The Aglaonema Golden Madonna is also called the Aglaonema Madonna or the Golden Madonna Plant. You’ll also see it labeled as the Chinese Evergreen Golden Madonna.
I’ve even seen store use the name Golden Madonna Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema for this plant.
All of these refer to the same beautiful plant.
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna features beautiful variegated leaves with white and yellow patterns curving upwards from the mid vein. These run against a dark or light green leaf background.
Its variegations often remind me of another beautiful patterned Chinese evergreen plant called the Aglaonema Silver Queen. Although, both their patterns look different.
The plant is native to the tropical and subtropical forests of Asia. And its beauty and ease of care makes it a very popular houseplant.
How do you care for the Aglaonema Golden Madonna? Light is very important to maintain the plant’s variegated leaves. Supply it with medium to bright indirect light. But avoid very strong direct sunlight.
Also, allow the soil dry at least halfway down between waterings to avoid overwatering. Use well-draining soil as well. Keep the plant in a warm, humid environment for optimal growth.
Aglaonema Golden Madonna Plant Care
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna needs medium to bright, indirect light indoors. This is due to its lovely variegations which need more light than other Chinese Evergreen varieties that have all-green or solid green leaves.
The reason is that the non-green portions of the leaves don’t absorb light. They also don’t participate in photosynthesis.
They have a different, lighter color due to the lack or absence of chlorophyll.
It is chlorophyll that gives leaves their green color. Also, it is the compound that absorbs light that the plant will use as raw material for photosynthesis.
Therefore, to make up for less chlorophyll, variegated Chinese Evergreen pants like the Aglaonema Golden Madonna need more light.
If you leave it in low light, you’ll see its variegations slowly turn more green. The dimmer the location, the more green the leaves will get and the variegations will fade.
On the other hand, you also want to avoid strong, intense light. This is especially true for direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day.
Too much light not only causes its leaf colors to get dully, they can turn yellow as well initially.
With excess exposure, the leave will scorch. And you’ll end up with brown burn spots, patches or marks.
As such, be careful with a southern exposure that’s too near the window. If you like this direction, keep the plant away from the sun’s rays at all times throughout the day.
You can likewise filter the light by using sheer curtains or drapes.
In contrast, an east facing window is ideal. Although it gets direct sunlight there, the light it gets is gentle morning sun which the plant not only can tolerate but also loves.
Outdoors, avoid full sun.
Instead, keep the plant in partial shade. A spot in the patio, balcony, porch or some shaded area with good lighting works really well.
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant enjoys warm weather. It prefers 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit the best. And likes temperature to stay fairly consistent all year round.
This is why the plant is well-suited to indoor growing including homes and offices.
This also makes it easy in this regard as you don’t need to do anything special to keep it happy. The reason is that most homes maintain temperatures within this range.
That said, be careful with anything cold.
The plant is not used to that being native to the tropical and subtropical forests of Asia.
As such, it does not experience winters or freezing conditions.
Instead, the weather stays sunny and warm all year round in these regions.
This is why the plant is not fond of fluctuations or cold environments. In fact, it begins to struggle when temperature goes below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means you want to be careful with air conditioners and cold drafts.
Similarly, keep it away from appliances or areas that can change temperature very quickly including stoves, fireplaces, heaters, radiators or cold spots in your home.
Outdoors, the plant is happiest in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12.
That’s because these areas have warm, sunny weather throughout the year. You’ll find them in the southern coastal stats in the country.
If you live in colder areas, make sure to bring the plant indoors once temperature starts dropping around mid to end fall. Don’t leave your Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant outside in winter as it won’t survive there.
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant enjoys high humidity preferably 50% and above. However, it can tolerate lower humidity without any problems as well.
That said, if you want it to grow faster, produce more leaves and have more vibrant leaf colors, increasing humidity around the plant helps a lot.
Its tolerance for lower humidity makes it easier to accommodate in most homes.
As such, you may or may not need to increase humidity around the plant depending on where you live.
I like to keep a hygrometer near my plants so I can take a quick glance every morning and have a good idea of what air moisture is.
If it drops, I’ll give the more humidity sensitive plants some help.
The telltale sign that your Aglaonema Madonna needs more humidity is if its leaf tips and edges begin to turn brown. Dry air will cause these extremities to get dry and crispy.
Note that when this happens, the brown tips and margins won’t recover or turn green again. So, your only option is to trim them off and reshape the leaves.
Also, if left untreated, more and more leaves will turn brown.
