Aglaonema Maria (Chinese Evergreen)
A tough and undemanding house plant, this Chinese evergreen is perfect for both the novice or busy indoor gardener, who wants to introduce a bright splash of colourful foliage, without having too much fuss and bother. Chinese Evergreen is a member of the Aroid family (Araceae), known for easy-to-please foliage house plants. As a very adaptable plant, it tolerates low light and dry air better than most other house plants.
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.