Chinese Evergreen is the Houseplant of the month for October 2016
Amazing leaf markings and a beautiful full plant: Chinese Evergreen, also known as Aglaonema, is the perfect opener for the ‘let’s go back indoors’ season.
Beautiful leaf markings
Chinese Evergreens leaves feature stunning colours with fine markings. The pale green varieties are best-known, but this houseplant is also available with a silver, yellow or red glow. With all those various patterns it’s perfectly suited to people who do not readily find busy to be ‘too busy’, but enjoy it instead. It fits with the fashionable style trend packed with prints and patterns where you cannot have too much stimulation. For a base, try varnished or woven material, or plastic with relief, in order to further emphasise the liveliness.
Memphis style plant
To create contrasts which do not conflict, place a couple of different sized Chinese Evergreen together. This produces a lively and colourful effect, whilst the matching plant shapes and foliage also provide a peaceful focus. If you want to add more playfulness, choose pots in trend colours such as red, blue and green. This mixture is a contemporary update of the Memphis style from the 1980s. Try combining Chinese Evergreen with open woven material, jungle prints, camouflage material or pots with stretched and distorted patterns.
From the jungle
In the wild Chinese Evergreen grows in the subtropical rainforests of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, where the plant thrives under the canopy of larger trees and bushes, which means that the sun can hardly reach Chinese Evergreen. The plant is a member of the Araceae family, also known as the arum family. Chinese Evergreen have variegated leaves and generally remain fairly small. Alongside the fabulous foliage, this plant’s greatest strength is that it is very easy to maintain compared to other green plants. Chinese Evergreen can take a knock, tolerates forgetful waterers and will not easily disappoint. That makes it a real boon for novice plant lovers as well.
Chinese Evergreen & care
In the wild Chinese Evergren grows under trees, which is why this houseplant also prefers partial or full shade in the home as well. Do give it a bit of daylight – it won’t survive on artificial light alone. Irregular watering is not a problem. The soil can be slightly damp, but don’t leave it standing in water. The soil can even dry out a bit in the winter. Misting the plant twice a week reduces the risk of red spider mite. Dusting the leaves or wiping both sides with a damp cloth from time to time will allow them to breathe better. This is not only good for Chinese Evergreen, but also for the air in the room where it is standing.
- As an attractive foliage plant Chinese Evergreen or Aglaonema purifies the air and therefore helps create a healthier environment in the room.
- The botanical name derives from the Greek and is made up of ‘agláos’ (shining) and ‘néma’ (wire). This refers to the flowers’ gleaming stamens.
- Chinese Evergreen flowers rather modestly: The flowers are underneath the leaf and grow on a spike surrounded by a bract, with female flowers at the bottom and male flowers higher up. The male flowers have the tiny gleaming stamens from which the plant derives its name.
- Because the flowers are not very impressive and Chinese Evergreen devotes a lot of energy to them, it’s best to snip them off in order to preserve the plant’s decorative value.
- Chinese Evergreen is a recurrent theme in the hit film Léon: the eponymous hero cherishes it and Mathilda gives the plant a fresh start at the end of the film.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 29 September 2016