Thus, once you see this happening, it is important to address the lack of humidity.
You can do so by getting a humidifier. Many home growers will mist the plant a few times a week. I prefer to make my own pebble tray or humidity tray.
Both are simple to make and they work the same. So, choose which one you prefer. They also take just a few minutes to DIY at home.
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How Often to Water Aglaonema Golden Madonna
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant likes moist soil. But it does not like wet or soggy soil. Therefore, it is important to find the balance between the two.
This can make watering tricky.
The reason is that the plant does not like both extremes.
As such, don’t let the soil go bone dry especially for long periods of time. Dehydration can damage the roots if it lasts for long periods or happens regularly.
On the other hand, overwatering is worse.
That’s because overwatering can lead to root rot. While yellowing leaves and dropping foliage will happen, it is the root damage that’s the worst.
That’s because if too many of the roots rot, the plant cannot be saved and you’ll need to throw it in the trash.
This happens because if you water too often, you’ll be adding more water when the soil is still moist or wet. Thus, after a while, the roots will end up sitting in water.
The problem here is that roots need oxygen just as much as they need water.
And when they’re drowning in water, they cannot breathe. If this persists, the roots will suffocate leading to root rot.
Root rot is dead roots. So, they stop functioning.
As such, if too many roots have rotted, the plant won’t be able to absorb enough water or nutrients from the soil to support itself.
Therefore, it will get weak, dehydrated, malnourished and later die.
This is why overwatering is the number one cause of houseplant death.
And you can avoid that by allowing the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. In doing so, you let some of the soil dry so that come time you add more water you don’t end up overwatering.
Aglaonema Golden Madonna Potting Soil
The best potting soil for the Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant is well-draining, light and rich in organic matter.
This is tied to the plant’s sensitivity to overwatering.
Well-draining soil holds some moisture. At the same time, it quickly drains excess water so the roots don’t end up sitting in water for extended periods of time.
This helps you avoid waterlogged soil and overwatering.
In contrast, you don’t want to use heavy soil as they’ll hold on to too much moisture. While this works for some plants, it is harmful for the Aglaonema Golden Madonna.
Similarly, very sandy soils will drain too much water too quickly. As a result, the Aglaonema Madonna won’t have a chance to get enough moisture to drink before the water is drained by the soil.
This will result in underwatering.
Again, balance is the key.
To achieve, light, well-draining soil, you can use this simple potting mix recipe that works very well for the Aglaonema Golden Madonna.
- 1 part potting mix
- 1 part peat
- 1 part perlite
Here, the perlite increases drainage to prevent waterlogging and overwatering. You can use sand as well although I don’t like doing it since sand tends to get compacted after a while.
So, if you decide to use sand, try to replace the soil with a fresh one annually.
In addition to the right potting mix, make sure the pot has drainage as well. If not, all the excess liquid that drains from the soil will just accumulate at the bottom of the pot and keep the soil down there wet.
Make sure the pot has drainage holes to let the excess water drip out.
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna is not picky about fertilizer. As long as it gets the nutrients it needs, it does not mind what kind of fertilizer you use.
The important thing is not to over fertilize the plant.
That’s because this does more harm than not feeding the plant at all.
The more common way of fertilizing the Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant is to use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.
Dilute this to half-strength each time you use it. And apply once every month during spring and summer. There’s no need to feed the plant during fall and winter.
Alternatively, you can use slow release fertilizer. These come in pellet forms. But you only need to apply once or twice per growing season.
If you prefer something more affordable that’s organic, you can use fish emulsion or fish fertilizer.
If you choose to, just be aware of the fishy smell. It does go away once the fertilizer dries. But you don’t want to apply this in a closed room as the room will retain the odor for a while.
Instead, apply in an open space where there’s good air circulation.
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna is a slow growing plant that won’t get too big.
Therefore, pruning is not really a huge issue.
However, this Chinese Evergreen variety does get quite bushy. So, if you feel that there are too many leaves or they’re getting overcrowded in the pot, you can trim a few.
Similarly, if some leaves get too long our become outliers, you can prune them to allow new leaves to grow.
On the other hand, if your Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant is sparse, pruning is a good way to encourage growth as well.
How to Propagate Aglaonema Golden Madonna
The Aglaonema Madonna is usually propagated in one of two methods.
- Stem cuttings
Of the two, stem cuttings is more popular.
That’s because it is easier. Also, you can make many new plants simultaneously.
