Propagating Aglaonema Plants

Our potted Aglaonema 'Valentine', a Thai hybrid with pink+green variegation. Shot March 6 2010Aglaonema or popularly known as Chinese Evergreen, being first cultivated in China, is one of the most decorative indoor plant with attractive variegated foliage for homes and offices. With much hybridizing over the many decades, especially in Thailand and Indonesia in Southeast Asia, the newer cultivars are now available in explosive colours with many variations in shades, forms and sizes. One such new hybrid from Thailand is Aglaonema ‘Valentine’ with lovely pink and green random blotches as pictured above.

Aglaonema’s popularity is further enhanced because of its ease of growth, care and propagation. It can be easily propagated by seed, tip or stem cuttings or division.

Our Aglaonema cv. Legacy with attractive pink+green variegated foliage and pinkish white stalks, Oct 15 2011Our potted Aglaonema cv. Legacy another beautiful Thai hybrid, that was purchased in June with four young shoots had become somewhat large for the small 6-inch diameter pot. We could either repot them altogether into a single larger pot or divide and grow them individually to get more plants. We opted for the former choice but took the opportunity to separate one plant from the rest for our propagation project. This is to help beginners who may be clueless on how to go about it.

How-to propagate Aglaonemas by division :

The best time to propagate your Aglaonema plants by division is during transplanting or repotting where suckers (young or small shoots) can be potted as individual plants or when you’ve purchased a healthy pot of young plants and wish to increase their numbers by separating them.

AAglaonema cv. Legacy - clump of 4 plants removed from the pot for replant and propagation, Oct 15 20111. Place the pot on its side and carefully pull the plants out from the pot, removing the root ball together with as much soil as possible.

2. Check the condition of the roots to see whether it is rootbound or not.

If the root ball is heavily matted, you’d need a knife to cut vertically downwards, right through the root and soil mass to divide the clump of plants into smaller sections.

On the other hand, if the roots are not heavily matted, Aglaonema cv. Legacy - propagating by separating a plant from the clump, Oct 15 2011try your best to loosen as much soil from the roots as possible.

Then gently prise open with your fingers and use a knife if necessary, to separate one plant at a time, being mindful to get as much of each plant’s root system as possible, as seen in the right image.

Aglaonema cv. Legacy - the separated plant is potted to grow as a new plant, Oct 15 20113. Place each division (section) or a single separated plant into a pot of quality potting medium, firm the soil around the stem(s) and water thoroughly.
Anyway, Aglaonemas are not fussy about soil quality, so any commercial packaged soil is suitable as long as it’s well-drained.

4. Locate the pot at a sunny site that receives bright indirect sunlight. Water regularly to keep the soil moist. In due time, your plants should thrive well and very likely overstay as they are long-lived.

The following photos show their growth status, three weeks later

Aglaonema cv. Legacy - a tiny tip bud emerged 3 weeks later, assuring successful propagation. Shot Nov 7 2011
A terminal bud had emerged 3 weeks later on the plant that was separated, assuring successful propagation.
Aglaonema cv. Legacy with suckers emerging after being repotted about 3 weeks ago. Shot Nov 7 2011
New shoots or suckers are produced from the base, within 3 weeks after the clump of plants were replanted, showing they’re happy in their new and spacious home.

Other methods of propagating Aglaonema are:

1. By shoot tip cuttings :

Use only tip cuttings that have a minimum of five leaves. Remove two basal leaves from each cutting and push the cuttings in a pot filled with growing media. Site the potted tip cuttings at a warm place with filtered sunlight and water regularly to keep the soil moist to encourage rooting which will take about four to six weeks.

2. By stem cuttings :

This method is normally used on matured or aged plants that are healthy but top heavy, having shed their lower leaves.
Cut the stem back to about 2 cm from the soil line, and new growth will eventually appear where the cut was made. You can then use the top of the stem with leaves as tip cutting and propagate it as a new plant. The rest of the stem should then be cut into about 5-7 cm pieces, being mindful of their top sides. Then, stick the cuttings about 2.54 cm deep, with their top-side up, into a pot filled with growing medium. Likewise, place the pot at a sunny location and with regular watering, they will root to provide you with new plants.

