Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
Chinese evergreens are beautiful foliage plants that are believed to bring good fortune to homes that keep them. What’s better than that?
Available in dark green, pink, white, and other colors, their variegated leaves add a tropical vibe to any room you put them in.
Learn how to grow and take care of these attractive houseplants below.
About the Chinese Evergreen
Chinese evergreens are among the most popular houseplants because they’re amazing for your home’s interior.
They’re mainly known for their attractive foliage which features a variety of colors ranging from dark green to red and silver.
Additionally, they’ve been chosen by NASA as one of the top ten plants that clean the air. This is thanks to their ability to absorb formaldehyde and benzene from the surrounding air. Thus, they’ll help you and your family breathe cleaner, healthier air at home.
Their relatively small size, low light, and maintenance requirements also make them very appealing houseplants since you don’t have to put in a lot of time pruning, watering, and caring for them.
Chinese Evergreen Plant Care
Chinese Evergreen Light Requirements
Chinese evergreens are a bit tricky because different variations require different care. One example is how much light they need.
Some like bright light, while others prefer more shade. As such, you’ll see people recommend all sorts of light exposure in between.
But, one way to easily tell how much light your Chinese evergreen needs it to take a look at its leaves.
- Those that are dark green require less light. In fact, many of them prefer shaded areas. Thus, these do well indoors in homes and offices, including spaces where there aren’t many windows.
- Meanwhile, those with colorful and light variegation need bright light. This makes them do better in areas where there are fluorescent lights or lit areas in your home.
Either way, don’t place them in direct sunlight. That’s because they’re used to having low to moderate lighting in their natural habitat, where they’re under the shade of larger trees.
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Chinese Evergreen Temperature & Humidity
Chinese evergreen are native to Asia and New Guinea. As such, they are used to warm, tropical conditions. More importantly, they’re not hardy to cold or frost. This makes them well suited for USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11.
So, if you live in colder climate areas, you’ll need to keep them indoors. Or, leave them outside during the warmer months but make sure to bring them inside once the temperatures drop.
In general, they do well when the mercury is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Once, it goes below 60 degrees, they’ll start getting uncomfortable. And soon enough, you’ll begin seeing signs of cold damage. It’s likewise a good idea to keep them away from air conditioning, windows, and vents where they may experience cold drafts.
As with other tropical and subtropical plants, Chinese evergreen like humid environments. This can be a problem indoors since the air in most homes is dry. If this is the case, you can set them on a pebble tray or group them together with other houseplants to increase the moisture.
Misting is likewise an option. But, it’s a lot of extra work many homeowners aren’t willing to consistently do.
Your Chinese evergreen doesn’t need a lot of water. In fact, it can tolerate getting little water. But, it’s important not to let it get completely dry.
So, make sure to give it some deep watering before the soil dries about a quarter of the way down.
Your aglaonemas need potting soil that’s slightly acidic (pH of 5.5 to 6.5) and drains well. This allows it to get rid of any excess moisture in order to prevent any risk of root rot.
Like sun and water, tour Chinese evergreen doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, it’s quite easy to over-fertilize the plant.
As such, it’s a good idea to dilute your liquid or slow-release fertilizer to half strength when applying. This reduces the potential salt deposit buildup that happens with houseplant fertilizers.
When it comes to frequency, apply fertilizer once a month during its growing season. Then, reduce that to once every 2 months once fall comes around. Then, stop completely during winter.
Because they don’t grow tall and they’re slow growers, Chinese evergreen don’t require pruning. But, it’s a good idea to do so, for a few reasons.
- To make them look the way you want. This lets you shape and size them so that they fit well in your home.
- Get rid of dead or diseased leaves. When you see these parts, use a pair of pruning shears to trim them away.
- Remove any leggy growths. This helps keep your plant healthy while looking good as well.
- Prune off any flowers. Normally, you like to let your plants grow flowers, especially if they’re colorful. But, since Aglaonemas are all about foliage, trimming their blooms helps the plant focus its energy on its leaves. Besides, its flowers aren’t very good looking. And, you don’t want to have pollen falling all over the place, especially if someone at home has allergies.
Chinese Evergreen Propagation
Aglaonemas can be propagated in many different ways, including from seeds and tip cuttings. But, among the best ways to do so is through division.
Here’s how to do it.
- Take a look at the soil surface to check for how many stems come out from it.
- The more healthy plants coming up from the soil, the better your odds of dividing it. While you’re at it, you can likewise choose which ones you want to take out and propagate.
- Now, it’s time to carefully take the plant out of the pot. Don’t pull it out with its stems. This will only shock it.
- Instead, tip the pot over and gently help it out.
- Once you have it out, check the rootball. You want to separate any roots that are tangled or bound to the root ball.
- Then, split the different plants apart. You can do this with your fingers if the soil is loose. Otherwise, if it’s rootbound, you may need to cut the root mass apart using a knife.
- Once you’ve separated the different sections, you can plant each one separately as a new plant.
Repotting Chinese Evergreen
Chinese evergreens are long-living plants that grow slowly. They’re likewise short, growing to between 1 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide.
This means that you don’t need to repot often. In fact, you’ll likely only need to do so once every 2 years at best.
However, it’s still a good idea to do this since repotting allows you to change the soil.
When you do so, make sure to use a pot that isn’t much larger than what your plant needs. This reduces the extra soil needed to fill it. And, in doing so doesn’t allow it to retain too much moisture.