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Room Aglaonema - A Favorite Of Ornamental And Deciduous Crops

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The beautiful aglaonema leaves that form lush bushes are one of the most striking spectacles in an interior. The amazing harmony of intricate but not too showy patterns that look elegant and even noble gives the plant a special beauty. And the unique texture of the leaves only emphasizes the beauty of the cream and silver spots. Growing aglaonemas is not the easiest task. After all, this culture requires high humidity, and it does not forgive blunders in care. Beautiful, capricious and unique, the Aglaonema indoor plant is a plant for experienced growers. © Han Keat Lim


  • How does an aglaonema look?
  • Views of room aglaonema
  • Conditions for growing room aglaonema
  • Home care of aglaonema
  • Diseases, pests and problems in cultivation
  • Reproduction of aglaonema

What does aglaonema look like?

Dracena, cattleya, aglaonemas - this trio of large-leafed houseplants has become a true classic. When looking for an ornate, not too capricious, durable and modern plant with beautiful patterns on the leaves, first of all they are remembered. Even though the unpretentiousness is not exactly inherent to the aglaonema, its appearance is nevertheless perceived as a true decoration of any interior.

Aglaonemas are herbaceous perennials that have come to us from the magnificent monsoon forests. In room culture, they change format and size in many ways, developing much more compact. Wild aglaonemas are found in India, Malaysia and South America. Plants of the genus Aglaonema represent the family Aroideae and are typical plants of this family in their growth form, foliage and their distinctive features.

Aglaonemas are bushy, small herbaceous plants that develop as a lush rosette of leaves with a shortened stem. The maximum height of indoor aglaonems is limited to 70 cm. The stem is formed only in older plants, and in young aglaonems only the leaves are visible. They are the pride of the plant.

Large, up to 30 cm long and 5 to 10 cm wide, the aglaonema leaves have a perfect oblong-oval or lanceolate shape with a pointed tip. They sit on long stalks, which give the plant extra grace and emphasize the clean lines of the leaf. The depressed, backwardly projecting central vein is clearly visible on the leaf, but the lateral "skeletal" veins can be either more pronounced or almost invisible.

The palette of aglaoneme colors deserves separate raves. This culture is adorned predominantly with mottled or patterned leaves. Depending on the variety and ornamental form, the coloration comes in two or three colors. The basic green color is never too dark, it is perceived as light, bright and ornate, most often within grassy shades, and is complemented by white, cream, gray, silver, light yellow, light green, which come through in a variety of spots, rims, strokes, dots and divorces on the leaves of aglaonemes.

Aglaonems flower very rarely, and only at a solid age and with perfect care. Plants produce several flower stalks up to 20 cm long, crowned by a cob with a large, up to 6 cm, light salal, sometimes almost white covering around it. Aglaonema flowers are not so impressive as to sacrifice the decorative value of the leaves for their sake.

Aglaonemas should be handled with care. It is a poisonous plant and you need to protect your hands with gloves when handling it. General precautions for growing aglaonemas in families with young children or pets are worth observing.

Room aglaonema - a favorite of ornamental and deciduous crops
Aglaonema flower. © Tom Powell

Species of room aglaonemas

Aglaonemas are very widely represented in room culture. About ten species are popular, freely available plants which although similar in general, can also boast striking individual features.

Aglaonema variable (Aglaonema commutatum)A beautiful plant with age has elongating shoots, it can grow as a neat bush of 20-30 cm high or stretch to over one meter. Leaves are lanceolate, fairly narrow, up to 30 cm in length, with a mottled color (often silver or light ripples cover almost the entire surface of the leaves). This species has very many ornamental forms and varieties with more severe spots and patterns or chaotically mottled leaves.

Particularly popular are:

  • the ornamental form maculatum - with large, translucent pale spots resembling spreading paint that seem to overlap one another;
  • A narrow-leaved variety "Silver Queen" - with a white-silver spot that almost completely takes over the leaf in good light;
  • Compact variety "Silver King", also with almost completely silver leaves;
  • The variety "Malay Beauty" - with bird-like feather patterns and its reminiscent decorative form pseudobracteatum;
  • form warburgii - with irregular white-silver stripes along the lateral veins forming a "skeletal" pattern;
  • the "Treubi" variety - with diffenbahia-like light salatine spots.

Aglaonema ribbed (Aglaonema costatum) - a low-growing species with a reduced, underground shoot and oval, pointed-tip leaves up to 20 cm long, on the surface of which small white and cream speckles and spots are showing through, emphasized by a silvery central vein.

Aglaonema modestum (Aglaonema modestum) - one of the rare non-foliate species, up to half a meter in height, with large leaves up to 20 cm long and a careless, spreading shrub. Lateral veins protrude on the surface of the leaf.

