How to Care for Aglaonema Plants

Overview

Aglaonema, also known as Chinese evergreen, makes an ideal houseplant due to its tolerance of low light, air conditioning and low humidity. Often grown as decoration in malls and offices, the plant thrives indoors with minimal care and can tolerate neglect for weeks with no adverse effects. Aglaonema blooms during summer producing numerous inconspicuous white flowers, which develop into small, inedible, red berries. The durable plant adds color and character to any room it inhabits.

Step 1

Grow aglaonema in a medium-sized container filled with a well-drained, fertile potting mix. Keep the plant in a location that receives low to medium light, such as near a north- or east-facing window.

Step 2

Maintain a regular temperature of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit at all times for optimal growth. Do not allow the temperature to drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit at any time to prevent the plant from suffering cold damage.

Step 3

Water aglaonema once every five to six days to keep the soil constantly moist. Soak the soil until water begins to exit the drainage holes on the bottom of the container, wait several minutes, and then drain away any excess moisture. Apply water once every seven to 10 days during winter.

Step 4

Feed the plant twice a year, once during spring and again in midsummer, using a liquid houseplant fertilizer. Check the manufacturer's instructions prior to applying for the proper procedure. For best results, feed just before watering.

Step 5

Repot aglaonema once every three years to provide additional room for growth and a fresh, rich growing medium. Increase the size of the container by 2 to 3 inches at each repotting. Take divisions at this time if desired.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never ingest any portion of aglaonema, as the toxic sap may result in irritation or minor illness.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-sized container Potting mix Liquid houseplant fertilizer

References

  • Clemson Extension: Chinese Evergreen
  • Michigan State University Extension: Aglaonema
  • “37 Houseplants Even You Can't Kill”; Mary Kate Hogan; 2007
  • “Florida Gardener's Guide”; Tom MacCubbin, Georgia Tasker; 2002

Who Can Help

  • The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: aglaonema plant care, growing aglaonema plant, Chinese evergreen care

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.