the two, stem cuttings are more popular because it is more straightforward.
Here’s how to propagate the Aglaonema Cutlass from stem cuttings.
- Take healthy stem cuttings. You can get one or several depending on how many new plants you want to grow. Choose cuttings with at least 2-3 leaves on it.
- Sterilize your cutting tool before you cut any part of the plant to prevent passing any infection to your Aglaonema Cutlass.
- Prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining potting mix.
- Plant the cuttings into the soil and water the soil until moist.
- It takes around 4 weeks for the cuttings to root.
Note that you can also propagate in water if you wish.
To propagate the Aglaonema Cutlass in water, place the cuttings in water. You can use any container you want. Although, most people use a transparent one so they can see the roots develop.
In about 3-4 weeks, roots should be growing out of the cuttings.
You can then move them to a pot with soil mix.
How to Repot or Transplant Aglaonema Cutlass
Repot the Aglaonema Cutlass once every 2 years or so. It does not need annual repotting.
More importantly, don’t repot unless there is a reason to do so.
The plant does not like being moved from its home. And doing so unnecessarily can cause stress.
The best time to repot the Chinese Evergreen Cutlass is during spring to early summer.
But to know exactly when to repot, look at the bottom of the container. The plant only needs repotting if you see roots coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
This is your sign that the plant needs repotting as its roots are looking for more root to grow.
In addition to getting a larger container, also fresh the soil when you repot.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Keep the Aglaonema Cutlass away from young children, dogs and cats. It is toxic when ingested.
As such, you want to avoid any accidental consumption of the leaves.
This can cause irritation, swelling and pain in the mouth area as well as the digestive tract.
Aglaonema Cutlass Problems & Troubleshooting
Chinese Evergreen Cutlass Pests
The Chinese Evergreen Cutlass can experience aphids, spider mites, scale and mealybugs. These pests are all sap sucking insects which means they feed on the plant’s internal juices.
Since sap contains moisture and nutrients, these pests become a problem once they grow into an infestation.
As they grow in number, the Aglaonema Cutlass loses more water and nutrients which not only slows its growth but also weakens it.
Of course, the leaves will turn yellow and some will have holes as well.
Therefore, treat any of these bugs immediately once you see even just one of them.
You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Rot is the biggest thing to watch out for. And this is caused by overwatering.
So, in essence, the most important thing to be wary of is watering the plant too often.
In addition to causing rot, excess water on the leaves can also lead to lead diseases due to bacterial or fungal infections.