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Propagating Aglaonema or Chinese evergreen

Propagating Aglaonema

Aglaonema or also known as Chinese evergreen is an ideal tropical plant to grow indoors. The main attraction of this plant is undoubtedly its leaves, which depending on the variety can be smooth green, red, mottled, silver, between. In addition to their leaves, during the summer they can produce flowers, they are somewhat small and not very showy. The care they need to grow properly is very little, so you will not have problems growing it even if you are a novice in gardening. In this article we will see everything about the propagation of Aglaonema, what methods exist and how and when to carry it out.

Interesting fact: although it is an excellent plant to grow at home, you have to be careful. And it is toxic for consumption, so you must take care of your pets and children. It is very common for it to poison cats, dogs, turtles, and even horses.

1. Propagating Aglaonema – Best Methods

As with most plants in your garden, there are several ways to propagate or reproduce a Chinese evergreen. Some methods are more complex than others, but we will discuss them all here. In the same way, we will indicate which of them is more or less complicated. So you will know which is the best for you.

To propagate an Aglaonema you can do it using any of the following four methods:

  • Propagation by cuttings.
  • Propagation by tissue culture.
  • Reproduction using seeds.
  • Propagation from root division.

In the next section we will take care of indicating how to carry out each of the methods that we have just listed.

2. How to propagate Chinese evergreen

The order we have given to the following analysis follows the popularity of each propagation method. We will start with the use of cuttings, which is the most popular, and we will end with the propagation of Aglaonemas by tissue culture, which is the least used.

1.1 Propagating Aglaonema from stem cuttings

Chinese evergreen propagation from cuttings is no different than propagation by cuttings from almost any plant. If you don’t want to complicate your life too much, this may be the method to use. It is very easy to do, even the most novice gardener can do it.

  • First step: The first point to take into account to be successful with this task is knowing how to select the indicated stem. If you cut a stem that is too young, it may not have the strength to take root. And the same will happen if you try to use a very old one. The ideal is to look for a young stem, but not so young. Have at least five sheets.
  • Second step: Once you have found the ideal stem, you must cut it. Find a sharp knife to make a clean cut. Make sure it’s sanitized. We don’t want to make the plant sick with a dirty knife.
  • Third step: Fill a pot with potting soil and plant the cutting in it. Once this is done, water it abundantly.
  • Fourth step: the fourth and last step deals with the care of this cutting, to give it the ideal conditions for its development. You should place the pot in a place with good lighting, but that does not receive direct sunlight. Also try to keep the temperature high and fairly constant. Water whenever the top coat starts to look dry. In a month or month and a half, the cutting will begin to sprout.

1.2 Propagating Chinese evergreen by division

The propagation of an Aglaonema by division is a very safe method and also does not present too many complications. If you are transplanting your Chinese evergreen, it is an excellent time to propagate it by plant division.

As the name of the method indicates, what you should do is divide the plant. In other words, remove a stem that contains roots from the mother plant. Then you just have to plant this little new plant and take proper care of it for it to develop.

Advice: If you are interested in how to propagate plants, it may be helpful to read this post on how to propagate the asparagus fern.

You must give it the same conditions that we recommend for the cut. Then, in a couple of days, the new Aglaonema will settle down, starting to spawn new roots and shoots.

1.3 Reproduction using seeds

This method is not very common, not many gardeners choose it to propagate an Aglaonema. And is that the use of cuttings or division of plants are two methods so easy, fast and safe that using seeds seems impractical.

First of all, you need to give your plant good conditions for it to flower and produce seeds. If you live in a place where the temperatures are not very high, flowering may never occur. Once in flower, make sure the berries ripen well before collecting the seeds.

With the seeds in hand, take a pot and fill it with a quality potting mix and substrate. Then bury the seeds, not too deep to facilitate germination. Water liberally and place the pot in a well-lit area that receives direct sunlight.

Water whenever you notice that the first layer of soil is drying out. The rest is just a matter of waiting, it is a rather slow method. Germination can take a month and a half or up to two months. You must be patient. 😉

1.4 Propagating by tissue culture

The latter method is not widely used by home gardeners, but is used commercially. This is because it allows a large number of new Chinese evergreens to be produced in a short time. Something very different from what happens with the use of seeds.

And you may wonder why it is not used at a domestic level, it is because a laboratory is needed that provides very special climatic conditions. And it is that from a very small part of the plant, grown aseptically in an artificial environment with very controlled climatic conditions, a new one is obtained.

We will not stop to explain this method in depth since neither you nor I are going to use it. If I have to give you some advice, I think it is best that you opt for the use of cuttings or division of plants.

3. When to propagate Chinese evergreen

We just studied each Chinese evergreen propagation method, but at no point did we say when it should. You may be propagating your Aglaonema in the dead of winter and making a serious mistake.

The best time to propagate this houseplant is in the middle of summer. This is because it is when the heat is most intense. But obviously this goes totally hand in hand with the climate in which you live.

If you live in a tropical area, you don’t have to wait for summer. You can propagate your Aglaonema at any time of the year. But if where you live the climate is quite cold during the winter it will always be better to wait for the summer, or at least for the spring.

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