The Chinese evergreen is one of the most popular houseplants, and the variety of colors it comes in—from dark green to silver to red—adds personality to your home's decor.
Slow-growing Chinese evergreens make excellent indoor foliage plants that can be potted and maintained throughout the year. If you have pets, be aware that the plant is harmful to both dogs and cats.
Evergreen Care in China
Chinese evergreen may be the way to go if you're searching for a lovely, easy-to-care-for houseplant. The plant is easy to care for because it requires almost no attention, as long as you follow one simple rule: the lighter the variegation on the plant's leaves, the more sunshine it requires.
You should have no trouble helping your Chinese evergreen thrive once you grasp how that pertains to it. Keep your plant warm and wet, and you'll have a long-lasting, stable houseplant that won't overflow its container anytime soon.
Chinese evergreens that are dark green may grow in near-shade, whereas variegated kinds demand more intense light. Avoid exposing any of the plants to direct sunlight (regardless of species), since the strong rays can easily burn the delicate leaves.
Finally, when it comes to the soil in which it is placed, the Chinese evergreen isn't finicky. For the plant, a well-drained, slightly acidic potting soil is ideal. If your chosen soil is retaining too much water, consider adding sand or perlite to help with drainage. Make sure your Chinese evergreen is planted in a pot with plenty of drainage holes at the bottom.
The Chinese evergreen plant prefers moist, but not wet, soil. To attain this equilibrium, properly water your plant, then let it dry before watering again. This cadence can be maintained throughout the spring, summer, and fall, with a slight decrease in the winter (but never letting the plant dry out completely).
Humidity and Temperature
Cold draughts and temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit are not good for these plants. Keep your Chinese evergreen away from cold-breathing windows or vents; the warmer the environment, the better the performance of your plant. Because of its high humidity requirements, some growers consider Chinese evergreen to be a greenhouse plant.
It thrives in the warm, humid, and light atmosphere of a greenhouse, but it can also be cultivated successfully indoors by mimicking these circumstances as closely as possible.
Mist your plant frequently to improve humidity levels, and try placing it in a humid-prone part of your home, such as your kitchen or bathroom. For plants in arid environments, a small space humidifier can be placed near the plant to aid in its growth and development.
Feed your Chinese evergreen with slow-release pellets or liquid fertilizer twice a year, at the start and end of its growing season, for the greatest results.
Chinese Evergreen Propagation
Stem cuttings or dividing the plants during repotting are two ways to propagate Chinese evergreens. To propagate Chinese evergreen, wait until the middle of the summer when the temperature is at its warmest.
To propagate via stem cuttings, follow these steps:
- Cut a several-inch-long stem from the mother plant with a sterilized, sharp cutting tool.
- Dip the bottom end of the cutting in root hormone and place it in a glass of water in indirect sunlight. In three to four weeks, roots should appear.
- Carefully place the cutting in a pot filled with well-draining potting soil and keep it moist.
To multiply by division:
- Carefully place the pot on its side. Use a shovel to loosen the soil on the container's sides. Remove the plant and dirt from the pot with care.
- Remove the dirt from the roots by lightly shaking them. To separate a clump for repotting, carefully pry apart the roots (this plant loves to be a bit root bound, so work slowly).
- Repot the cluster in a pot with potting soil that drains properly.
- For a few weeks, keep both the original and divided plants extremely wet until they are both established and less stressed.
Common Plant Pests and Diseases
While the Chinese evergreen is not particularly sensitive to pests or diseases, it can occasionally succumb to common houseplant problems such as scale, mealybugs, or spider mites. Insecticides or neem oil can be used to treat them.
The majority of the other concerns emerge as a result of the plant being kept overly wet, and fungal problems (as well as root rot) are common in an over-watered Chinese evergreen.
The Most Common Issues With Chinese Evergreens
There is only one issue that you may encounter with the otherwise tough and easy-going dog. Curling or wavy leaves of a Chinese evergreen houseplant.
The plant should be able to recover once the problem has been resolved. Aside from the bugs already mentioned, there are a few more reasons why your plant's leaves can be doing this:
- Age: In an older plant, this is a common occurrence. Simply remove the leaf that is impacted.
- Too much light: Leaf scorch can occur when exposed to direct sunshine. Remove the scorched leaves and relocate the plant to a bright, out-of-direct-sun location.
- Temperature changes: The plant enjoys warm, draft-free areas.
- Low humidity: You may need to spritz your plant to boost the humidity in the air surrounding it.
- Underwatering: Excessively dry soil will have an impact on the leaves. Water the plant slowly to allow the leaves to heal. Leaves that are dry and crisp should be removed.
- Overwatering: These plants prefer drier soil versus soil that is too damp. To avoid root rot, allow the top inch of soil to dry up before watering. Allow more of the soil to dry out if the pot is larger (about 10 to 12 inches in diameter).