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How to care for an Aglaonema plantThe Aglaonema is a special plant with a special name. Beloved in the Plantsome office for its amazing leaves and easy to care for character, the Aglaonema will shine in any household or office. The Aglaonema has striking and unique patterns on its leaves and you'll notice plenty of them starting to grow from the base of the stem when watered frequently. Keep it in the shade and reduce watering in winter to keep it from growing if you like it's shape and size. Enjoy!
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- Once every two years
- Partial shade
- Slightly poisonous
- Once every two weeks (summer)
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Unlike its brother Dieffenbachia, the Aglaonema doesn't come from the South America region. It can be found often on the other side of the world, in Southeast Asia and particularly in Indonesia. It grows in the jungles under the canopy of the larger trees. For this reason, the Aglaonema has become used to shade. The plant's name is derived from the Greek words "aglaos", which means beautiful, and "nema" (threads). This would be a reference to the stamens of the flower.
A nice bonus of having an Aglaonema is its ability to properly purify the air. Because of its large leaves, it is a lot better at this than many other house plants. NASA has even put the Aglaonema in a list of the best air-purifying plants. There are way more harmful substances floating around every household than we think, so it's certainly not a bad idea to have this as a natural air freshener in your home.
The juice and berries of an Aglaonema are slightly toxic. Contact with the skin may cause slight irritation. Also make sure that children and pets do not eat the leaves. It's rare for a pet to get severe discomfort, or worse, from this, but it's better to prevent that! Right?
The Aglaonema isn't that fussy about watering. A little more or less doesn't really matter. The only thing this plant dislikes is too much moisture, so be careful to prevent layers of water at the bottom of the pot. When in doubt, it's best not to water it; this houseplant won't have difficulties handling dry soil for a while. In the summer, it's good to keep the soil slightly moist, but in the winter this plant can certainly do without water for a few weeks.
Unlike many other houseplants, a darker spot is absolutely fine for the Aglaonema. The more light the plant gets, the more it will grow. However, the plant also looks nice in a shady place; it just won't grow there. You should also make sure that the Aglaonema receives some sunlight, preferably a few hours a day; thus, a window on the north, east or west are excellent places. Be careful with drafts, as this can cause the Aglaonema diseases.
The Aglaonema is a slow grower, and therefore does not need as many nutrients. Extra food is completely unnecessary in autumn and winter. During spring and summer you can add a standard dose of plant food once a month. Never feed it too much, however, as this can be harmful for a houseplant.
Repotting an Aglaonema isn't necessary that often because of its slow growth (usually every 2 years). Of course you can repot it to a nicer pot right after you have bought it. When repotting, make sure you do not damage the roots and do it in the spring, if possible. Are you going to put the plant in a larger pot? Then always take a new pot that is at least 20% larger than the old one.
This houseplant does not grow very large and pruning is seldom necessary. If your plant gets yellow or brown leaves, it's usually due to too much sunlight. Try moving it a little further from a window. If only the lower leaves turn yellow, the Aglaonema has been dry for too long. You can safely cut these leaves, and the plant will grow new leaves. You wouldn't see it at first sight, but this plant can also blossom. The flower is often hidden under the leaves, making it difficult to see. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of energy for the plant to keep the flower alive, so it's best to cut it off as soon as you see one. Aww!
Low humidity can cause your Aglaonema to suffer from spider mite or lice. A good precaution is to spray your plant with water once every few weeks. If that can be done more often, it's even better. Put your plant in the shower twice a year with lukewarm water, so that all the dust from the leaves is washed away. This helps prevent diseases and ensures the plant will absorb more light and look nice again. When showering the plant, shield the soil with some aluminum foil to prevent the plant from drowning.