Aglaonema Maria Care – How to Grow Chinese Evergreen Maria

The Aglaonema Maria is also known as the Chinese Evergreen Maria. Some people refer to it as the Aglaonema Maria Christina as well.

This is a stunning plant with a compact growth habit. It has beautiful green leaves with gorgeous silver patterns.

The plant is also easy to care for as it adapts well to indoor conditions.

The Aglaonema Maria is native to the tropical and subtropical parts of Asia.

How do you care for the Aglaonema Maria? It thrives in bright, indirect light, warm temperature and good humidity.

The plant can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions as well including low light and artificial lighting. Keep soil moist by never overwater the plant.

Aglaonema Maria Plant Care

Chinese Evergreen Maria Light Requirements

The Aglaonema Maria will adapt to almost any kind of lighting environment. This makes it grow well in low, medium and bright light indoors.

The key is to give it indirect or filtered light.

This makes is easy to grow indoors almost anywhere.

But like other plants, if you want it to grow faster and get bushier, medium to bright indirect light is best.

That said, there are 2 lighting conditions you want to avoid.

One is dim or dark places. While the plant can tolerate low light, it cannot withstand very dim or dark spots.

That’s because it still needs photosynthesis to grow.

Without light or very insufficient light, the plant will struggle. Its growth can get stunted and it will become leggy.

You’ll also see it lose its beautiful foliage patterns as these will turn more green. This is an effort for the plant to collect more light.

In doing so, it increases the production of chlorophyll which is the substance that absorbs light. Chlorophyll is likewise what gives leaves their green color.

The second lighting environment to avoid is direct sunlight.

Again, the plant can tolerate some of this. This is especially true if you gradually acclimate it to more light.

However, avoid strong, intense direct sunlight.

Typically, this occurs during mid-day and in the summer.

During these times, the sun’s rays are harsher and more intense. And this can turn the Chinese Evergreen Maria’s leaves yellow or brown.

In very strong direct light or if kept there for long durations, its leaves can even scorch.

Outdoors, the Aglaonema Maria enjoys partial shade or semi-shade. Here, avoid full sun unless the plant has already been acclimated to this.

 

Chinese Evergreen Maria Temperature

The Chinese Evergreen Maria has an ideal temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the range where it grows best and feels most comfortable.

However, it can likewise tolerate warmer weather as well. But not as hot as tropical plants.

That’s because the Aglaonema Maria is often found in the subtropical jungles of Southeast Asia. As such, while these locations are hot and humid, they’re not quite a hot as those in tropical locations.

Additionally, the small stature of the plant allows it to stay under the shade of the larger plants and trees.

The more important thing to be aware of when it comes to temperature is the cold.

The plant dislikes the cold.

Again, this is because the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia don’t experience cold climates. And they don’t have winters.

So, the plant has gotten accustomed to warmer environments.

As a result, it will struggle when temperature drops below 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

You’ll notice this by its slower growth. But the longer it stays in the cold or the lower the temperature gets the more problems you’ll see.

Its leaves can turn yellow, they can drop as well. And the plant can wilt and eventually die.

It is important to understand that it does not take long for the cold to harm the Chinese Evergreen Maria. In fact, all it takes is 3 to 7 days of temperatures around 40 degrees Fahrenheit or so to notice cold injury.

Here, you’ll see gray, greasy spots appear on its leaves.

And these will increase the longer it is kept in that environment.

Therefore, always be wary of the cold.

Indoors, this can be from air conditioners and cold drafts from open windows or doors.

Outdoors, it means never leaving the plant outside during winter. The only exceptions to this are USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 12.

In these locales, the weather is sunny and warm every day of the year. So, the Chinese Evergreen Maria will be happy to stay outdoors even from November to March.

 

Humidity

The Aglaonema Maria has an ideal humidity of 60% to 80%. This preference likewise stems from its being native to the subtropical regions of Asia.

I know that this is high unless you live in a tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean climate.

But to keep the plant healthy and looking well, at the very least try to maintain humidity between 40% and 50%.

This is enough to keep it happy and will allow it to keep producing leaves and sustain its vibrant leaves.

