Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), is one of the best plants for beginners (or folks too busy to keep most houseplants alive). This sturdy plant is wonderfully easy to grow; it tolerates just about every indoor condition. While it’s one of the toughest plants, it’s also beautiful. Most varieties have rich green leaves attractively patterned with silver. It also has cute, calla-lily-like blooms in spots where it gets enough light.
Chinese evergreen, when it’s young, is small enough to fit on desks, tabletops, and other surfaces. It’s a slow-growing plant, so you can enjoy it without worrying if it will grow out of bounds. Older, larger plants are suited to growing on the floor — in corners, next to furniture, or as an accent piece along a wall. The silvery tones in Chinese evergreen’s leaves let you have some fun choosing pots; the neutral color works with just about every decor color palette and style.
Chinese evergreen questions?
Email us and one of our houseplant experts will get back to you. Sign up now for our monthly email newsletter to get more houseplant (and outdoor gardening) tips.
Chinese evergreen is one of the Plants of Steel. Discover the others!
Red aglaonema is a more colorful version of this plant. Learn more!

Daily Newsletter

Last month I wrote about houseplants with metal in their name, such as copper, iron, or aluminum. Here’s one with silver in its name — Aglaonema “Silver Queen.”

Aglaonema plants are often referred to as Chinese evergreens since they originated in Asia. There are dozens of cultivars but my favourite is “Silver Queen” which has thick, waxy leaves that are lance shaped, about 30 cm long and six to eight cm wide. The leaves are produced on long stems that are attached to the main stems of the plant, and are typically grown as multi-stemmed specimens with eight to 12 individual plants in a large pot. The leaves grow outwards and upwards, creating a lovely display, and although the foliage is the main appeal, in summer the plant can produce flowers similar to those of the peace lily (white spathes).

ADVERTISEMENT

The leaves are rich green with silver patches and the amount of silver will depend on how much light the plant is receiving (the more light the more silver). Even in a low-light environment there will still be quite a lot of silver, making the plant perfect for an area exposed only to fluorescent light — such as an office.

Silver Queens are easy to care for and problem free, not being prone to insect problems. They do not demand constant care and the soil can be allowed to almost dry out before it is watered again. In a low-light environment, the plants should not be excessively watered or the soil kept constantly damp as this will lead to stem/root rot.

ADVERTISEMENT

All Aglaonema plants prefer a peat-based planting medium with good drainage. I have my plants in black nursery pots that fit into three good-size ceramic containers. The pots are sitting on inverted plastic lids or shallow pots turned upside down so that excess water has a place to go and the soil doesn’t become waterlogged. Because it is a slow-growing plant it is not a heavy feeder. Feed a couple of times a year in the summer with a half-strength solution of 20-20-20 soluble fertilizer. Silver Queens are very sensitive to cold so never position them near a door or air-conditioning vent.

The foliage is the main attraction of Silver Queen plants so keep them clean and dust free by wiping the leaves individually with a soft, damp cloth, cupping each leaf in your hand as you wipe it to prevent damage.

Because the plant is slow growing it doesn’t have to be regularly repotted, slipped or refurbished. Propagation is done by using the ends of stems to start new plants. The lower leaves are removed, the ends of the stems (which should be about 30 cm long) are dipped in rooting hormone, and about 10 stems are planted in a large pot of damp soilless mix. They take a long time to root and the pot should be kept in a low-light location and watered sparingly while this takes place.

Sometimes a few of the more mature stems will become tall and leggy and these can be snipped off about eight cm from the soil surface and used as cuttings. New stems will soon develop on this parent plant to take their place, so it is actually self-rejuvenating all the time.

All Chinese evergreens are noted for their ability to take toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air, so they not only make our surroundings beautiful but healthier as well.

House Plants Care Aglaonema Silver Queen
  PlantAndFlowerInfo.com – Silver Queen Aglaonema Care

Silver Queen Aglaonema Plant Care
House Plants & Flowers

One of the most commonly used interior landscape plants is the Aglaonema Silver Queen. The common name for Aglaonema plant is Chinese Evergreen. Aglaonema Silver Queen is easy to care for and can be maintained at the lower light levels often found in the home or office environment.

Aglaonema Plant
Silver Queen

The Aglaonema “Silver Queen” is just one of many varieties of Aglaonema indoor plants. An attractive, easy to care for plant, it is on just about everyones list of best indoor house plants. Aglaonema house plants can be maintained at the lower light levels often found in the home or office. Although there are many varieties of this plant, the care for all Aglaonema house plants is very similar.

