6” AGLAONEMA ‘SIAM’
Chinese Evergreen, Philippine Evergreen, Red Aglaonema
USDA Zones 9-11
This red Chinese Evergreen is native to the tropical, shaded floors & undergrowth of Asia & the the Philippine region. It is mostly resistant to pests, but can be poisonous to dogs & cats if ingested. Ultimately, Aglaonema's are incredibly easy, resilient, & slow growing house plants that, unlike most tropical house plants, do well deep inside a room, farther away from a window. Interior landscapers use them on book shelves, table center pieces, & all throughout dimly lit rooms where most plants wouldnt be able to survive. Follow these simple care instructions & watch your Aglaonema thrive.
WATERING & SOIL
This plant enjoys moist soil. Water it throughly, until you can see water coming through it's drainage hole, to ensure the roots are able to drink up the water & send it to the needed areas of the plant. Ensure your Aglaonema is allowed to dry out between waterings & never let them sit in wet soil or standing water at the bottom of the pot, as this an be detrimental to the plant, causing root rot & other ultimately devastating effects usually killing the plant. A well-draining soil to allow excess water to drain downwards & out of the bottom of the pot is crucial. A mixture of soil & perlite, or even orchid bark works well. Again, drainage holes in your pot are always necessary. Being a houseplant, unless you have a dish to go under your pot (which sometimes arent as aesthetically pleasing as you'd like), drainage holes can make a mess every time you have to water. One way to avoid this is to double pot your plant by using a plastic pot with draining holes, & sit that in an ornamental pot without holes. This works well because you can simply life out the inner pot & empty the drained water away. Alternatively, using a single pot with holes can be used & if you're worried about a mess, placing a coffee filter inside the pot before you plant the Chinese Evergreen in it will prevent any soil from leaking out, but will still allow water to drain through.
Root rot is very difficult to recover from, so the best course of action is to prevent it with well draining soil, a pot with drainage holes, & making sure not to over water your plant.
The Chinese Evergreen can be watered once the top inch or two of soil has dried out. Simply dipping your finer in the soil is an easy way to check for when it's ready. If you find that it's moist, wait a couple of days & try again. The plant is fairly resistant to drought-like conditions, so it will be able to cope in slightly dry soil, though do not leave it without water for long periods of time.
Though this plant is easy to look after & is undemanding in terms of its needs, the one caveat to this is temperature. This tropical plant would ideally like to be in a temperature range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit, with 60 degrees being just about the lowest temperature it will tolerate.
Keep your Aglaonema in a warm part of your home away from windows or doors, where it might suffer cold draughts. Also, keep it away from any air conditioning units or fan heaters, which will quickly dry it out.
As a sub-tropical and tropical plant, the Chinese Evergreen enjoys moderate to high humidity. It will do fine in normal levels of humidity found in homes, but would also benefit from a light misting of water to increase humidity. You can also place your plant on a pebble tray with water on it. As the water among the pebbles evaporates, it increases the amount of humidity in the air around the plant.
In it's natural habitat, where humidity is especially high, the plant will absorb moisture through its leaves. In times of very dry air, make efforts to increase humidity so that the health of the plant doesn't suffer. Keep it away from draughts or heathers, which may cause the plant to dry out.
It thrives in moderate, bright indirect light, as well as in partial to full shade (depending on the variety). While most Aglaonemas thrive in shade, the 'Siam,' along with other red varieties, such as 'Red Valentine' prefer indirect bright light this will brighten their colors & make the reds/pinks pop against the green. it is well known for being a low light plant, which is why it is particularly popular in offices with no windows. This plant will thrive in shaded areas of the home & is particularly good at livening up corners of your home where most plants can't survive. With that being said, while it will live in shaded areas the more light it receives the brighter the red will be in it's foliage (except full sun).
This plant will need to be repotted at least every 2 years. Choose a pot no more than 2 sizes larger than its current pot; a pot which is too big will cause problems, like having too much soil that retains water will lead to the plant inadvertently getting soggy roots, leading to root rot.
Re-pot the plant by gently removing it from its current pot & lightly separating the roots from the soil it currently sits in. At this point, it is an option to separate the plant into 2 halves & pot it up as 2 smaller individual plants. This is a good idea if your plant is getting too big & you would prefer several small plants.
If the plant has been sitting in its current pot for too long, the roots may have become quite tangled & heavily bunched together. This doesn't mean you cant separate it into 2 or several plants, but just that you need to exercise more can not to injure the plant. Use a gentle touch to lightly untangle the roots; shaking them gently may help ease the process along & free any bits of soil that are holding the roots together.
If the roots were heavily laden together, then expect some damage when separating them, but if you put in the correct environment in their new pots, then they should recover well. Alternatively, if your roots are so entangled that they look too daunting to tackle at this point, repot the plant as a whole in a larger pot, allowing the roots space to spread out. In a few months' time, make another attempt to separate the plant into 2 & repot. After having space to grow outwards themselves, you may find that they have naturally untangled themselves.
Propagation can be done with stem cuttings from this plant, although a more popular way to create new plants is to split it into multiple pots from the roots as it grows.
To propagate from stem cuttings, you will need to prune a stem from the mother plant, which is several inches in length. Plant this in soil, using a rotting hormone (we use Rootone) if you like to encourage root growth.
Stem cuttings from this plant also grow well in water. [lce the cutting in glass of water & watch as roots begin to emerge over the period of several weeks. Once it has a strong root system you can plant it in soil. Water propagation is also a very interesting way to watch how roots develop.
Stem cuttings will need heating from the underneath to root well. If this isn't possible, choose to propagate during the late spring or summer when temperature conditions are more favorable & your plant will be naturally warmed up.
You will receive a 6" size plant bare root without a pot.
***WARNING: Toxic to dogs & cats; if ingested may cause vomitting
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