In case humidity is an issue in your home, you can use a few tactics to increase it.

I do suggest getting a hygrometer to take it easier to track your progress. This is a portable and affordable device that shows you the humidity at any time.

This way, you can tell if humidity is dropping below what the plant needs.

And if your efforts to increase it are enough.

The simplest way to increase humidity around the plant is to mist it. You’ll need to do this regularly as its effects are temporary.

Another option is to bring the plant to the bathroom.

If you want to keep the plant somewhere visitors can easily see it, then setting up either a humidity tray or pebble tray works better.

Both work in the same way but just have different setups.

They’re also quite hands-off after setup. And all you need to do is add water to the tray when it gets depleted.

Of course, you can always get a humidifier if you don’t mind spending a little bit of cash.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Aglaonema Maria

The Aglaonema Maria likes consistent moist soil. However, it dislikes waterlogged or wet soil.

As such, it is important to find that balance between keeping the soil moist and overwatering the plant.

The latter can be quite deadly. So, you want to be especially careful not to water the Chinese Evergreen Maria too frequently.

In most cases, the plant only needs watering once a week.

But it is not a good idea to just follow this rule and use it as a fixed watering schedule.

That’s because the weather changes throughout the year. And the amount of sunlight and how hot the weather is affect how quickly the soil will dry.

Thus, during summers be ready to water more regularly as soil will dry fairly fast.

During winter, don’t be in a hurry to add water. Instead, allow the soil to almost dry between waterings. That’s because it takes longer for soil to dry and the Chinese Evergreen Maria isn’t growing much during the cold weather.

The latter means it does not need to drink lots of water.

So, adding moisture regularly is a good way to increase the risk of overwatering.

This is why the best way to know when to water your Aglaonema Maria is to check and feel the soil. Ideally, wait until the top 1 to 2 inches of soil dries completely before adding more water.

This will prevent you from adding more water when the soil is still wet or moist.

In doing so, you don’t leave the plant’s roots swimming in liquid, which is what leads to root rot.

 

Aglaonema Maria Potting Soil

The Aglaonema Maria does best in rich, well-draining potting mix with soil pH between 5.5 to 6.5.

The key features to always ensure are good drainage and slightly acidic soil.

Also, it is worth noting that the Aglaonema Maria is not particularly fussy about soil. This makes it easier as you can use different kinds of soil mixes provided they give the plant a similar result.

That said, the simplest way to make perfect potting soil for the Chinese Evergreen Maria is to just go with regular houseplant potting soil.

If you pick up one that has good drainage, you’re pretty much good to go.

But in most cases, I would suggest having some perlite on hand. This way, you can add a few handfuls of perlite to the potting soil to improve drainage. This also makes it lighter.

That’s pretty much all you need to do as far as potting soil goes.

Note that you want to avoid heavy soil or those that tend to retain more moisture. Also, don’t use dense soils or anything that will get compacted.

These hold way too much water for the plant’s liking.

On the other hand, very sandy soils drain far too much water too quickly. These will cause the roots to dry out.

Again, avoid them.

 

Chinese Evergreen Maria Fertilizer

Feeding the Aglaonema Maria is likewise simple and straightforward.

But like watering, the important thing here is not to overdo it. Because like overwatering, over fertilizing will damage the roots.

The two work in different ways.

However, in both cases, you end up with similar results. These are damaged roots that don’t allow the plant to efficiently get enough moisture and nutrients from the soil.

So, avoid over fertilizing at all costs.

Instead, just follow the label on the product but with a little change.

Again, the Aglaonema Maria is not picky about what kind of fertilizer you use. All it cares is that it gets the nutrients it needs.

In most cases growers use an all-purpose or balanced houseplant fertilizer. Both are readily available in stores.

All the Aglaonema Maria needs is a once a month application. And only during spring and summer. This is when it is actively growing and producing new foliage.

Make sure to dilute the application each time by 50% if you grow the plant indoors in a pot. You can use water to dilute it.

 

Chinese Evergreen Maria Pruning

The Aglaonema Maria is not a big plant. It will grow to around 1 to 2 feet tall and around 1 to 2 feet wide from side to side.

Additionally, it is a slow grower.