Some of the more common Aglaonema varieties are the Aglaonema Emerald Beauty, Silver Queen and the Aglaonema Silver Bay. Aglaonema plants have a bush-like or clumping growth and, depending on the pot size, can be from 8 inches to 4 feet in height. Aglaonema plants are often used in interior landscapes.

Almost all Aglaonema plant varieties are variegated to some extent. Keep in mind that the variegated types need more light than those with less variegation. Typically, the lighter the color of a plant, the higher the light levels it needs to maintain its color and variegation.

Aglaonema Silver Queen House Plants
How to Water

If you locate your Silver Queen plant in high light, you can allow the potting mix to dry down 1/2 to 3/4 of the way out before watering thoroughly. In a lower light situation, allow soil to dry almost completely between waterings. Please read the section on watering your house plants for more on the most important part of your plant care.

Lighting for Aglaonema House Plants

This is a great houseplant for just about any location except full sun. Full sun, especially through glass, will scorch the exposed leaves. Aglaonema plants will survive in low light but will become thin and leggy. For a nice looking plant, try to provide bright, diffused natural light or some artificial fluorescent light. This plant will do quite well with just artificial lighting. For this reason it is ideal for use in professional office space.

Aglaonema Silver Queen House Plants
Other Care Tips

Temperatures for Aglaonema Silver Queen plant should not be allowed to drop below 60°F. They are not cold tolerant plants.

To keep your Aglaonema Silver Queen house plants full and bushy, remove some of the new leaves as they appear. Do this by firmly grasping the stem the new leaf grows from and hold the new leaf near its base and gently pull. It should come out entirely and this is preferred. Do not use scissors. Leaves, stems etc. should be removed completely with no “stump” left behind. Wounds on a plant allow for entry of disease and can attract insects. Remove flowers or bracts in the same way.

Amazon Product – May Earn Commission

Aglaonema Silver Queen plants generally have few problems. They are prone to stem and root rot if the soil is kept overly wet. Aglaonema Silver Queen house plants will become thin and leggy if kept in low light for extended periods of time. This is true for all house plants. The light a plant receives, or doesn’t receive, directly affects its growth.

Mealy bugs are one of the most common insect problems that you may have with Aglaonema plants. An oval shaped, somewhat flattened body and six legs distinguish this insect, although they can appear to have more legs because of their “antennae” and “tails”. They also have a fringe around the body. A waxy, protective substance covers the body of adults and egg sacs giving them a cottony appearance.

Mealy bugs excrete a sticky substance called honeydew. You may see or feel it on the leaves. They normally are found in hidden areas, the undersides of the leaves or in leaf axils. Keep an eye out for these pest, especially when you first bring a new plant home.

It is a good idea to quarantine any new additions to your house plant family for a few weeks just to be sure there are not any insects that were not noticed at first. Wash down your new house plant with a mixture of water and mild dish detergent. I like to add a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil or Orange Essential oil to my house plant cleaning solution.

Apply to top and lower leaf and stem surfaces of your house plants, being careful not to saturate the soil. You can clean by hand or use a spray bottle to apply your house plant cleaning solution. I use a sponge moistened with my cleaning solution to gently wipe the top and lower leaf surfaces. Cleaning of your house plants should be a regular part of your house plant care.

Never apply anything to the foliage of your plant while it is in the sun or when the soil is dry. Water first and move to a shady location.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon as information on indoor plants, pictures and more are being added all of the time. I hope that your indoor tropical plants and all of your plants and flowers are happy, green and growing because that is why I started this site PlantAndFlowerInfo.com.

If you have Aglaonema Silver Queen plant questions or other questions about your indoor plants, you can send an indoor house plant question or visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo.com blog for interior plant questions and answers, to post your own indoor house plant comments or questions or to share some of your indoor plant wisdom with others. Visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo.com Facebook Page, a great place to find a compilation of plant, flower, gardening and landscape information! Thanks again…

Related links:
Watering Aglaonema House Plants Lighting Indoor House Plants Best House Plants House Plants Pictures PlantAndFlowerInfo blog House Plants Care

Silver Queen Corn

Light requirements: Full sun for best yields.

Planting: Space 8 to 12 inches apart, depending on type. (Read the stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.) Extend the harvest by setting out plants weekly for a month or more.

Soil requirements: Corn needs moist but well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be 6.0 to 6.8. In coldest regions, warm soil with black plastic for one week prior to planting.

