How to grow & care for Chinese Evergreen
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema sp.) have lots of large leaves with either silver, green, pink or yellow variegation. They prefer to grow in spots with low to medium light, away from direct sunlight. They don’t like hot or cold drafts and don’t tolerate sudden changes in temperature. Chinese Evergreens do best in a humid environment, with a moist soil that is allowed to nearly dry out between waterings.
Once you’ve found the right spot for a Chinese Evergreen and they are happy, they’re low maintenance and easy to grow.
Top 5 tips for growing Chinese Evergreen
- Chinese Evergreen prefer a spot with low to medium indirect light. If growing them outdoors, choose a warm spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
- If growing in pots use a premium, like Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix for Indoor Plants to give your plant the best start possible
- Chinese Evergreen like a moist, but free draining soil - that’s allowed to nearly dry out between waterings. Make sure the pot has drainage holes and don’t allow water to collect in saucers or the base of cover pots.
- Fertilise Chinese Evergreens with an indoor plant fertiliser like Scotts Osmocote Pour+Feed for Indoor Plants once a month during spring and summer, to encourage strong healthy growth.
- Chinese Evergreens prefer a consistently warm environment away from drying drafts from heaters or air conditioners.
- A Chinese Evergreen plant
- If growing in a pot
- If growing in the ground
- A potting mix scoop or garden trowel
- Defender Pyrethrum Insect Spray
Growing in a pot
Choose a pot for your Chinese Evergreen that’s no more than 2 times the size of the original nursery pot - make sure it has drainage holes or use a black plastic pot that sits snugly inside a cover-pot or cache pot (pot with no holes).
Half fill your pot with Scotts Osmocote Premium Potting Mix for Indoor Plants and gently remove the Chinese Evergreen from the nursery pot and position it into the potting mix, backfill around root ball with more potting mix so that the potting mix is level with, or slightly below, the top of the pot.
Water your new Chinese Evergreen in well and tip out any excess water from the base of the cover-pot or saucer (if using). These plants prefer a moist soil that is never soggy and they are ready to be watered once the top 3-5cm of potting mix is dry to the touch.
Never let water pool in the base of cover-pots or in saucers as your Chinese Evergreen will quickly rot and die if their potting mix remains soggy or waterlogged.
Growing in the garden
Chinese Evergreen can be grown outside in a warm, frost free spot that’s protected from strong winds. Choose a part shade spot or somewhere with dappled morning sunlight. The soil should be rich, moist and free-draining.
Dig the hole twice as wide as the original nursery pot and the same depth. Mix some Scotts Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver through the soil at the bottom of the whole.
Remove your Chinese Evergreen from its pot and position it into the middle of the hole, backfill around the root ball with soil and water your new plant in well.
Mulch around your in ground Chinese Evergreen to retain moisture and suppress weeds. They’ll need more regular watering and misting during warm or dry weather.
Fertilising & Care
Fertilise Chinese Evergreens fortnightly in spring and summer with an indoor plant fertiliser to encourage new growth. Use Scotts Osmocote Pour+Feed for Indoor Plants - this is a simple to use ‘measure and pour’ feed which contains the right balance of nutrients. If you’d prefer a longer term fertilising product, with less applications, apply Scotts Osmocote Controlled Release Fertiliser for Indoor Plants in early spring and again in early autumn - this product feeds for up to 6 months.
Fertilise in ground planted Chinese Evergreens with Scotts Osmocote Controlled Release Fertiliser: All Purpose in early spring and again in late summer.
In the warmer months of spring and summer Chinese Evergreen will appreciate a more regular watering and a higher humidity. To increase the humidity around your plant, group it together with other plants to create a microclimate or mist them with a spray bottle regularly. You can also sit their pot on a saucer filled with pebbles and water - as the water evaporates it will humidify the air.
Remove any dead or damaged leaves at the base of the stem to promote new growth. To remove the dust that collects on Chinese Evergreen leaves, pop it into the shower or bring it outside for a gentle hose off or use a soft, damp cloth to remove stubborn dust gently.
WARNING - Chinese Evergreen are toxic to pets and humans if consumed. Keep away from pets and children.
Pests & Diseases
Chinese Evergreen plants are relatively pest and disease free, however they are sometimes infested with scale, mites or mealybugs - regularly check at the base of the stems and on the backs of leaves for signs of these pests - use Defender Pyrethrum Insect Spray to control them if needed.
Overwatering is the most common cause of problems or death for Chinese Evergreens. You’ll be watering every 10-14 days during spring and summer and less frequently during the cooler months when they aren’t actively growing.