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Aglaonema Genus

Chinese evergreen

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General Needs

  • LightPart shade
  • HardinessTropical (min 17°C)
  • SoilWell drained
  • Soil pH5.0 to 6.0
  • WaterSemi-moist

Description

Aglaonema genus (Chinese evergreen). These are evergreen upright or creeping, tufted perennials in the Arum family, which are mainly grown for their foliage. The flowers are unisexual and carried on a spadix and the fruit is a single, thin-skinned berry, which ripens to a bright red colour.

Characteristics

Perennials, Evergreens, Rhizomes, Herbaceous

Other common names

Malayan sword

Origin

Tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea.

Interest and use

Grown for their foliage primarily. Popular houseplants, as they can tolerate low levels of light. Grown as luck-giving plants in Asia.

Introduced to the West in 1885. The genus name comes from the Greek genus name : Greek word 'aglaos', which means 'shining' or 'splendid' and the Greek word 'nēma', which means 'thread' and refers to the clusters of thick stamens along its spadices.

Cultivation

They are frost tender and most species will require a min of 15C. They will tolerate shade, although the variegated forms will need more light. They will prefer a moist but well drained soil. Water moderately when in full growth and less in the winter. Cut off flowering stems when they appear to prolong the life of the plant and maintain bushy growth. Always wear gloves when handling this plant as the sap contains calcium oxalate which irritates the skin.

Propagation

Propagation is by division or stem cuttings in the summer.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Mealy bug, nematodes, the fungus Myrothecium roridum and bacteria such as Pseudomonas cichorii, Erwinia chrysanthemi, and Xanthomonas campestris, which can all cause leaf spot.

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