Green plants are lovely, but we sometimes crave brighter colours and patterns. Both are provided by the aglaonema plant, also known as the Chinese evergreen. This compact, easy-to-grow houseplant is popular for its vibrant colouration and patterns, which range from jungle green to pink, red, silver, and yellow, as well as stripes, speckles, and gradients. If you want to add some colour to your space, aglaonema is the plant for you. Aside from their stunning appearance, aglaonema plants are also easygoing, compact, and, best of all, excellent at communicating their needs, making them an excellent choice for new plant parents. It also grows slowly, so you'll only need to report every three years or so. However, because aglaonema is toxic to both humans and pets, you must exercise extreme caution when placing it.

  • Botanical Name: Aglaonema commutatum
  • Common Name: Aglaonema, Chinese evergreen
  • Plant Type: Evergreen perennial
  • Mature Size: 20 inches high
  • Sun Exposure: Low to bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Peat-based potting soil
  • Soil pH: 5.6–6.5
  • Toxicity: Toxic to people; toxic to pets
  • Toxicity: Toxic to people; toxic to pets

Plant Care

Keep your aglaonema plant's soil moist but not wet, and avoid allowing it to completely dry out. In general, it will require more watering in the spring and summer and less in the winter, so check the soil moisture regularly. Every four months or so, feed your aglaonema with houseplant fertiliser diluted to half strength. When your plant's pot becomes overcrowded, move it to a larger container with fresh soil. When the plant is actively growing, this is best done in the spring or summer.

Best Growing Conditions for Aglaonema

Many of our favourite houseplants require as much light as possible, but aglaonema plants are fairly adaptable in this regard. Green aglaonema varieties, in particular, can thrive in low-light environments. However, for colourful variegated species, bright, shadowless light is ideal—for example, from a window facing north, which provides the least amount of light compared to windows facing other directions.

This plant prefers heat, so keep it in a warm location, ideally with nights in the 60-degree range and days in the 75-85-degree range. Fill a standard potting soil container with your aglaonema. Aglaonema, like pothos and heartleaf philodendrons, can be kept in a clear container of water. If you use this method, mix some charcoal into the water and feed the plant once a month with a drop of houseplant fertiliser. When it gets too dry, your plant will let you know by drooping its leaves. They should perk up again shortly after being watered. If your plant's leaves are yellowing or its stems are mushy, this indicates that it is receiving too much water.

Types of Aglaonema

There are over 100 different types of aglaonema to choose from. Cultivars such as 'Red Peacock,' 'George's Ruby,' and 'Harlequin' have pink and yellow splashes, while 'Anyanmanee' has bright pink leaves speckled and edged with green. The green-hued aglaonema, also known as Philippine evergreen, has a lush, jungle-like appearance as well as more subdued—but no less appealing—colours and patterns. A larger cultivar, 'Black Lance,' has long, pointed leaves with pale silver and deep green hues, whereas the pale green and white stripes on a modestum and 'Brilliant' are reminiscent of the colouring of some calatheas species.

How to Propagate Aglaonema?

Aglaonema can be propagated in water or soil using stem cuttings. Propagation during the warm growing season yields the best results. Here's how:

Step 1: Choose a healthy shoot from the mother plant to use for your cutting. The shoot should be at least 6 inches long and have at least five leaves. For propagation, both newer and older shoots can be used.

Step 2: Make a diagonal cut in the shoot's stem just below a leaf node with a clean, sharp blade or gardening shears. Remove a few bottom leaves from the cutting.

Step 3: Fill an appropriately sized glass or jar with water so that the leaf nodes (but not the remaining leaves) are submerged, and submerge the cutting in the water. When water-propagated specimens are planted in soil, they do not thrive. If you choose to propagate in water, keep the mature plant in water as well.

Step 4: Fill a small plant container with well-draining potting soil if using the soil method. Moisten the soil, dig a few inches deep with your finger or a pencil, and plant the cutting. To secure the cutting, gently pat the soil around its base.

Step 5: Place your cuttings in a warm, indirect light environment. If you're using water, change the water when it becomes cloudy. In four to six weeks, the plant should form new roots. Following that, continue to care for the new plant as usual. Common Aglaonema Complications Aglaonema treatment is straightforward. Fortunately, if you keep your eyes open, these plants are excellent communicators, allowing you to easily identify common growing issues.

Dry Leaf Tips

Dried-out leaf tips are one sign that your aglaonema is growing too fast. Tipping is a symptom of several problems, including overwatering and too much fertiliser. Watering your plant with water that is high in salts, chlorine, and fluoride is the most common cause of tipping, according to professional gardeners. If your plant appears to be leaning, switch to purified water.

Drooping Leaves

This is one of those times when your aglaonema tells you exactly what it requires. Drooping leaves indicate that your plant is thirsty, so give it a big drink of water and keep a close eye on it to prevent the soil from completely drying out.

Yellow Leaves

Overwatering is usually indicated by yellowing leaves on your plant. Reduce the water level and allow the soil to dry out more in between. If your aglaonema leaves are both yellow and drooping, that means your plant is thirsty, so give it a long drink and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Potting and Repotting Aglaonema

Chinese evergreens tolerate a little root-boundness, but when your plant becomes overcrowded, with roots poking out of the drainage holes, it's time to transplant. When the plant is actively growing, this is best done in the spring or summer. Line a pot with fresh soil that is 3 to 4 inches wider than the current container. Wiggle your plant free from the container by gently loosening the edges with your hand or a slim garden trowel. Place it in the new pot, cover it with fresh soil, and water it thoroughly.

How to Get Aglaonema to Bloom

Your aglaonema may send out flowers if there is plenty of bright, indirect light. These flowers, like the Peace Lily and Anthurium, have a thin spadix surrounded by a leafy spathe. You might think it's a new leaf unfurling at first, but it's a one-of-a-kind flower. While it's incredibly rewarding to see your plant so happy, Chinese evergreens are generally appreciated for their lush foliage, so you don't need to put in too much effort to get yours to bloom.