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Chinese Evergreen Care Tips

Aglaonema received the common name Chinese evergreen because this glorious slow-growing herb was used in China for centuries before making its way to Europe and America. To this day, the hardy tropical plant can still be found in the rainforests of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Now enjoyed as a houseplant all over the world, the Chinese evergreen family boasts an array of beautifully colored leaves, with variegated variations of silver, green, gray, white, and yellow.

Known as an easy-to-care-for houseplant, the Chinese evergreen thrives when it is kept in an indoor environment that is relatively humid, not too cold, and where it's not receiving direct sunlight. In fact, it's these qualities that makes it the perfect office plant, so long as the soil is kept moist, but not overwatered. New growth appears near the crown, so pruning is not necessary; in fact, it can be detrimental to the plant's health. The Chinese evergreen's soil should be kept well-drained, and the plant itself should be repotted every couple of years.

Some additional Chinese evergreen care tips include wiping the leaves down with a damp rag or spraying them with water occasionally. And as this houseplant is prone to pests such as spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs, a routine checkup of the leaves is a good idea. At full height, this lovely plant can grow up to 4 feet tall. In the summer months, it requires a bit more water than it does in colder months. However, wait until the top inch of soil is dry to the touch before watering, as too much water can cause root rot.

When in trouble, this plant shows a variety of distress signs. On a Chinese evergreen, yellow leaves indicate an insect problem. Droopy leaves can indicate that the plant is too dry, too cold, or both. Brown patches or edges on the leaves may indicate that the fertilizer used is too strong. Dry, crumbly leaves often mean that the conditions that the plant is kept in are too hot, too dry, or both. If the plant itself doesn't seem to be growing, it could be that it's pot bound or there is a lack of fertilizer.

  • Location: Minimal sun
  • Temperature: As a tropical plant, the Chinese evergreen enjoys a warm, humid atmosphere, with an ideal temperature of 65 degrees or warmer.
  • Water: Water regularly. Keep moist. Do not allow to become soggy. Stunted growth or rotten stalks are a sign or overwatering.
  • Grooming: To keep the plant leafy and full, periodically cut the stalks and remove blooms when they die. Pull new growth out from center to maintain compact growth.
  • Fertilizer: Add water-soluble fertilizer to the soil once or twice a year.
  • Transplanting: This plant is not recommended for transplanting outdoors, however Chinese evergreen propagation is easy: just clip small shoots and repot or root the Chinese evergreen in water.