It compact growing habit also means that the leaves grow in bunch and around one another which makes the plant look amazing when it gets fully and bushy.

The extra benefit of this is that it makes the Chinese Evergreen Maria easy to prune.

All you need is to trim a little off the top and sides to keep it looking neat.

Of course, you can prune however way you want depending on how you want to make it look. I’ve seen the plant growing in taller planters so they keep the sides trimmed and let it get taller.

On the other hand some will let it grow out and become like the shape of a ball extending in all directions.

So, this is up to you.

In general, only light pruning is needed.

 

How to Propagate Aglaonema Maria

The best time to propagate the Aglaonema Maria is during spring to early summer.

And you can propagate the plant from stem cuttings or division.

Stem propagation is the more popular method because it is easier and you don’t need to unpot the plant.

Additionally, it does not reduce the size of the mother plant.

That said, if your Chinese Evergreen Maria has gotten too big, you can divide it. Similarly, if you don’t want to wait for the new plants to root, division is a better option.

 

Propagating the Aglaonema Maria from Stem Cuttings

To propagate the Aglaonema Maria using stem cuttings,

  • Cut off several healthy stems with at least 2-3 leaves on each. Be sure to sterilize your cutting tool with rubbing alcohol first.
  • Once you have the stem cuttings, dip the cut end in rooting hormone.
  • Plant the cuttings in a pot filled with well-draining potting soil.
  • In about 4 weeks the roots will develop and start taking hold of the soil.

Alternatively, you can propagate in water as well.

Here, after taking the stem cuttings, place the cuttings in water. You can use any container but usually growers will use something transparent so they can see the roots as they grow.

Keep the stem cuttings in bright indirect light.

They will take about 3 to 4 weeks to develop roots.

You can then move the cuttings from water to a pot with soil mix.

 

Propagating the Aglaonema Maria by Division

To propagate the Aglaonema Maria by division,

  • Tip the pot to its side and carefully coax the root ball out of the container.
  • Remove excess dirt and soil from the roots. Separate any tangled roots.
  • Decide how you want to split up the clump. You can use your hands to gently separate them.
  • Plant the divided sections into their own pots with fresh, well-draining soil mix.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Aglaonema Maria

Repotting the Aglaonema Maria is another low maintenance task.

It only needs to be repot every 2 years. Again, this is because it is a slow grower. Additionally, its roots are not overly extensive nor do they grow fast.

Therefore, you don’t need to move the plant from its container regularly.

Instead, it is better to just wait until the plant has outgrown its container to repot.

The best time to repot is during spring to early summer.

Here’s how to repot the Aglaonema Maria.

  • Prepare a new pot. Choose one that is 2 inches (or one size) larger than its current pot. Also, have enough soil on hand to fill the new container.
  • Carefully take the plant out of its pot and brush off excess soil. Separate any tangled roots.
  • Next, fill the new pot until about a third of the way with the potting soil.
  • Then plant the Chinese Evergreen Maria into the new container. Fill the remaining space with more potting mix to keep the plant stable. Don’t over compact the soil.
  • Water the soil to get it moist but not wet.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Aglaonema Maria is toxic when ingested. It is poisonous to humans, dogs and cats.

Therefore, keep it away from young children and pets.

Chewing, swallowing or consuming any part of the plant can cause irritation, swelling or even pain.

 

Aglaonema Maria Problems & Troubleshooting

Chinese Evergreen Maria Pests

Pests are not a serious problem for the Chinese Evergreen Maria. However, it can on occasion be attacked by some of these bugs.

The most common pests you may see are scale, spider mites, mealybugs and aphids.

If you notice any of them, even just a few bugs, immediately treat it with neem oil or insecticidal soap. These pests reproduce very quickly.

And it takes just days for their eggs to hatch. Not to mention that they lay many eggs each time.

So, you don’t want to give them a chance to increase in number.

 

Diseases

Disease is likewise not common with the plant with proper care.

That’s because these issues usually hound the Aglaonema Maria due to human intervention. Rotting roots and stems occurs from overwatering.

Similarly, wetting its leaves and not allowing these to dry quickly enough result if leaf diseases.

So, make sure to be careful with excess moisture.

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