PRO TIP: The Aglaonema is one of a handful of plants that can adapt to fluorescent lighting conditions. Combined with its relatively low watering demands and beautifully variegated leaves, it’s a strong and original choice for an office plant!
The Aglaonema is a mainstay of favorite houseplant lists everywhere! With its unique and full foliage, easy care, and ability to adapt to almost any home or office space, it’s hard to find a more versatile stunner.
Commonly called the “Chinese Evergreen”, this plant is native to the tropical forest floors of Asia, so appreciates a spot where it can receive indirect light, as direct sunlight can scorch its leaves. Keeping it a few feet from a well lit window where it can receive bright diffused light is ideal, however it can tolerate lower light levels and even fluorescent lighting conditions.
If you are unsure about the lighting conditions in your home or office, read our guide for how to measure light in your space.
Aglaonema come in a wide array of colors and patterns. The Aglaonema Maria, pictured here, has a speckled forest and light green pattern.
PRO TIP: Keep your plant away from hot and cold air drafts. This includes window breezes, heaters, and air conditioning. Aglaonema prefer a temperature of 70 and 85 degrees fahrenheit. Night time temperatures should not vary more than a 10 degrees drop.
Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. Also, consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breathe and allow moisture to be released.
Aglaonema like to dry out between waterings, so feel the soil with your finger a few inches down to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. If your plant is in a bright location, then you will want to water it when the soil is dry halfway down the pot. If you have your plant in fluorescent or lower light conditions, then it’s best to let the soil dry out almost all the way to the bottom of the pot before watering thoroughly.
Look out for overwatering with this plant as it can be prone to root rot. The key signs of overwatering are yellowing or mushy stalks or leaves. If you find this occurring then it’s best to let the soil dry out completely before watering again.
Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. This is especially important if the plant is in a lower light location. When dusting the leaves, also take the opportunity to inspect the undersides and keep an eye out for pests.
Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Aglaonema and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.
Standard Planter Instructions
There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery NYC—those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. The presence of drainage holes and size of the vessel play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.
Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole have been set up with a built-in drainage system. A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir for any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the excess water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.
For plants potted with drainage, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.
Always be sure to assess your plant's watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for your plant’s specific moisture requirements.
Self Watering Container Instructions
The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir first in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks. Then the reservoir is ready to be tested.
TEST: After four weeks, fill the water reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.
RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.
From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.
Step 1: Top water for two weeks. The indicator will look empty, like the picture above.
Step 2: Fill the reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line.
Step 3: Watch the indicator over the next day or two. If it goes down on its own, it means the roots of the plant have grown into the reservoir. From here on out, ONLY water in the reservoir.
Frequently Asked Questions
Help! My Aglaonema has yellow or brown leaves shortly after receiving it.
- This is most likely due to transplant shock. Transplant shock is totally normal, and almost all plants experience some form of it by losing a few leaves or showing some discoloration upon arriving in a new environment. Prune off any unsightly leaves and be sure to follow the care instructions. If the problem persists then refer to the care guide and see if light or water needs adjusting.
Why are my Aglaonema leaves drooping?
- Droopy leaves can be an indication of improper light or water requirements. In too much direct sun, the plant can become weak and floppy. In not enough light, the leaves can also begin to wilt and show signs of weakness. A combination of yellow and brown edging, moist soil, and droopy leaves is often a result of too much water. Crispy, fully yellow or brown leaves and dry soil is typically a result of too little water. If you are experiencing these symptoms, refer to the care guide and adjust as needed.
Why are the stalks of my Aglaonema turning yellow and brown?
- This is most frequently caused by too much moisture being held in the soil. Aglaonema stalks retain water for the plant in periods of drought. If there is too much water in the soil and the stalks are also full of water, this can cause the plant to rot. In this case, hold off on water, aerate the soil, and prune any rotting stalks. Water the plant again only when the soil has dried completely throughout the pot.
How often should I fertilize my plant?
- In general, houseplants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once every 6 weeks with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil, so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.
How often does my plant need to be repotted?
- For smaller desktop plants, we suggest repotting once every 12-18 months. Choose a potting vessel 1”- 2” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plant's roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time for repotting as the plant is at its strongest.
- For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plant's roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time for repotting as the plant is at its strongest.
We've tried countless pruners over the years, and none surpass the ARS. Our team uses these pruners daily for all manor of indoor and outdoor plant work and we'll never go back to another brand.
Neem Oil is an all purpose insecticide, miticide, fungicide for organic gardening. It's a systemic, which means the plant will absorb the neem oil into its circulatory system and poison pests from within. Be careful not to overuse.
Watering cans come in all shapes and sizes, and the perfect one for your home is the one you're happiest living with. Look for long spouts and a container volume that's appropriate for your plant collection.
Plants do poorly without air to the roots. Overwatering causes the air to be pushed out of the soil, compacting the soil around the waterlogged roots of the plant. Using the Soil Sleuth aerates the soil as it checks for moisture.
Aeratation stones promote healthy root growth by creating air pockets in the soil and absorbing excess water in the basin of your planter. These porous clay stones are a natural, efficient and invaluable material to set your plant up for success.
Fox Farm Ocean Forest contains all the features we look for when trying to guarantee the long term health of a plant: excellent water retention, breathability, texture, and made from organic materials.
10-4-3 fertilizer is a great, gentle choice for indoor foliage. Simply mix this in to your watering can using the supplied directions every other week. Ensure your plant is getting a good amount of light or else it won't have energy to process the nutrients.