Hailing from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, Aglaonema is a total boss in the wild, growing like a champ on riverbanks and other disturbed areas. It’s like the ultimate survivor plant, living its best life despite its challenges.
But wait, there’s more! Aglaonema isn’t just some wild child that belongs in the jungle. No, no, no. It’s slowly taking the indoor plant world by storm and becoming a favorite among florists. Move over, ferns and succulents, a new plant in town.
So what’s so great about Aglaonema? It’s all in the leaves, baby. They’re gorgeous and come in various colors and shapes depending on the species and cultivars. You’ll never get bored with this plant in your life, I promise. It’s like having a new art piece to look at daily.
So if you’re ready to up your plant game and want a bit of Southeast Asia, grab yourself an Aglaonema. You won’t regret it, I guarantee it!
- Aglaonema Description
- Aglaonema Species And Varieties
- Small Types of Aglaonema
- Medium Height Aglaonema
- Tall Varieties of Aglaonemas
- How to Care for Aglaonema
- Aglaonema summary
This evergreen herbaceous plant is a total showstopper and a member of the Araceae family. But let’s not get bogged down in botanical lingo. Instead, let’s focus on the fun stuff.
The name Aglaonema comes from two Greek words: “aglos,” meaning “bright” or “shiny,” and “nema,” meaning “thread” (stamen). So basically, this plant is like the shiny thread of the plant world. How cool is that?
Now, Aglaonema is closely related to Dieffenbachia, and it looks like its cousin, but it’s smaller and has narrower leaves. Think of it as Dieffenbachia’s little sibling but just as cool.
You might notice an extremely short trunk as the plant matures, but that’s only because the lower leaves have fallen off. The remaining leaves are complete, dense, leathery, and ovate or lanceolate in shape, typically measuring 3-6 inches (9-16 cm) long.
The middle vein is hidden on the front side of the leaf, but it’s a standout feature on the back. And depending on the variety, the leaves can be any shade of green with contrasting veins and fringes in a rainbow of hues. It’s like a living, breathing work of art.
Aglaonema is a flowering plant, but don’t get too excited. The flowers aren’t exactly the main attraction here. Between February and November, you might notice 1 to 3 cob-shaped inflorescences draped in a pale green veil.
They’re not exactly eye-catching, so it’s common practice for gardeners to cut them off so that the plant can focus on growing new leaves instead.
But if you’re patient, you might see reddish berries with a single seed inside. After six to nine months, these berries will be ripe enough to be propagated. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try!
Aglaonema’s berries, as well as all other parts of the plant, contain poison. Therefore, you should not eat them. The plant’s extract can harm your body, so it’s important to avoid contact. Make sure that children do not touch the plant with their hands, and if you have pets, keep the pot away or avoid planting aglaonemas in your home. When transplanting or pruning, remember to wear gloves.
Aglaonema Species And Varieties
More than 50 species of aglaonemas exist in the wild, and many of them can grow well in homes.
These species can be classified into one of three types, namely low, medium, or high growth, depending on their growth rate.
Small Types of Aglaonema
It only grows to a maximum of 10 inches. Leaves that are either drooping or creeping.
In addition to its heart-shaped leaves, the rounded Aglaonema is distinguished by its dark green color.
Intricate white or bright crimson stripes run parallel to their veins, depending on the type. It blooms in a pink cob covered in white-pink petals.
Aglaonema costatum is the smallest of the species. Tropical forests of southwest Malaysia are home to this species’ ancestors. The base of the trunk is where the branches come out of.
The leaves are about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. The leaves are ovate in shape and dark green in color. The front of the leaf has a bright stripe running along the central vein.
The rest of the leaf is covered in light specks and streaks that appear randomly across the surface. A white cob with a green coverlet occurs during flowering.
The trunk of the short Aglaonema is hidden beneath the soil, so only the leaves that grow directly from the ground are visible.
The leaves are elongated and have pointed ends. They have a pleasant, gentle green color with a single white stripe running down the center vein. A white veil drapes over the cob on which it blooms.
Its leaves are emerald green in young specimens, with a pinkish central vein and pale green on the lateral veins.
As they grow older, the pink dots become more numerous and take up more and more space on the leaf plates.
Aglaonema Butterfly prefers warm and bright environments, frequent watering, and shower baths but does not enjoy direct sunshine.
Medium Height Aglaonema
They can reach 20-24 inches (50-60 cm) in height, have long up to 12 inches (about 30 cm) leaves, and a straight trunk.
Aglaonema Maria is a medium-sized shrub that can grow 60 cm tall. It has a dense crown of 8 inches (20 cm) of dark green leaves with light green spots.
This species is easy to care for, making it ideal for those who don’t have the time to devote to plants.
It retains its aesthetic value whether grown in the shade or under artificial lighting. Also, it can withstand long periods of drought.
Aglaonema Silver Queen
In other words, the Silver Queen is Maria’s polar opposite. Dark spots are symmetrically distributed along the veins of the silvery (sometimes bluish) leaves.
Bushes can grow to be 18 inches (45 cm) tall, with leaves 6-11 inches (15-30 cm) long. This species enjoys exposure to air and sunlight.
The coloring of the leaves is similar to that of Maria, but the leaves of Aglaonema Treubii are more extended, narrower, and sparse.
Tropical Indochina’s mountain slopes are home to Aglaonema modest. It reaches a height of 20 inches (50 cm). It has large, monotonous oval leaves blunt at the base and pointed toward the tips.
The convex veins give the foliage an embossed appearance. This species is highly recommended for indoor use due to its ability to remove harmful impurities from the air.
The pattern on the leaves consists of white, beige, silver, and a few shades of green. The bush grows to 20 inches (50 cm) in height and has a lush crown.
This variety has reddish edging and veining and scattered spots on the leaf’s front surface. There is also a reddish hue to the undersides of the leaves and stems.
Regardless of how bright the shades are, this variety dislikes bright light and prefers to grow in the shade.
Aglaonema Cutlass has long, narrow leaves tightly gathered in a rosette, making the bush look like a palm tree. The leaves are a light green color with a darker border and veining.
Aglaonema ‘White Lance’
White Lance (White Lance) has a unique and appealing appearance. The glossy leaves have a spear-like shape and are narrow and long. They stand upright in a dense rosette.
A green stripe runs along the edge of the white-green leaves. The central vein is white, but it is also convex in shape. Taking care of this species isn’t a big deal.
Even though it’s only 20 centimeters tall, it looks fantastic. The bush looks like someone sprayed peach paint on it, and it froze into these pretty splashes and drops.
If a plant is given a particular name, it has some connection to it. However, the tail of this variety resembles that of a peacock.
With its green and silver colors, the spotted foliage looks a little like the fluffy feathers of an exotic bird.
Aglaonema Super White
A species with almost no green color left. The leaf plates are all white, except for a slight green border at the edge of each one. To keep its vibrant hue, the plant necessitates a lot of light.
Tall Varieties of Aglaonemas
Aglaonemas that are particularly tall are obtained through selection from shade-tolerant species.
This has made this group of Aglaonemas the most popular among growers. The height of these plants is easily five feet (1.5 meters).
Aglaonema Silver Bay
It can reach a height of one meter. The plant starts to grow right away from the root. It has leaves up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, is oval, and has pointed tips.
There are dark stripes and spots on the leaf edges, with the center of the leaf appearing almost white. The color of the leaves darkens as they age.
Every leaf has a dark reverse side. Easy to maintain, Aglaonema Silver Bay is resistant to cold and heat, droughts, and excessive watering, making it excellent for any garden.
Aglaonema BJ Freeman
Friedman can reach a maximum height of 1.5 meters. Such a plant is perfect for sprucing up a room by itself.
Intriguing silvery gray, Large, wavy-edged leaves and dark green speckles on silvery gray and undulating surfaces of broad leaves. It is also marketed as ‘Cecilia’ and ‘Gabrielle.’
The Aglaonema Stripes are an excellent addition to any room. From a distance, its leaves resemble those of a watermelon. They have white vein stripes that gradually merge into a single white spot as they get closer to the tip.
Aglaonema Pattaya Beauty
The most common interspecific hybrid is Aglaonema ‘Pattaya Beauty.’ The plant has a unique elegance to it. It grows in a limited manner, with thin and slender stems.
Long green speckled petioles support the large leaves. The lower leaves fall off as it matures, and the plant resembles a palm – a bare trunk with a “cap” on top.
The leaf plate is visually divided into three roughly equal parts: green sides and a light gray center. The darker the shade, the older the plant is. The oval leaves have flat edges and a pointed tip.
Aglaonema ‘Pattaya Beauty’ is most at ease in dimly lit environments. Because of this, it can thrive in arid, fluctuating temperatures and lack of water in the harsh conditions of the desert.
Also known as the Philippine evergreen is found in the Philippines and is called that because it grows there.
This plant has a long stem and red fruits. The leaves are attached to the stem by very long petioles.
The leaves can measure up to 30 centimeters in length and 10 centimeters in width. Color of leaf blades varies according to variety:
- Aglaonema commutatum var. warburgii- the green leaf is striped with white along the lateral veins;
- Aglaonema commutatum var. elegans– a random pattern of light color on elongated greenish leaves;
- Aglaonema commutatum var. maculatum- Leaves are covered in white smears that run along the lateral veins of the dark green elongate ovals.
Aglaonema Silver Curly
Aglaonema curly is indigenous to the Philippines. Aglaonema curly gets its name from the plant’s curly appearance. The densely branched bush comprises grayish-silver ellipse-shaped leaves that have green edging.
Species of this genus begin to bloom in the early stages of the fall. The veil surrounding the inflorescence is green at first and then turns yellow. The berries of Aglaonema curly begin as yellow, then turn to a deep red color over time.
This Aglaonema species has recently become popular in terrariums, where it can be kept out of direct sunlight and protected from heat.
An ornamental plant that can grow up to 3-4 feet (1m) in height is considered ideal for a terrarium background and further highlights the beauty of exotic animals.
Aglaonema Nitidum Green
Lowland rainforests of Malaysia and Thailand are home to this species. The trunk stands about 3-4 feet (1m) tall.
It has long, oblong leaves that can measure up to 1.5 feet (45 cm). Bright to dark green, the leaves have a glossy, gleaming appearance. It is notable for its white berries.
The long petioles that connect the leaves to the stem characterize this species. The petiole reaches 8inches (20 cm) in length with a leaf length of 11inches (30 cm). Silvery-white stripes are patterned transversely across the leaf plates’ surfaces.
Aglaonema King of Siam
You can tell it apart from other varieties because it has thick white petioles, long dark green leaves, and white veins. The mature shrub develops a dense crown and a compact growth habit.
Attempting to list all the different kinds of Aglaonema would take a long time due to the sheer number of other species. To give you an idea of how diverse this excellent plant is, I’ve only mentioned a few of the most popular varieties.
How to Care for Aglaonema
Location and Light
Most species of this plant are pretty chill and can handle a little shade. It’s like they were made for indoor life!
But, and this is a big but, you can’t just leave them in the shade all day. I mean, come on, no plant would survive that.
So, here’s the deal. Your Aglaonema needs at least a few hours of daylight every day. The more daylight it gets, the faster it will grow, and the more beautiful the colors will remain.
It’s like plant magic. And if you pay attention, your Aglaonema will signal how much light it needs.
For example, species with variegated leaves need more sunlight than only green and/or white species.
So, if you want those beautiful colors to shine, give them a little bit of direct sunlight in the morning and evening. A north-facing window is a perfect spot for them.
But, if your Aglaonema has fewer colors, it can be placed further away from the window.
They say, “It’s cool; I don’t need all that direct sunlight; I’m good over here.”And if you notice the leaves starting to droop, that’s a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough light.
But if the leaves start turning yellow, it’s getting too much light. And if you see black or brown spots on the leaves, it’s often a sign of leaf burn caused by direct sunlight.
So, let’s give our Aglaonema the perfect spot, and they’ll reward us with their beautiful colors and growth.
Even though this plant is originally from tropical rainforests, it can handle indoor temperatures as long as they’re not lower than 65 °F (18℃).
