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 Red Aglaonema Care

Red Aglaonema originates from Thailand and belongs to a group of flowering plants of the arum family, Araceae. This genus of plants is indigenous to subtropical and tropical Asia and Oceania and are commonly known as Chinese evergreens. All varieties in this genus have adapted to grow in shaded, humid environments beneath tropical forests.

It is a strikingly decorative slow-growing plant. Its leaves are round with tapering tips growing on green stalks and are bright red with green borders and maintain their vibrant colors throughout the year. It produces a spike of small flowers encircled by a white spathe, however, it rarely blooms unless grown in ideal conditions. 

The entire genus of Chinese evergreen plants is considered to be symbols of good fortune all over Asia as well as being favorites of interior decorators. They have become rather popular indoor plants because of their low maintenance demands and attractive variegated foliage, often found in homes, offices, and commercial areas.

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Sunlight

This Chinese evergreen variety is well adapted to growing in low light environs so should be placed in an area without direct sunlight. Do not expose the plant to direct sunlight as the leaves will get damaged.

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Water

It only needs watering once weekly during its growing season, and once every 2 – 3 weeks in winter. This plant can go a few days without water but it grows better when watered regularly. 

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Humidity

This is a hardy plant that tolerates varied growing conditions, but they do prefer a bit of humidity. They can grow well in bathrooms or kitchens where humidity is usually higher, but they are quite capable of growing in rooms with low humidity such as offices or living rooms as long as the temperature is kept at the right level. If you live in a mostly dry climate, then regular misting will keep it happy.

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Temperature

One reason Chinese Evergreens are popular is that their ideal temperature range is between 64-77°F, usually the average temperature of rooms, although they can handle a low of 60°F. Any lower for lengthy periods will make the plant show indications of stress like brown spots appearing on leaves.  

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Soil

This plant is very adaptable and easy-going and will be happy with a mix of regular potting soil and sand or perlite in equal quantities. This will provide the plant with the right porosity and drainage.

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Repotting

Since all Chinese Evergreens including this one are rather slow growers, it will need to be repotted to a larger one around once every second year. Repot and replenish the soil to keep it thriving. This is an opportunity to also reduce the size of the plant by dividing it for propagation. 

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Propagation

The easiest method in propagating this plant is by dividing the plant when repotting the plant during the active growing period. This helps decrease the size of the plant as well as producing a new plant.

Gently separate a section of roots and stems from the original plant. If the plant hasn’t been repotted for more than 2 years, the roots may not be easy to separate by hand and will need to be cut to divide into more manageable segments. While it’s always better not to interfere with the roots, this is a hardy plant and can deal with some tough handling. 

Insert each new section into separate pots with a mix of fresh soil and sand or perlite. Firmly press the soil down while supporting it and water it generously during the first week to prevent dehydration and you will have a new healthy plant.

It can also be propagated with stem cuttings by selecting a more mature stem that has more leaves on the top of the stem with an exposed lower stem where the leaves have dropped away. This type of stem is better suited for propagation.

Snip off the selected stem with at least 5 leaves an inch above the soil and directly insert it as deep as possible without burying any leaves into a new pot with a mix of fresh soil and sand or perlite. This will help support the plant and give it a better chance of developing roots. Keep the cutting well-watered for 3 weeks and then return to your regular watering schedule. New shoots should appear from the stem after 3 weeks.

You can propagate your stem cutting in water first, but the roots that form in water are very often too delicate and are prone to get damaged when it is transferred to soil.

Always keep propagating new plants or cuttings in a shaded area.

Additional Care

This low-maintenance plant does not require much feeding but can suffer some damage if it is over-fertilized, as too much fertilizer will initiate root burn. Only feed it with diluted regular indoor plant fertilizer once monthly during its growing season to keep it healthy and thriving.

Like most plants grown in containers, this plant can also be pruned to a desired shape and size. Pruning the foliage also helps keep the plant looking tidy, helps encourage the development of more side-shoots and flowers (if you’re lucky), and lessens the demand on the plant to form larger root systems – this is important as the roots are confined in a pot.

Another rule to be followed includes wiping leaves to remove dirt and dust with a dampened cloth.

Common Problems

Like most indoor plants, it can be attacked by spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and nematodes (when grown outdoors). Spraying the leaves methodically with water will remove pests without damage to the plant. Any remaining pests may have to be dealt with using cotton swabs and alcohol or pesticides on affected areas.

Be wary of over-watering as it is prone to root rot and this will make leaves turn yellow and mushy, along with the stalks. If you notice this happening, wait a few days for the soil to become dry before watering again and follow the recommended watering schedule.

Droopy leaves can either be due to insufficient light or over-watering. Leaves will begin to wilt and appear weak when the plant doesn’t get enough light. Brown and yellow leaf margins, wet soil, and droopy leaves usually are a result of over-watering. Crispy, yellow, or brown leaves along dry soil are usually a sign of under-watering. If exposed to direct sun, the leaves might curl to prevent sunburn.

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