Aglaonema curly (Aglaonema crispum) is a medium-large species with branching stems and oval leaves with silver transverse stripes showing through on a subdued green background.

Aglaonema Treuba (Aglaonema treubii) - considered the most unpretentious and undemanding to humidity species with leaves reaching 15 cm in length, their lateral veins showing translucent silvery spots.

Aglaonema shiny (Aglaonema nitidum) is a large species with straight shoots that can reach 1 m in height with age. Glossy oval-lanceolate leaves grow up to 40 cm in length, adorned with pale thin spots between the lateral veins.

Aglaonema pictum (Aglaonema pictum) - a beautiful species with strongly branching trunks and lanceolate-oval, up to 20 cm long leaves of dark, seemingly almost black in contrast with "snake" lettuce-white spots.

Aglaonema oblongifolium (Aglaonema marantifolium) - its lanceolate leaves up to 30 cm long sit on almost as long petioles. The bright base color is combined with pale green spots between the lateral veins.

Today an increasing number of hybrid varieties are available, boasting the brightest colors, smaller leaves with greater leaf density, and increased hardiness. But the unpretentiousness of variety aglaonemas in practice is not confirmed. Therefore, when choosing a variety, one should be guided solely by its decorative properties.

Room aglaonema - a favorite of ornamental and deciduous crops
Aglaonema multicolor painted "Velvetleaf Multicolor". © hoksumm
Room aglaonema - a favorite of ornamental and deciduous crops
Aglaonema commutatum. © Qrispe
Room aglaonema - a favorite of ornamental and deciduous crops
Aglaonema "Red Gold". © amanda M

Conditions for growing room aglaonemas

Aglaonemas can be called typical tropicals in many ways. They need to be kept in optimal conditions of light and temperature, but do not require any special requirements. As they are extremely light and heat-loving, they react very badly to any deviations from the optimum conditions. A suitable overwintering regime is particularly difficult to achieve, when mistakes can lead to a complete loss of ornamental value. The common greenleaf Aglaonemas are more tolerant of low light or temperatures, but the varieties require exactly the right conditions. Due to their love of high humidity, they are mainly preferred in window boxes, greenhouses, florariums and tropical gardens. They can really be a luxurious accent in the company of any moisture-loving flowering or deciduous stars, but still more often aglaonemas are used for interior decoration. For them to reveal their beauty in living rooms, careful care and careful control of their conditions are needed.

Lighting and placement in the interior

The beautiful patterns of aglaonems, as well as the compact, dense bushiness, are possible only in sufficiently bright light. The leaves of this crop are delicate and do not tolerate direct sunlight, so the lighting regime for aglaonemas can only be diffused. Even the morning or evening sun should be screened in summer.

When the light intensity and daylight hours decrease, aglaonemas should be moved to the lightest windowsills, trying to keep the light level unchanged. The lack of light leads to shriveling, stretching, and dropping of leaves.

If possible, additional extra light can be installed for the winter. Some shading can be tolerated only by green-leaved aglaonemas, which can be kept all year round even in the penumbra. However, even such Aglaonemas will only maintain their high decorative value in bright light. Ideal locations for Aglaonemas are eastern and western window sills. But the aglaonema does not have to be placed only there. Possible places in the interior of a room with southern or numerous windows, on a light-flooded balcony or in any location with artificial extra light can be used to introduce the Aglaonema into dining rooms, recreation areas, kitchens, bathrooms or any other room. The minimum allowable drop in air and substrate temperature for them is +18°C. Short-term lowering to +12 degrees the plant can withstand, but not without consequences for the leaves. Especially dangerous for this plant is hypothermia of the root system. But the aglaonema does not like the usual summer temperatures of tropical forests. The plant looks best at a stable temperature of +22 to +23 degrees Celsius. Any increase in temperature above +25°C has to be accompanied by a rise in air humidity. The same temperature in winter and summer allows the aglaonema to maintain a constant decorative effect.

Aglaonema is very afraid of temperature extremes and of all, even slight, draughts. It cannot be taken out into the fresh air and must be protected when the rooms are aired.

Room aglaonema - a favorite of ornamental and deciduous crops
Aglanema 'Queen of Siam'. The Aglaonemas are not the most difficult plants to grow but they are not simple, unpretentious and hardy either. They are best suited for experienced growers who can implement a systematic and careful care program.

Indiscriminate watering, neglect or disturbance of the plants are not harmful but rather irreversible for the Aglaonemas. The most difficult thing in the care of Aglaonemas is to maintain the correct humidity level, both in the substrate and in the air. A balance must be struck between plenty of watering and not getting too wet. Water only after the upper layer of the substrate has dried out, but do not let the average moisture content of the soil change.

In its resting phase too abundant watering is dangerous. Water more sparingly and less frequently, letting the larger layer of soil in the aglaonema containers dry out. But do not allow the soil to completely dry out, even in winter.