On the other hand, division takes a little more work to propagate. However, once you’re done, you have semi-grown plants.
This means that you don’t need to wait for the new plants to root. Instead, they will continue to push out new shoots and leaves.
Below, I’ll show you how to do each method.
Again, both do the same thing, propagate the plant. But the methods are different and you end up with different new plants. So, you can decide which to use depending on what you want.
Propagating the Aglaonema Golden Madonna from Stem Cuttings
To propagate the plant from stem cuttings, you’ll be taking healthy stems.
The most important thing here is to choose the right cuttings.
To do so, choose a healthy stem. Each cutting you take needs to have at least one node and 2 or more leaves. Both are important but the node is the most important thing.
Once you’ve selected the stems you want to cut, do these steps.
- Sterilize your cutting tool with rubbing alcohol. You can use a pair or scissors or pruning shears.
- Cut the stem just below the node.
- Place the stem cuttings in a glass of water or any other container with water. Make sure the node is submerged in the liquid.
- Keep the container in bright, indirect light.
- Change the water once every 2 weeks to keep it from getting murky.
In about 3-4 weeks, you should see enough roots growing from the cuttings.
Move the cuttings to potting mix once they reach 2-4 inches long.
Alternatively, you can propagate the stem cuttings directly in soil as well. Here, you can skip placing in it water.
Instead, just dip the cut ends of the stems in rooting hormone.
Then plant the cuttings directly into well-draining potting mix.
In about 4 weeks, the roots will begin to establish themselves in the soil.
Propagating the Aglaonema Golden Madonna by Division
Another way to propagate your Aglaonema Madonna is by division. Here, you’ll be dividing the larger mother plant into 2 or more smaller new plants.
Note that you don’t need to divide the plant evenly.
That means you can leave a bigger plant and separate one or two smaller plants. That works just as well.
Most people like dividing evenly. But it is not necessary.
The most important thing here is to make sure that each division you separate has enough roots, stems and leaves. The roots need to be able to support the leaves above it.
Of course, you want new plants with leaves otherwise, you’ll be starting from scratch.
Here’s how to divide the Aglaonema Madonna to propagate it.
- Carefully take the plant out of its pot. You can lay it on its side to make this process easier.
- Remove excess soil and dirt. Untangle any roots that are clumped together.
- Choose how many divisions you want to make. And where you want to split the root ball up.
- You can easy the root ball apart using your hands. Or use a sterile knife to cut it apart.
- Repot each division into their own pots with fresh, well-draining soil.
- Water each plant to keep the soil moist but not wet.
How to Repot or Transplant Aglaonema Golden Madonna
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna only needs repotting every 2 years or so. It does not grow very fast nor does its root system become very complex or large.
Additionally, the plant does not like being moved often.
Therefore, don’t move it or repot it unless needed. The only times you may need to repot the plant are:
- It has outgrown its pot and has become root bound
- There is an emergency (for example root rot, overwatering, uncontrolled pests or disease)
- You need to change the soil because it is too heavy or drains too quickly
In most cases, it will be the first.
And you’ll be able to tell by checking the bottom of the pot once a year during spring.
I like doing this in spring because this is the best time to repot the plant. So, if you notice roots coming out from the bottom of the pot then, you can prepare the tools needed and repot a few days later.
To repot, prepare to container that is one size larger (about 2 inches wider in diameter).
Also have some fresh, well-draining potting mix on hand. Make sure you have enough to replace the old, spent soil.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Be careful with this plant indoors as it is toxic to people and pets. The plant’s leaves and stems are poisonous when ingested.
Therefore, try to keep it out of reach of young kids, cats and dogs who may out of curiosity, chew or consume parts of the plant.
If this happens, immediately contact your pediatrician or veterinarian.
Aglaonema Golden Madonna Problems & Troubleshooting
The Aglaonema Golden Madonna plant is not overly susceptible to pests or disease. But it can experience them at any time.
Therefore, prevention and vigilance is always important.
The most common pest problems the plant will deal with are spider mites, mealybugs and scale. If you notice any, immediately start treatment.
These bugs will multiply very quickly in number. And the more there are, the harder they are to get rid of. Additionally, they inflict more damage as well.
Use neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of these pests.
Root rot along with bacterial and fungal infections are the main things to look out for here.
All of these are caused by overwatering in one way or another.
As such, avoid watering too often and letting the soil stay wet. Also, don’t wet the leaves when you water. Instead, pour directly onto the soil. Use a long-neck watering can make this easier.