Aglaonema: A Beautiful, Easy Plant to Grow
Adding new plants to your indoor environment can make all the difference in providing a whole new look inside. The key is to choose the plants that add beauty, opulence; yet, for the most part, are easy to manage. Aglaonemas (a.k.a Chinese Evergreens) are the sensible choice. They are easy to mange and a very beautiful plant.
There are 21 species of Aglaonemas. They come in many pot sizes to fit any indoor space starting from 6 inches on up to 14 inches. Their ornamental foliage can catch the eye of any plant lover. They have distinct tufts of a long-stemmed spear and oval-shaped leaves that are dark green. The leaves can be spread with colors of pale silvery-green, gray-green or gray-white. In the summer time, with proper care, you might get lucky and see small, white or greenish-white spiked flowers appearing in your plants. According to some plant experts, Aglaonemas like to be rootbound in order to bloom.
Textbooks have reported that Aglaonemas’ virtue is an ability to thrive in poorly lit conditions, but this is only true for all-green varieties. The ones with silver or white variegation foliage need brighter conditions, which helps enhance the colored plants even more. So, the most indirect sunlight available to the plant's the more impressive colors on the leaves. But, if you have low light condition Aglaonemas are still your best choice.
Temperature wise Aglaonemas love it when it’s warm and get agitated by abrupt changes in the temperature. The temperatures between night and day should not be more than 10 degrees difference. Also, periods of time at too low or too high temperatures lead to yellowing or falling leaves and can hinder development. If a yellow leaf appears just pluck it. The plant is pretty hearty and should be fine. Keep them away from drafts such as windows, doors and air-condition vents. If the leaves are curled and brown-edged the air is too cool or there is a cold draft.
Aglaonemas should be moist but in well-drained, heavy soil. During the winter keep the soil drier. Plants like shallow pots. Keep in mind that poor drainage, too frequent watering, or standing in water will cause root rot. If the air is dry, they should be misted regularly. If your plant’s leaves are shriveled and have brown tips the air is too dry.
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Resistant to Diseases
Although Aglaonemas are hearty plants that are very resistant to diseases and can practically grow in conditions that might hurt other plants, pests can be attracted to them if they are grown in conditions that are challenging. Pests such as mealy bugs can be found at the base of the leaf stalks, and scale insects will find them tasty. If lighting condition is too low, red spider mites can show up, too. Insecticidal soap should kill the little buggers.
Fertilizing the plants is a good idea but cut back during the winter. Those plants that are in high light can have more fertilizer than those in the low light.
It’s pretty easy to prune an aglaonema. Keep in eye on the base your plant until you see little sprouts starting to grow. You just simply remove them from the base. But, don’t toss them out. You can replant them in a separate pot, start a new plant, and keep it or give it to a friend.
Pruning the Aglaonema means cutting away the dying and dead leaves. There is nothing else to cut because the plant’s growth emerges from it’s crown, which is the necessary parts of the plant. If you prune the necessary parts, you will kill your beloved plant.
Another neat feature about the Aglaonemas is that they can easily grow together or with other plants in the same pot, which makes for an attractive addition to the inside. For example, to spruce up a ficus, try adding two or more of 6-inch silver leaf Aglaonemas to the base of the tree, or combine them with red bromeliads around a Kentia palm.
Nursery staff will offer some excellent ideas as well. They would be more than happy to assist you in your indoor plant care needs.