Last edit: June 9, 2016

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20 Responses to “Propagating Aglaonema Plants”

  1. Africanaussie Says:

    that is a lovely plant – I am enjoying plants with great foliage more and more

  2. Jacqueline Says:

    Thanks, Gillian… it sure is a beauty! These Thai hybrids have fantastic variegation.

  3. Andrea Says:

    Hi Jacqui, I don’t have it yet, it is still expensive here in the country. But we have other lesser expensive varieties though. I am sure many will benefit from this informative post.

  4. james Says:

    what a beautiful hybrid.
    The first time I ever remember seeing this in the market was the green leave with white patches.
    Amazing what new breeds look like now.

  5. Jacqueline Says:

    @ Andrea – Sometimes new hybrids are priced exorbitantly but bound to drop eventually… hope you’re able to get it for what it’s worth. Thanks for visiting.

    @ James – Indeed! Thanks to those hybridizers, we’re really spoilt for choice. Thanks for dropping by.

  6. Autumn Belle Says:

    I have this in my garden. I am hoping to propagate more plants by division. These plants are costly.

  7. Jacqueline Says:

    We bought a clump of 4 plants for RM20… quite reasonable, I think. Fortunately these plants sucker freely, so ultimately they’re not that that expensive. Thanks for visit, A.Belle.

  8. CindyC Says:

    Hello- I have been nurturing a cutting and it has sprouted plenty of roots and I am ready to plant this in potting soil, what size pot is best to start of with? I realize this plant is top heavy and I don’t want it to fall over. Any help is much appreciated!

  9. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi CindyC,
    Probably best to start off with a 6-inch size pot and later replant it into a ceramic pot to prevent falling over.
    Hope this helps.

  10. Tariq Says:

    I have a Chinese evergreen has green leaves and white patches on them.I want to propogate the plant.however it is one leg stem. Please advise how is the propogatuon possible? The plant is still young.

  11. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Tariq,
    My humble advice is to allow your plant to mature further with more stems and leaves before they can be propagated.

  12. Concetta Says:

    Someone gave my mother a Chinese Evergreen cutting. It’s approximately half an inch wide and just 2 inches long. Initially we did put the cutting in water because we didn’t have soil. However, we have now put it in some soil, cut side down. Will it root? How long will it take? Thank you for this formative article and answering my query.

  13. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Concetta,

    You’re most welcome.

    Yes, it will root. Probably in a week or two.

  14. Sorina Says:

    I bought few months ago 2 plants and they are doing great. They’ve grown a lot and seem happy:) I was thinking if I should separate to create more plants, because each one is like a mini-bush, with 4-5 plants that have their own ramifications. Can I do it in summer and simply separate and repot?
    Thanks for your advice

  15. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Sorina,

    Yes, you can do it now if you desire. Not necessary to wait until summer.

  16. HC Says:

    I have a full, healthy ‘Emerald Beauty’–actually it is 4 of them in a pot. It is currently staked as they are getting too tall to stand straight on their own.

    I’m wondering about cutting down: If I cut each stem to 2cm above the soil, I’ll be left with tops that are quite large (say, 20cm wide each) with lots of leaves. Can I just pot these tops as they are or are they too big? Do I need to trim the tops or divide into segments before attempting to root them?

    Hope this makes sense!

  17. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi HC,

    In my humble opinion, I’d suggest that the 20cm lengths be cut into two and remove a couple of their basal leaves before potting them.

    Hope this helps.

  18. Erica Says:

    You didn’t say how to propagate with seeds, but still mentioned it? I’m not finding a website that explains how to propagate through seed for the Chinese evergreen.

  19. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Erica,

    To propagate from seeds, you can check out @ where it’s mentioned

    “Seeds of this plant can be used to propagate the species. When the fruit becomes red, it means it is ripe and must be harvested. Keep the seeds in sphagnum moss at a depth of 0.5 inch at a temperature 70-80F. If the temperature’s lower, the germination percentage is lower as well and takes longer.
    As a rule, the process of germination takes up to 3 months, however, if the seeds are fresh, they can germinate within 2-3 weeks. This sort of propagation is very popular, though many people prefer cutting”.

    Hope this helps.

  20. Drew Adams Says:

    Hi! I was wondering how long it would take for new growth to appear at the soil line, I was also wondering, can you propagate agleonema in water? Thanks!

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