Tough-as-nails Chinese evergreen, also known as Philippine evergreen, is an easy-to-grow houseplant that tolerates virtually all indoor growing conditions. (Beginners: This one’s for you!) It’s also a showstopper, with verdant green leaves splashed with white, silver, pink, or red—depending on the variety. It rarely flowers when grown inside, though. A slow-growing houseplant, it will happily reside on a desktop for many months before outgrowing the space. Large Chinese evergreen plants are perfect accent pieces for empty corners or for pairing with big furniture pieces.
Chinese Evergreen Care Must-Knows
If you're growing Chinese evergreen as a landscape plant, make sure you protect it from frost and intense mid-day sun. If you're growing it inside, just about anything goes. It grows well with indirect sunlight or in medium- to-low light conditions . Place this houseplant on a desk top under the glow of florescent lights and it will do just fine.
Chinese evergreen is easy-going about moisture, too. Plant it in an equal mix of potting soil, perlite, and sand that drains easily. Water the plant regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Let the plant dry out a little between waterings. A Chinese evergreen will grow faster and maintain more vibrant foliage if fertilized once or twice a year with a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer.
Keep it in a room that's at least 55 degrees F (70 to 72 degrees F is best). And keep it away from drafts, which cause the leaves to brown. Wipe off the leaves once in a while to limit dust accumulation. And keep your eyes open for aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites while you're wiping. Your plant will thank you.
More Varieties of Chinese Evergreen
Aglaonema commutatum 'Silver Bay' is a relatively new variety with greater tolerance for temperatures below 60 degrees F. The center of its leaves are generously splashed with creamy silver.
Aglaonema 'Nicole' has dark-green leaves decorated with jagged silver midveins. Zones 12-15