What is the Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) Plant

Many people regard Aglaonema as the prima donna of attractive leaf plants.

This plant, sometimes known as Chinese Green, is popular because of its compact leaf look with various colors.

The leaf form of Aglaonema is round and oval.

The color of the leaves varies; there are green-white, red-green, and even bright crimson.

Its presence is being aided by the widespread introduction of new hybrids from Asian countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.

The pattern on the leaves, in addition to their color, makes them appealing.

When combined with the right pot, this plant is suitable as a corner room/terrace brightener and a plant “sweetener.”

Origin of Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) Plant

Aglaonema-Chinese-Evergreen-Plant

Aglaonema is a member of the Araceae family, the same as dieffenbachia, anthurium, philodendron, and spathiphyllum.

The distribution of Aglaonema includes wet forests in southern China, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

In nature, Aglaonema lives in shady forests and low sunlight intensity levels. Its appearance is not very tall, only up to tens of centimeters.

Interestingly, the oval leaves with colorful patterns (like batik) appear to cover the stems, making them look compact.

There are 21 species in the genus Aglaonema.

Aglaonema rotuntum, Aglaonema commutatum, Aglaonema brevispathum, Aglaonema cochinchinense, Aglaonema costatum, Aglaonema crispum, Aglaonema pictum, Aglaonema nitidum var. curtisii, Aglaonema modestum, and Aglaonema stenophylllum are among them.

Aglaonema as an ornamental plant

Aglaonema is an ornamental plant that can be displayed in the corner of the room or home garden.

If combined with a matching pot with the leaves, the appearance will be more attractive.

Leaf colors green, white, yellow, and red give a charm that cools the eyes of anyone who looks at it.

Aglaonema as Garden Element

Aglaonema-red-gold

Wan neien ching-as aglaonema in China is one of the ornamental plants suitable to be planted in the garden.

This plant can be used as a shade border. You can choose the Aglaonema hybrid in red or green to add to the garden’s splendor.

The pattern is diverse so that it looks exclusive as a garden decoration.

The presence of Aglaonema in the garden can be a refreshing sight.

Especially if you add elements that support the garden’s beauty, such as a gazebo, fish pond, or garden rocks, it can make the garden atmosphere more lively.

The presence of Aglaonema can convey a message of peace around it.

Placement of Aglaonema in the Room

Aglaonema-in-the-room

Aglaonema can be kept indoors on the patio or at the corner of the room and the yard.

Placement of Aglaonema on the front porch aims as an aesthetic, as a ‘welcome’ area for guests.

Meanwhile, placement on the back or side terrace can be used as a hobby because the area is more private.

Meanwhile, the placement of Aglaonema in the room is not a problem to enhance the house’s beauty.

Types of Aglaonema

The current varieties of Aglaonema are the result of natural exploration and the result of crossbreeding between species.

Aglaonema Species

Aglaonema species is the result of natural selection.

The cultivators use this plant as a broodstock. The advantages of Aglaonema species have strong parental traits to pass on to their offspring.

The red hue of the Sumatran Pride, for example, is inherited from its parent, Aglaonema rotuntum, which comes from North Sumatra.

In addition, many other Aglaonema species can be used as parents.

Several varieties of Aglaonema can be used as parents, including:

  • Aglaonema rotuntum.
  • Aglaonema commutatum.
  • Aglaonema brevispathum.
  • Aglaonema cochinchinense.
  • Aglaonema costatum.
  • Aglaonema crispum.
  • Aglaonema pictum.
  • Aglaonema nitidum var. Ernosto’s pride.
  • Aglaonema nitidum var. curtisii.
  • Aglaonema modestum.
  • Aglaonema stenophylllum.

Hybrid Aglaonema

Aglaonema Hybrid is a cross between several types of Aglaonema. One of the pioneers of Aglaonema Hybrid is Nat de Leon from Florida, United States.

He has successfully performed Aglaonema crosses since 1960.

One of the first hybrid Aglaonema results from across from the parent Aglaonema curtisii and Aglaonema treubii, “Silver Queen.”

Many other cultivators are interested in doing crosses to produce new varieties of Aglaonema.

Since the mid-1990s, around 15-20 new Aglaonem varieties have been introduced.

The University of Florida, for example, has succeeded in producing Aglaonema Stripes and Baya Silver. Partha & Mukundan of India also received two new hybrid varieties: Jewel of India and Emerald Star.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) Care

Basically, Aglaonema has adaptability. If maintained, this plant is not fussy as long as it is cared for properly.

The important thing to note is the need for light, humidity, temperature, and an environment that supports growth.

We recommend those plant lovers who want to maintain Aglaonema, first find nature as a reference.

Get to know the habitat of Aglaonema

In its natural habitat, Aglaonema lives in forests with an altitude of 0-600 m above sea level.

However, it is ideal for Aglaonema to grow with a maximum appearance at the height of 300-400 m above sea level.

This plant can thrive in places with limited sunlight, such as in the shade of large trees.

Sunlight

Aglaonema requires sufficient sunlight for the photosynthesis process.

This plant can grow in temperate plains, but some species prefer a shady location with limited lighting, about 10-30%.

If placed in the direct sunlight, for maximum growth, you can give the garden net about 70-90%.

If kept in a place that is low above sea level, can be given the garden net with a density of 90%, while if kept in a place that is middle above sea level can be given a garden net 70%.

Aglaonema is resistant to being maintained with minimal lighting (150 candles), so this ornamental plant is suitable to be placed as an indoor plan for approximately 1-2 weeks.

Indications of plants that are exposed to too much sun are as follows:

  • Pale leaves.
  • There are brown leaf spots like burning.
  • The position of the leaves is less than 45 degrees from the vertical line. The ideal leaf position is between 45 to 90 degrees from the vertical line.

Temperature

Although Aglaonema easily adapts to changes in temperature, to grow optimally, the temperatures needed are:

  • During the day 28-30 degrees Celsius;
  • Night 20-22 degrees Celsius.

Humidity

Aglaonema-humidity

The humidity needed by Aglaonema is between 50-60%.

To avoid extreme fluctuations in air humidity during the day, situate the plants in a not directly exposed to sunlight.

Aglaonema can be placed on the house’s terrace or by using 70% of the garden net.

Another way is to install mist spraying, for example, with water to wet the Aglaonema leaves but not wet the planting media.

Air Circulation

Aglaonema requires a location with good air circulation. Poor air circulation can block airflow into the plant area, for example, high walls.

If the humidity is 60% in the rainy season and poor air circulation, it can affect the appearance of fungi that attack the leaves, stems, and roots.

Even though there is enough sunlight, poor air circulation, fertilizers, and nutrients in the media cannot be absorbed optimally. The impact on plant growth is not optimal.

Watering

Some particular suggestions for watering aglaonema are provided below in order for it to thrive and be healthy.

Watered plants in the morning or evening

Watering aglaonema is best done in the morning or evening.

Never water aglaonema during the day if you don’t want it to get into trouble. Watering aglaonema during the day might be detrimental because it causes the plant to wilt.

Don’t use too much water when flushing

Watering the aglaonema should also be kept to a minimum.

There is just enough water.

Pay particular attention to the amount of water provided.

If there is too much water, it might cause decaying aglaonema roots and waste water.

Also, try to water the aglaonema leaves to keep the leaves fresh.

Watering Frequency based on Season

Watering frequency should be determined by the season. Aglaonema plants need to be watered every two days when the weather or heat is hot.

Water the aglaonema every three days during the wet season. However, examine the aglaonema growing media to see whether it needs to be watered.

It is vital to water the aglaonema planting media when it looks dry from the top to the middle.

There is no need to water aglaonema too frequently. The most important thing is to keep the humidity of the plant material maintained.

