Looking for a hardy but elegant tropical plant that does well in low to medium light? Consider an Aglaonema, which is sometimes called a Chinese Evergreen. You may have to go to a greenhouse that specializes in tropical plants to find one, but it will be worth the trip. This is one of our top 10 favourite tropical office plants and we use frequently in office installations. There are literally dozens of unique varieties available, each displaying widely varying leaf markings, colours, and shapes. The featured image for this blog is the Aglaonema ‘Diamond Bay’. ‘Maria’, ‘Silver Bay’, ‘Emerald Beauty’, and ‘Cutlass’ are a few of the more common varieties you may find. Some newer cultivars such as ‘Vesuvio’, ‘Golden Passion’ and ‘Sparkling Sarah’ have intense pink-coloured foliage. This plant is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions throughout Asia, and has been associated with good fortune in many cultures for centuries.
We use this plant extensively in office plantscapes. They are available in many sizes from table-top to very large specimens that look spectacular in tall, elegant planters. They also work well in mass plantings as shown below. Besides being tolerant of low light, another great feature of the Aglaonema is that it grows fairly slowly. It does not require frequent pruning to keep a nice shape.
The Aglaonema does best if kept slightly moist in well-drained soil. It is very intolerant of cold temperatures and can show cold damage on the leaves at anything below 12C. It is pest resistant, but may succumb to mealy bug if stressed. Fertilize regularly to maintain good leaf colour and healthy roots. Overwatering or poor drainage will result in black marks on the leaves. If left too dry, the plant will quickly drop yellow leaves.