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Aglaonema are a perfect plant for those with lower to moderate light and tend to neglect their plants a bit. They are native to tropical and subtropical areas of Asia and New Guinea. Also known as Chinese Evergreens, Aglaonema are now available in hundreds of varieties, sizes and colors. Some of the harder to find Aglaonema varieties boast incredible color patterns of reds, pinks, whites, and even silvers, but all maintain a low level of care and need. Better still, the NASA Clean Air Study ranks Aglaonema among the top air purifiers. They are, however, toxic to pets due to calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves and stems.
Aglaonema do best in a well lit, bright area, out of direct sunlight. Typically, but not always, the darker the leaves on an Aglaonema, the less bright they need it, however, all Aglaonema do very well in bright, but shaded areas. This makes them perfect for just about any room of the house! Even bathrooms that have an indirect natural light source can be a great place to put a beautiful Aglaonema.
For watering, Aglaonema prefer and do best when they are kept moderately moist at all times. They can, however, be allowed to dry out without serious consequence, but would prefer to not stay that way for very long. An evenly moist soil is best, and a planter with drainage is the best option so that excess water does not pool at the bottom of the pot, causing root issues.
While it is not completely necessary, you can use a general purpose, high quality fertilizer from Spring through Fall. We recommend diluting the fertilizer to about 50% strength. Too much fertilizer can have an adverse effect on Aglaonema. Fish Head Farms soil conditioner is a great option to use year round to provide essential nutrients and promote strong, healthy growth.
A loose, well draining soil or soilless mix is ideal. A peat based mixture with lots of perlite, vermiculite or sand will do the trick. For a pre-mixed formula, we find that a cactus/succulent blend is perfect!
Aglaonema are slow growers and therefor do not need, or want, to be repotted very frequently. We recommend doing so only every 2-3 years and only if they are noticeably pot bound. Even then, you only want to move your Aglaonema up 1 or 1.5 pot sizes to reduce stress. This should be done in the Spring or early Summer months. If you have just recently purchased an Aglaonema, do not repot it for at least 6 months.
Average household humidity levels are typically fine for Aglaonemas, however, in the Summer when AC is running, or in the Winter, when the heat is on and the air is much drier, your Aglaonemas would benefit from a spray of their leaves a few times a week, or a humidifier running to increase the relative humidity around them.
The most common pest issues for Aglaonemas would be Mealy Bugs and Red Spider Mites. It is always best practice to isolate any new plants you bring in to your home for a few weeks to watch for little pests. If you were to find any, see our At Home Pest Recipes here.
Aglaonema can be propagated by dividing the new plants from the mother plant, at the root level, as long as they have a few leaves on them. You can also divide and cut just below nodes on the stalk, as a top cutting, to propagate, however, this method is more difficult and does not have a very high success rate.
If you have any more questions, or need further assistance, please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email!