Aglaonema: Indoor/outdoor low care good luck air purifying foliage plant
It is an outdoor/ indoor ornamental plant known for its attractive foliage which ranges from green, light green, white, pink and red colors. The plant is said to bring good luck and also helps in purifying air. They are mostly grown for their attractive leaves and their ability to purify air. They are easy to care and have very little maintenance and can withstand harsh conditions. There are multiple varieties of Agloanema available to meet your needs.
Quick Details of Aglaonema
|Other Common Names||Chinese evergreen, Philippine evergreen|
|Maintenance||Low. Just maintain proper sunlight and temperature.|
|Flowering||Late spring/ early summer|
|Light||Low to moderate bright indirect sunlight. Aglaonema plants should not be exposed to direct sunlight.|
|Water||Regular watering. Just keep the soil moist.|
|Temperature||Normal conditions. Can not tolerate very low as well as very high temperature.|
|Soil||Well drained soil which can retain some amount of moisture|
|Fertilizer||Any house plant fertilizer. Do not over fertilize. Too much fertilization can damage the plant|
|Habitat||Asia, New Guinea, China, Philippians|
|Toxicity||Yes. Irritation of the mucous membranes can be caused if ingested. The juice from leaves and stem can cause skin irritation and rash. Keep away from kids.|
|Common Diseases||Aphides, spider mites, leaf spot, root rot|
Aglaonema Buying Instructions
- As Aglaonema comes in various varieties based on foliage, make sure you are buying the right plant as per your choice.
- Make sure leaves are not damaged and plant looks healthy.
- As plant is toxic make sure you keep it away from small kids.
- Look for bushy plant.
Overview of Aglaonema
They are evergreen perennials native to humid, shady tropical forest. It is one of the commonly grown ornamental plants belonging to the family Aeraceae. The genus Aglaonema consists of different species.
The most commonly grown species is the silver queen. Some of the other species are the cutlass, Indo princess, pink splash, red, silver bay, spring snow, pink dalmatian, Malay beauty, treubi, silver king etc. the stem is mostly erect and the leaves are arranged as crowns around the stem. The leaves are broad, variegated and have different colours ranging from white, green, dark green, red and pink. The flowers are spadix and fruits are red and berry.
A species called Aglaonema modestum has been placed in the top 10 list of clean air plants by NASA because of its ability to purify the air and remove common household toxins like benzene and formaldehyde. The plants require very little care and hence is one of the most commonly grown house plants. In Asia the plants are considered lucky and can bring good luck to the household.
Usage and Advantage of Aglaonema
- They are ornamental plants grown for its attractive foliage.
- They help purify air.
General Care for Aglaonema
Soil: They prefer a well-drained soil that has an ability to hold enough moisture to allow the plant to grow. The soil should be a mixture of a peat based potting soil and should be rich in nitrogen, loosely packed and the pH should range in between 5.6-6.5
Water: They prefer the soil to be moist without excess water but can also tolerate low watering. They can be watered every alternate day or when the soil is dry. But excess dryness can lead to death of the plants. The plants prefer humidity and hence the leaves can be sprinkled with water ones in a while to maintain the humidity. The plants also have an ability to absorb water from the air thus maintaining humidity. Water should not have too much salt and chemical contents.
Light: They prefer bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can harm the plants. the plants with dark green leaves can survive in shade whereas the variegated plants require bright indirect sunlight.
Pruning: They do not require extensive pruning. The dead leaves can be removed from the base of the plants. The leggy live growths at the top can be removed to encourage bushing of the plants. The stalk of the inflorescence can be pruned before the formation of the buds to encourage the formation of more leaves.
Fertilizer: The plants can be fertilized during the growing period. They prefer a nitrogen rich soil and can be fertilized ones or twice a year. Do not over fertilize the plant, over fertilization can kill your plant.
Pests and other problems for Aglaonema
The plants can show signs and symptoms for a variety of problems and diseases. Some of the common ones include:
Yellow leaves: This can occur due to the under or over watering of the plants. This can be avoided by maintaining a moist and not wet or completely dry soil. If the condition persists, this can be because of the deficiency of copper. The plants should be fertilized appropriately.
Brown leaf tips: This is caused due to buildup of salts, minerals fluorine and chlorine. This can be prevented by either re-potting the plant to a fresh soil or leaching the soil by draining out the minerals using distilled water.
Brown Spots on leaves: The plants are susceptible anthracnose, myrothecium leaf spot and bacterial leaf spot. This causes the leaves to have brown spots and patches. A fungicide can be used in case of severe conditions or the infected leaves can be removed.
Pests: they are commonly attacked by aphids, mealy bugs, scale insects, spider mites. They mostly attack and are present on the underside of the leaves. They also help in spreading the fungal and bacterial diseases. An organic insecticidal soap or a pesticide can be used to get rid of pests that attack the plant.
Propagation of Aglaonema
The propagation can be done either through seed or by tip cutting and division. Even though propagation by seeds is an easier method, tip cutting and division is the most preferred method.
The nodes of the stem when exposed to soil can develop roots and grow. The mature plants produce suckers below the soil which can develop new small plants. These small daughter plants can be re-potted into a different pot and can be grown as a new plant.
The plant should be re potted ones in 2-3 years. The new small plants can be removed and planted separately.