Water requirements: Fuel corn’s fast growth with consistently moist soil. Shallow roots make plants susceptible to drought. Mulch soil to reduce water evaporation, but wait until soil has warmed before covering it.

Frost-fighting plan: Corn can be damaged by light frost (28º F to 32º F). If a surprise late spring frost comes into the forecast, protect seedlings with a frost blanket.

Common issues: Watch for corn earworms, aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, and cutworms. Use a barrier fence to deter deer and raccoons. Diseases to be on the lookout for include corn smut, leaf blight, and rust. In poorly draining soil, fungus diseases can attack seedlings. If gusty summer storms blow corn plants over, they will usually right themselves after a few days of sunny weather. If pollination is an issue (corn is primarily wind-pollinated), grow corn in blocks of short rows instead of one long one. Don’t plant different types of corn close enough to cross-pollinate or flavor can change.

Harvesting: Ripe ears feel full and rounded; silk should be dried and brown on the ends. If you’re unsure, poke a kernel with your fingernail. Corn is ready if sap is light and milky Clear liquid means the ear isn’t ready. Corn is sweetest in the early morning; pick ears first thing for best flavor. To harvest, hold the corn stalk with one hand; use the other to pull the ear down and away from the stalk, twisting until it breaks off.

Storage: Keep corn in the husk until cooking. Refrigerate harvested ears right away. While sweetness should last about a week, corn tastes best eaten as close to harvesting as possible.

For more information, visit the Corn page in our How to Grow section.

Chinese Evergreens Indoors – Growing And Caring For Chinese Evergreen Plants

While most houseplants require a bit of effort in providing appropriate growing conditions (light, temperature, humidity, etc.), growing Chinese evergreens can make even the novice indoor gardener look like an expert. This tropical foliage plant is one of the most durable houseplants you can grow, tolerating poor light, dry air and drought.

Tips for Growing Chinese Evergreens Indoors

Growing Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema) is easy. This gem of a plant is one of the most popular houseplants grown in the home due to its ease of care. You can find Chinese evergreen plants in many varieties, including variegated forms.

Although they are tolerant of many growing conditions, following certain recommendations will yield greater results. This includes placing them in well-draining soil, preferably an equal mix of potting soil, perlite and sand.

Chinese evergreen plants thrive in medium to low light conditions or indirect sunlight. Wherever you place it in the home, you should make sure that the plant receives warm temps and somewhat humid conditions. However, this flexible plant will tolerate less than ideal conditions if necessary.

These plants prefer temperatures no lower than 60 F. (16 C.) with average indoor temps ranging between 70-72 F. (21-22 C.) being most favorable, but they can tolerate temps around 50-55 F. (10-13 C.). Keep Chinese evergreen plants away from drafts, which can cause browning of the foliage.

Chinese Evergreen Care

Caring for Chinese evergreen houseplants requires little effort when given the proper growing conditions. They enjoy moderate watering—not too much, not too little. Allow the plant to dry out some between watering. Overwatering will lead to root rot.

As part of your Chinese evergreen care, you should fertilize older Chinese evergreens once or twice yearly using a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.

If your Chinese evergreen plant becomes too large or leggy, give the plant a quick trim. It’s also possible to save cuttings during the process for propagating new plants. Cuttings root easily in water.

Older plants will sometimes produce flowers reminiscent of calla or peace lilies. This occurs in spring to summer. Most people choose to cut the blooms prior to seed productions, though you may choose to keep them and try your hand at seed growing them. Keep in mind, however, that this will take much longer.

To limit the accumulation of dust build-up, clean the leaves occasionally by wiping them down with a soft, damp rag or simply place them in the shower and allow them to air dry.

Chinese evergreen houseplants can be affected by spider mites, scale, mealybugs, and aphids. Routinely checking the leaves for signs of pests will help limit problems later.

While it may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you are new at growing Chinese evergreens indoors, it’s actually easier than you may think.

Aglaonema

There are many hybrid varieties of the Chinese evergreen available which have been cultivated over the last century. This is because of their increasing popularity for indoor growers to use them as ornamental plants for room decoration.

These slow growing plant varieties includes, plain green, speckled, blotched and variegated types. One of the most popular and sought after is the silver queen which has leaves covered in silver mainly with some small green patches.

Foliage: The leaves are liner (elongated with parallel sides) or oval shaped which grow at the tip of the stalks. These leaves grow up to 30cm in length and about 5 – 8cm wide. An old mature plant will form a short trunk which can look similar to a yucca or dracaena, in the way the lower leaves come away and leave scared marks.