But, and this is a big but, you must be careful about large temperature fluctuations. I mean, think about it. If you were sitting in a room with crazy temperature changes, you wouldn’t be too happy either.
So, if you want your Aglaonema to be happy, avoid putting it in drafty areas, near air conditioners, or next to radiators.
Those fluctuations can seriously affect your plant, and in the worst-case scenario, it can cause the leaves to fall off.
And trust me; you don’t want your plant to be shedding like a dog in the summer. So, keep that temperature steady and watch your Aglaonema thrive.
Let’s talk about the most important part of keeping your Aglaonema happy: watering. But don’t worry; it’s not as difficult as you think. The key is ensuring the soil is never completely dry or soaking wet. It’s like finding that perfect balance in life, you know?
So, how much water should you give your Aglaonema? Well, you want to water the soil as much as possible after about 4 to 5 days when it’s almost dry.
If the soil is rather dry, then the next time, you can give a little more water. And if the soil is still moist after 5 days, you can water less the next time. It’s like a little dance between you and your plant.
But how do you know when it’s time to water again? It’s easy; just stick your finger into the Aglaonema potting soil. When there’s no soil sticking to your finger, or hardly any, it’s time to water.
And here’s a little tip: the watering procedure is different in winter than in summer. In the summer, your Aglaonema needs more water because it’s in the growth phase and warmer.
So, don’t be afraid to give it a little extra love during the summer months.
Now, I know watering might seem difficult at first, but trust me, after a while, it becomes routine.
And just think, when your Aglaonema is thriving and looking beautiful, you’ll know it was all worth it.
When to Repot Aglaonema
Most species of Aglaonema remain small and don’t require repotting, but some can grow up to a meter. That’s right; I’m talking about some serious growth here. And in that case, repotting is necessary because, in a pot that’s too small, the root system of the Aglaonema can’t grow sufficiently to reach its final size above ground.
So, how do you know when it’s time to repot your Aglaonema? Well, if it’s not growing, that’s the first sign that it needs a new pot. And when you do repot, give it about 20% larger pot than the old one. It’s like giving your plant room to stretch its legs and grow to its full potential.
Provide Good Drainage
This plant hates standing with its roots in soggy soil. I mean, wouldn’t you hate that too? It’s like walking around with wet socks all day. Not fun.
So, here’s the deal. It’s okay if the soil is moist from watering, but there should never be a pool of water around the roots. That’s a recipe for root rot, and it’s not pretty.
The first visible signs of root rot are yellow leaves, a soft stem, and leaf drops. And if you don’t do something about it, your Aglaonema will eventually die. And nobody wants that.
So, how do you prevent root rot? By providing good drainage, of course! Make sure your flower pot has holes so that water can’t just sit there and it will leak out.
And if you want to be extra careful, keep your Aglaonema in a plastic inner pot and put it in a decorative pot. The plastic inner pot also has holes so water doesn’t just sit around the roots, waiting to cause trouble.
Best Potting Soil for Aglaonema
First, normal potting soil for houseplants is suitable for your Aglaonema. But, if you want to get fancy, you can use potting soil for anthurium, which is lighter than the normal variety.
This will give your roots extra room to grow and breathe, which is always good.
Now, let’s talk about plant nutrition. It’s essential for the care of your Aglaonema, but it can be a tricky subject. Too much or too little nutrients can be bad for your plant.
Too few nutrients inhibit growth and make for less beautiful colors. Too many nutrients, on the other hand, can cause leaf burn and, in severe cases, can even lead to the death of your Aglaonema. So, it’s all about finding that perfect balance.
So, when should you give your plant food? During the growing season, which lasts from spring to late summer.
And make sure always to read the instructions on the plant food packaging carefully because dilution is usually required. Your Aglaonema doesn’t need a lot of food, so dilute a little more than indicated, just to be safe.
|Also known as||Chinese evergreen plant|
|Original habitat||East Asia|
|number of species||50|
|Maximum height||Depending on the species: between 8 inches and 3 feet|
|need for light||Indirect light or Partial shade|
|need for water||Keep soil slightly moist|