Water quality is very important for the Aglaonema. Steady, soft and slightly warm water not only does not change the characteristics of the substrate over time, but also protects the plant from temperature fluctuations. It is desirable to install humidifiers or trays with wet moss, expanded clay, pebbles, but if the temperatures remain within the optimal parameters, you can do with only sprinkling.

Summer it is better to conduct them daily even with working humidifiers. Water for spraying should be the same as for watering. The plant should be isolated from even the slightest air currents before this procedure.

Aglanema like to shower.

Their leaves should be regularly cleaned of dust - by washing or gently wiping with a moist soft sponge. Even though aglaonemas have glossy leaves, no gloss enhancers or polishes should be used on this plant.

Fertilizers and Fertilizer Composition

It is important to include regular fertilizers for the aglaonemas. They are carried out only in the period of active growth, when the bushes produce new leaves. From March to October, fertilize with the usual frequency of once every 2 weeks. The transition from active fertilizing to the dormant period should be smooth, not abrupt.

For aglaonemas, you can use universal or special fertilizers designed for ornamental and deciduous crops. The main thing to pay attention to is that there is no risk of alkalization of the soil. Aroids or diffenbahia fertilizers and mixed ornamental-leafy plants are very well suited for the Aglaonema. © San Gabriel Nursery & Florist

Trimming and shaping

On young and healthy aglaonemas, pruning is limited to removing dry or damaged leaves. But as the stems lengthen, the plant becomes smaller or stretched out, loses compactness, and there is a need for rejuvenation.

Aglaonemas are either re-rooted by cutting off the stem top and using it as an apical cuttings, or new plants are grown for replacement from stem and leaf cuttings. The old plant, even if a small stump is left, should not be discarded: with regular watering it will put out new shoots and regain its decorative aspect.

Transplanting and Substrate for Aglaonema158>

This plant does not need annual transplanting because of its rather slow growth. Aglaonema can only be moved to a new container once it has completely assimilated into the previous pot. Only very young bushes are transplanted with a frequency of 1-2 years, adults - approximately every 3 years. As the plant usually loses its decorativeness, gets smaller and degenerates by the third-fourth year, such transplanting allows to combine the procedure of renewal and change of substrate.

For aglaonema transplanting can be done only in spring.

This culture, like most Aroids, prefers wide containers and does not normally develop in deep pots. The height of the container should be less than its diameter. Aglaonema adores natural materials - ceramic cachepots. When choosing pots, it is worth remembering that aglaonema does not like excessive soil. Good growth and preservation of bush density and lushness are observed only when growing in a sufficiently close pot. In a very large container it will never flower.

Aglaonema soils should be light, nutritious and permeable. The optimum soil reaction is pH 5.5. Choosing a substrate, it's better not to look for universal earth mixture, but for special substrates for diffenbahia, spatifillum or aroids.

You can mix sod, leaf soil with sand and peat in a 2:1:1:1 ratio. For the plant, it is desirable to add a small amount of brick crumbs or charcoal to any, even prepared substrate. Aglaonema can be grown on hydroponics, but it does not like ionic substrates.

Diseases, pests and problems in cultivation

Aglaonema is often affected by pests. Aphids, thrips and scale are particularly fond of this plant, but spider mites also occur on the leaves. The insects can be repelled by washing the plants with soapy water or by using insecticides.

Aglaonemas can suffer from grey mould and the modern varieties often have a tendency to leaf spotting. The diseases can only be controlled by treating the plants with fungicide solutions.

Prevalent problems in cultivation:

  • wrinkling, loss of leaf turgor in low humidity;
  • appearance of leaf spots in direct sunlight;
  • curling of leaves in drafts and overcooling;
  • wrinkling of leaves and stopping growth in cold or hard water.
Room aglaonema - a favorite of ornamental and deciduous crops
Aglaonemas are propagated at home only vegetatively. Propagation of Aglaonemas

Aglaonemas at home can only be propagated vegetatively. New bushes can be obtained both by cuttings and by dividing the plants.

Splitting powerful adults (over 3 years old) and bushes starting to lose their decorative power is done only during transplanting. Try to act carefully during this procedure, trying to separate with minimal injury and not to destroy the entire root ball.

You can simply separate the daughter plants, which are formed along the perimeter of the mother shrub (separation is performed when the offspring have at least 3-4 full-fledged leaves). After transplanting into new containers, the plants need higher air humidity and more moderate watering.

Aglaonema cuttings are used for both stem or apex (in very old plants) and leaf cuttings. It is better to root them in sand or in a mixture of sand and substrate. Very slight soil humidity, high air humidity under a hood or in a greenhouse and a temperature not below +22°C are the prerequisites for rooting. If you plant aglaonemas indoors, please tell us about your experience in the article comments or in our forum.