Make use of rice washing water

To promote the life and growth of aglaonema, use water from rice washing to water aglaonema plants.

Rice washing water is beneficial to plants because it includes vitamin B1, which helps to eliminate wilt in aglaonema and other plants.

Growing media

A good planting medium for Aglaonema is loose and porous so that new roots can penetrate the media to get food. Porous media is also used to avoid standing water in the roots.

In addition to being porous, the media must also contain sufficient nutrients to grow healthy, starting from the roots, stems, and leaves.

The criteria for good media can meet the following elements:

  • Sufficient macro and micronutrients.
  • Neutral media pH.
  • Porous media.

Several types of media that can be used to plant Aglaonema are:

  • Burnt husk.
  • Coconut powder (coco peat).
  • Ferns.
  • Sand.
  • Fertilizer: Manure, compost, humus (to add nutrients).

As long as the media is given sufficient fertilizer (macro and micro substances), the media material does not need to be added with other materials, such as soil.

Before using the media, it is necessary to ensure that it is clean and sterile by soaking and steaming the media (for coconut coir media).

Planting media prepared with coconut fiber, nutrients, etc., can at least be used for plant needs for three months.

The composition of each planter has a different formulation. The composition can be changed, adapted to the location and conditions of the plant.

Here are some compositions that can be used for Aglaonema media:

Aglaonema-care-media

For example, for a 70% humidity location, you can use the number 1 media composition. For young plants that don’t have many roots, you can use mixed media number 2.

Planting Aglaonema in a Pot

How-to-plant-aglaonema

Aglaonema likes well-circulated media. A suitable container is needed to support the growth of Aglaonema.

In general, Aglaonema kept at home are planted in pots. Several types of pots can be an option for maintaining this plant, namely:

1. Soil Pot.

Potting material from the soil is excellent because it has a porous material to absorb excess water in the media. The downside, this type of pot is less practical, heavy, and easily broken.

In addition, pots from the ground are also easily overgrown with moss.

2. Plastic Pot.

This pot is the choice of many people because it is cheap, efficient, and practical.

Pots should be provided with holes in the bottom and sides to get out of the water.

Another function of making holes is easier for air to enter for root aeration.

At the time of planting, the bottom of the pot is filled with coconut shell charcoal, or other options can be gravel, decorative stones, small pieces of brick, or tiles about one-fifth the height of the pot.

Try planting plants not too deep and shallow so that growth is not disturbed.

Plants planted too shallowly can be stunted due to their unstable position (to the right or the left).

You can add legs to the bottom of the pot to make space between the soil and the pot’s bottom.

This is useful for avoiding excess moisture in the base. This condition can invite the fungus to grow.

3. Ceramic Pot.

Ceramic pot has a more exclusive impression because of their beautiful appearance. The shapes and motifs of the pots also vary to appear more attractive.

Generally, this pot is used as an outside pot to beautify the appearance.

In addition to ceramics, there are also outdoor pots made of rattan, bamboo, and wood.

Pot Size

The size of the pot should be suited to the size of the plant to look harmonious. Ideally, the pot size should be slightly larger than the plant for optimal growth.

According to Robi, an Aglaonema lover from Indonesia, the size of the pot has a significant role in the success of caring for Aglaonema.

“According to my experience taking care of Aglo, almost all Aglaonema that uses pots measuring 20 cm and above will end up rotting. Meanwhile, those who use small pots are healthy,” Robi wrote on his Facebook page.

So the best pot for aglaonema is one that is not large.

“I used to think that by using a big pot, the ‘nutrients’ needed for Aglo to grow and develop would be more fulfilled so that the plants would grow up quickly, and if your plant multiply (reproduce), you don’t need to change pots anymore. It turned out that I was wrong; it did not even multiply (reproduce); instead, the plants had already died,” said Robi.

It turns out that the bigger the pot, the more planting media in the pot. The more planting media, the more water stored in the pot.

Especially if you use a non-porous planting medium, the longer the water will be held in the pot.

