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Indoor Plants | Aglaonema Care
There are many varieties of Aglaonema and new ones are introduced quite frequently. Sometimes these new varieties of Aglaonema are healthy and robust and sometimes they develop problems and production is ended.
The Aglaonema plant is a great houseplant for just about any location except full sun. Full sun, especially through glass, will scorch the exposed leaves. Aglaonema plants will survive for quite some time in low light but will become thin and leggy, as would just about any plant.
Aglaonema plant care questions? You can send a houseplant care question but before you do, please read this page and other information on watering your indoor houseplant, how to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your houseplants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.
The most common varieties are the Aglaonema Emerald Beauty or Maria, Aglaonema Silver Queen and the Aglaonema Silver Bay. They have a bush-like or clumping growth and, depending on the pot size, can be from 8 inches to 4 feet tall.
Almost all varieties of Aglaonema are variegated to some extent. Variegated plants generally need more light than those with less variegation. Typically, the lighter the color of a plant, the higher the light levels it needs to maintain its color and variegation.
If you place your Aglaonema in high light, you can allow the potting mix to dry down 1/2 to 3/4 of the way out before watering thoroughly. In a lower light situation, allow soil to dry almost completely before watering your Aglaonema plant. Please read the section on watering for more on the most important part of your plant care.
To keep your Aglaonema plant looking good, try to provide bright, diffused natural light or some artificial fluorescent light. This plant will do quite well with just artificial lighting. For this reason, the Aglaonema plant is ideal for use in professional office space.
To help keep your Aglaonema plant full and bushy, remove some of the new leaves as they appear. Do this by firmly grasping the stem the new leaf grows from and hold the new leaf near its base and gently pull. It should come out entirely and this is preferred. Avoid using scissors. Leaves, stems, etc. should be removed completely with no "stump" left behind. Wounds on a plant allow for entry of disease and can attract insects. Remove flowers or bracts in the same way.
There are a few problems you may encounter with this plant. Aglaonema is prone to stem rot and root rot if over-watered. This is especially true if your Aglaonema is in low light. The light your plant receives is the biggest factor in determining the watering of your indoor plants.
Mealy bugs are one of the insect problems that you may have with Aglaonema. An oval shaped, somewhat flattened body and six legs distinguish this insect, although they can appear to have more legs because of their "antennae" and "tails". They also have a fringe around the body. A waxy, protective substance covers the body of adults and egg sacs giving them a cottony appearance. Here is a picture of mealy bugs.
Normally mealy bugs are found in hidden areas, undersides of the leaves or in leaf axils. As the population increases, they will be impossible to miss and may have damaged your plant. They also excrete a sticky substance called honeydew. Keep a watchful eye out for this pest, especially when you first bring a new plant home.
Treat new additions to your plant family for a week or two with a spray mixture of mild liquid dish soap and water. I often add a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to my indoor plant cleaning mixture as it is often used as a natural insect repellent. Treat until run off, or use a sponge dampened with the mixture to gently clean all parts of your Aglaonema plant. You must be sure to hit the undersides of the leaves and the stems also. Cleaning should be a regular part of your indoor plant care.
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