Flowering: During summer once the plant matures in growth and age it can produce very small flowers which then turn into berries. If these do appear they grow between the leaves and are quite insignificant.

Displaying: Wherever these are grown indoors they need to be provided with enough warmth. This is why many are grown in greenhouses or patios.

Caring: The level of care needed for this plant is quite moderate. The most important requirement is that they don’t reside in temperatures below 60ºF (15ºC). The good news is they can tolerate low lighting conditions, although I have seen it mentioned that it is only the all-green and not the variegated types that will tolerate low light.

Chinese Evergreen

Botanical Name: Aglaonema hybrids

Chinese Evergreen is a member of the Aroid family (Araceae), known for easy-to-please foliage house plants.

A very adaptable plant, Aglaonema tolerates low light and dry air better than most other house plants. One thing it doesn’t like is cold air. Keep your plant away from drafts and A/C vents and it’ll do just fine.

New hybrids offer more colorful choices, such as this red-splashed variety.

Air Cleaners

Chinese evergreens are among the best plants for removing toxins, such as formaldehyde, from tainted indoor air. As if their good looks weren’t enough, their air-cleaning abilities make them must-have house plants.

New hybrids and cultivars are developed all the time, giving us more beautiful choices than ever before. Newer hybrids of this plant grow in thick clumps, so mature plants stay compact and bushy. ‘Silver Queen’ (shown at bottom) is a compact cultivar.

Aglaonema Varieties

You have a wealth of varieties to choose from: ‘Silver Queen’ and ‘Silver Spear’ have silvery variegation that makes them stand out among group plantings. ‘Emerald Star’ has bright-green foliage speckled with creamy white. ‘Silver Bay’ is lavishly splashed with silvery green. ‘Firecracker’ is boldly mottled with fiery red. Choose the one you like, they all make eye-catching house plants.

Caring for Chinese Evergreen

Water regularly. Consistently moist soil will keep this plant happy. In fact, it can grow in water alone.

Don’t prune. All new growth is from the crown of the plant, so don’t prune it back or you’ll kill it. If it begins to look leggy, plant pothos — or some other low-light plant — in the same container to cover the bare stems.

Repot in spring when it outgrows its pot. Aglaonema likes to be slightly root-bound, so it’s a good idea to move to a pot that’s slightly larger. Use a container with drainage holes to prevent soggy soil.

Check for bugs. Scale insects can weaken Chinese Evergreen, causing its leaves to droop. Look for these tiny, brown insects on stems and the undersides of leaves. Treat any infestation right away.

Is Chinese Evergreen poisonous? Yes. Small flowers may appear in summer, followed by red berries. The berries and sap of this plant are poisonous. It’s not a good idea to keep this plant where children and pets may play with or ingest it.

Chinese Evergreen Care Tips

Origin: Subtropical forests of Southeast Asia

Height: 2-3 ft (60-90 cm)

Light: Bright, indirect light to low light. Keep it out of direct sunlight, which may cause its leaves to fade. Aglaonema grows well under fluorescent light, making it an ideal office plant.

Water: Water thoroughly, then allow surface of potting medium to dry out a bit before watering again. Keep it slightly drier in winter, when growth is slower. Don’t allow it to get so dry that its leaves wilt.

Humidity: Average indoor (around 40% relative humidity) or higher. Don’t mist, which will cause spots on its leaves. If your home is dry in the winter months, use a cool-mist room humidifier.

Temperature: Normal room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C. Aglaonema has no tolerance for the cold. It suffers when exposed to temps below 55°F/13°C. Cold air may cause grayish-yellow patches on its leaves. Set your plant where it won’t be exposed to cold blasts from doorways and windows, or an AC vent.

Soil: Any good-quality houseplant potting mix.

Fertilizer: Chinese Evergreen is not a big feeder. From spring through summer, feed monthly with a balanced (such as 10-10-10 npk) water-soluble houseplant fertilizer, using half the recommended amount. Do not feed in winter, when growth is slow.

Propagation: Easy to propagate by stem cuttings. Take 3-4 in (7.5-10 cm) long stem tip cuttings in spring. Dip the cut ends in water then rooting powder. Insert into sterile, moist potting mix. Keeping the plants warm and humid will improve successful propagation. Older root-bound plants can be divided.

  1. Home
  2. Houseplants A-Z

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *