Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) is a tropical evergreen that is commonly used as an indoor houseplant. It is easy to care for and will grow in a variety of conditions. Many people use Chinese Evergreens in the home because they have the ability to absorb toxins from indoor air. They are an excellent low-level accent plant or can be placed amongst other plants with contrasting foliage.
The Chinese Evergreen is a highly ornamental tropical plant with long, silver-grey leaves with green blotches. The downward-drooping leaves vary in length from 6 to 10 inches and are 3 inches wide. Chinese Evergreen grows up to 36 inches high. Small flowers may appear in the summer followed by red berries. These berries, along with the sap, are poisonous to humans and animals. The Chinese Evergreen is able to absorb toxins such as formaldehyde from the air and therefore can improve the indoor air quality of a home. There are several variations of the Chinese Evergreen, which include Ribbon Aglaonema and Pewter Plant. Cultivars of the Chinese Evergreen include 'Emerald Beauty' and 'Parrot Jungle.' Each of these varieties of the Chinese Evergreen provide slight variations in color and size.
The Chinese Evergreen does well in mild temperatures, which makes it suitable for the home. It does best in 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and should not be kept in temperatures below 55 degrees. Avoid drafts and keep Chinese Evergreens in areas above 30 percent humidity. They can be raised in a pot placed on a tray of pebbles that is filled with water. As the water evaporates from the tray, this will increase humidity.
Chinese evergreen thrives in moist but well-drained soil. Plant a Chinese evergreen in a mixture of 3 parts soil and 1 part coarse sand. This will help with water drainage and prevent root rot. Chinese Evergreens should be watered until a small amount of water pours from the holes in the pot.
Chinese Evergreens can tolerate a wide variety of light conditions. They do not tolerate direct sunlight, however. They can be placed on a window sill, as long as it does not get direct sunlight for a long period of time.