This can cause the roots of the young Aglo to rot.

For the notice indicated, the characteristics of Aglo that are rotting or have unhealthy roots are that the lower leaves turn yellow quickly.

It was then, followed by the other leaves yellowing again shortly.

Robi suggests that the best pot size for Aglo is 10 – 12 cm or 15 – 17 cm, depending on the number of leaves and root conditions when purchased.

“If you have a lot of leaves but few roots, use a 12-15 cm pot. I used a 15-17 cm pot for Aglaonema 14 leaves. At my house, for plants that are already lush, I use a 20 cm pot (but to make the 20 cm pot beautiful, I wrap it in a larger ceramic or clay pot). During routine fertilization, the nutrients for the Aglo will still be sufficient even if you use a small pot (little planting medium),” explained Robi.

For air circulation smoothly, the pot should be placed not directly with the soil to prevent excessive humidity conditions that invite mold.

Stages of Planting Aglaonema

1. Place coconut shell charcoal or gravel or tile fragments at the bottom of the pot (also read about Aglaonema pot base materials). Adjust it so that it reaches one-fifth of the height of the pot.

2. Put the planting media up to 1/2 part of the pot.

3. Plant Aglaonema in the middle carefully to not damage the roots.

4. Fill the remaining half of the pot with media until it is full until it touches the edge of the pot’s surface. Flush water until the media is wet. Place the pot in the shade.

Pests and Diseases

Pests and Diseases

Many factors can cause diseased plants, one of which is environmental or weather conditions.

In the rainy season, the disease usually appears Erwinia bacteria which causes stem rot. In the dry season, the disease can be caused by fleas.

We recommend that for prevention, do not need to use chemical drugs. Alternative prevention can use natural pest remedies that can be formulated yourself.

There are several pests and diseases to watch out for that can attack Aglaonema:

1. Fusarium wilt.

The cause is the Fusarium fungus. The fungus damages the lower stems and sometimes attacks the red stem edges.

Signs of attack: stems are blackened and rotting but odorless.

As a result of the attack: it can inhibit growth and plant budding strike.

How to overcome:

It is recommended to use organic fungicide (also read about how to make organic fungicide).

Alternatively, you can use fungicide drugs (chemical): Manzate, Daconil, and Orthocide.

2. Bacterial stem rot

Bacterial attacks usually occur in the rainy season when humid weather and the plants are not exposed to light.

The cause is the bacterium Erwinia carotovora. These bacteria attack the leaves and stems.

Signs of attack: The part of the attacked plant releases mucus, then it smells bad and changes color to blackish brown.

How to overcome:

You are recommended to use organic pesticides.

Alternatively, spray with Agrept 20 WP containing Streptomycin or Terramycin 21.6 SP containing Tetracyclin.

If the attack is severe, the plants are removed, diseased stems are cut and burned or buried. The healthy stem can be replanted after being smeared with wound medicine.

3. Mealybugs.

Causes Homoptera mealybug.

Signs of attack: There are white spots on the surface of leaves, stems, and roots.

With the attack, growth can be stunted.

How to overcome:

You are recommended to use organic pesticides.

Alternatively, spray insecticides, such as Malathion or Akothion, at a dose of 1 ml/liter of water every three days.

If the roots are attacked, cut them immediately and apply a fungicide solution to prevent spread.

After smearing, the stems are replanted.

Ticks can hide in leaf axils or leaf folds. You can get rid of it by using a cotton swab dipped or smeared with insecticide. After that, spray insecticide to prevent repeated attacks.

A dose of 1 mL per 1 liter of water is applied every two weeks to control Supercide, Basudin, and Bulldog insecticides.

4. Caterpillars.

If the caterpillar population is not large, tweezers or tongs can be taken.

The infected leaves are cut, and the caterpillars are killed. If the caterpillar attack is severe, you are recommended to use organic pesticides.

Alternatively, spray an insecticide such as Sevin or Metindo once a month.

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