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Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreens) Care Guide

Aglaonema, better known as Chinese evergreen plants, are beautiful houseplants grown for their large leaves, which bring lush, tropical elegance to any interior. They grow easily, tolerate low light levels, and can live for many years if given the right care.

For centuries, the Chinese evergreen has adorned gardens in Asia as an ornamental plant, with plant enthusiasts cultivating various captivating varieties. Among them are specimens featuring deep-green leaves adorned with lighter green or silver patterns, stripes, or speckles, while others boast pink stems, vines, and leaf margins.

Characterised by its slow growth, the Aglaonema typically requires repotting only once every two to three years, prompted by the emergence of strong roots through the drainage holes. It is crucial to resist the temptation of transferring it to a significantly larger pot, as the excess volume of soil may retain surplus water, posing a potential threat to the plant’s well-being.

Key Facts

Common NameChinese evergreen, Philippine evergreen
Botanical NameAglaonema commutatum
Plant TypeHerbaceous, Perennial, Houseplant
Mature Size1 to 3ft tall, 1 to 3ft wide
Sun ExposurePartial, Full
Soil TypeMoist but well-drained
Soil pHAcidic
ToxicityToxic to dogs and cats

Plant Care


Aglaonema with darker green hues thrive in low-light conditions, whereas variegated varieties prefer slightly brighter environments. It is essential to avoid exposing any of these plants to direct sunlight, as the intense rays can potentially scorch the delicate leaves, regardless of the variety.


The Chinese evergreen is not overly selective regarding its planting soil. Ideally, the plant thrives in potting soil that is moist yet well-drained and slightly acidic. If you notice excessive water retention in the soil, consider incorporating sand or perlite to improve drainage. Additionally, ensure that the pot for your Chinese evergreen has sufficient drainage holes at the base.


The Aglaonema plant flourishes in soil that is adequately moist without being overly saturated. To strike the right balance, ensure thorough watering and then allow the soil to dry out before the next watering session. This watering routine can be sustained throughout the spring, summer, and autumn, gradually reducing frequency in the winter while still preventing the plant from drying out entirely.

Temperature/ Humidity

The Aglaonema plant thrives in temperatures above 20°C and dislikes cold drafts. To ensure optimal growth, keep your Chinese evergreen away from windows or vents that expose it to cooler temperatures. It prefers a warm environment, so find the warmest spot available.

Due to its high humidity requirements, some growers categorize Aglaonema as a greenhouse plant, excelling in warm, humid, and well-lit conditions. While replicating these conditions indoors is challenging, it can still be successfully grown with efforts to mimic a greenhouse environment. Enhance humidity levels by regularly misting the plant and placing it in a naturally humid area of your home. If your home tends to be dry, consider using a small space humidifier near your Aglaonema to maintain optimal humidity levels. Learn more about indoor plant humidity management here.

Common Problems, Pests, & Diseases

The Chinese evergreen is prone to common pests like aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Regularly inspect your plant and promptly eliminate these insects at their early stages. Spider mites could also pose a threat, but maintaining higher humidity around the plant can discourage their presence.

If you observe yellow or brown leaf margins and drooping leaves, it may indicate overwatering. Fully yellow and crisp leaves, on the other hand, could be a sign of underwatering. Evaluate the soil composition and adjust your watering routine accordingly. Yellow or brown stalks may be indicative of root rot. To address this issue, extract the plant from the pot, remove the compost around the rootball, trim any decaying material, and repot the plant in fresh compost.

Seasonal Care


  • Consider repotting if the plant has become root-bound.
  • Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and promote better photosynthesis.


  • Ensure the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight, as Aglaonema prefers indirect light.
  • Monitor humidity levels, misting if the air is too dry.


  • Adjust watering to accommodate the lower light levels and cooler temperatures.


  • Water sparingly in winter, allowing the soil to dry out more between waterings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you bottom water Aglaonema?

Yes, bottom watering is a good method for Aglaonema. This method involves placing the plant pot in a tray filled with water and allowing the plant to absorb water from the bottom. This helps prevent overwatering and allows the roots to take up water as needed. Make sure not to leave the plant sitting in water for an extended period, as this can lead to root rot.

Do Aglaonema like to be misted?

Aglaonema generally doesn’t require frequent misting. While they can tolerate higher humidity, misting might not be necessary unless the air in your home is exceptionally dry. Overly wet foliage can make the plant susceptible to fungal issues, so it’s best to monitor humidity levels and adjust misting accordingly.

When should I re-pot Aglaonema?

Aglaonema typically prefers being slightly root-bound, so you don’t need to rush to re-pot them. Repot when you notice the roots are circling the pot or growing out of the drainage holes. This is usually every 2-3 years. Spring or early summer is the best time for repotting, allowing the plant to recover during the growing season.

Is Aglaonema an air purifier?

Yes, Aglaonema is considered an air-purifying plant. It can help filter out common indoor air pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. However, while it contributes to better air quality, it’s important to note that no plant alone can completely replace the need for proper ventilation and other air-cleaning measures.

Grows Well With

Choose companion plants for Aglaonema with similar light and water needs. Good options include Snake Plant, ZZ Plant, Pothos, Peace Lily, Spider Plant, various Philodendron species, and Calathea varieties. Consider their care requirements, growth habits, and aesthetics for a cohesive display. Ensure proper drainage and use suitable potting mix.

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Updated on February 27, 2024

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