Light: Chinese Evergreen plants are one of the few houseplants with light green and gray in the leaves that can grow in low light
. The newer varieties of Chinese Evergreen that have bright red, pink, yellow, and orange in the leaves require medium to bright light
. Never place a Chinese Evergreen in the direct sun.
Water: Allow the top 25-30% of the soil of a Chinese Evergreen houseplant to dry out before watering. When the soil of a Chinese Evergreen stays wet for a long period of time, the stems develop root- rot and die. If the soil gets too dry or too wet, yellow leaves develop.
Fertilizer: Chinese Evergreen houseplants are slow growers and do not need much fertilizer
. Feed a every other month with a basic houseplant food at 1/4 the recommended strength when the plant is actively growing.
Temperature: Temperatures below 50°F ( 10°C) damage the leaves of a Chinese Evergreen. Keep these plants out of cold drafts and away from air conditioners.
Humidity: Chinese Evergreen plants prefer regular household humidity or higher if possible.
Flowering: I recommend cutting off any flowers that appear on a Chinese Evergreen plant. The flowers are not very attractive and use energy that the plant needs to produce its beautiful leaves.
Pests: A Chinese Evergreen is susceptible to mealy bugs, scale, and aphids. The Green Solution
, sprayed on both sides of the leaves usually solves the problem. (recipe for Green Solution
is in the Glossary of the website). You can also see a picture and read more about these plant pests in the Glossary.
Diseases: In high humidity, the large leaves of a Chinese Evergreen may develop bacterial diseases such as Leaf Spot.
Pot Size: Keep a Chinese Evergreen plant in a small pot so the soil can dry out quickly and the roots are not constantly wet.
Pruning: If a Chinese Evergreen plant becomes thin and leggy, prune the stems a few inches above the soil line. This helps the plant send out new growth at the bottom of the stem and all along the length of the stem.
Propagation: Chinese Evergreen plants are propagated by stem cuttings and plant division
Clean Air Plant: NASA lists the Chinese Evergreen plant as one of the top 10 best houseplants to clean the air of harmful toxins.
Poisonous Plant Information: Chinese Evergreen Plants are poisonous
houseplants with a #2 toxicity level
due to the calcium oxalate crystals in the plant. Adverse reactions to a Chinese Evergreen include skin irritations after contact with the sap, irritation of mouth, lips, throat, and tongue if the leaves are eaten.
Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants