How to Propagate a Chinese Evergreen: Expert Guide

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Chinese Evergreen, also known as Aglaonema, is a popular houseplant due to its low-maintenance requirements and striking appearance. With various species and cultivars that showcase a delightful mix of colors and patterns, these attractive plants can add a touch of elegance to any indoor space. But did you know that propagating Chinese Evergreens isn’t as complicated as you might think? This article will guide you through the process, providing you with essential tips to ensure your plant thrives.

There are several ways to propagate a Chinese Evergreen, but the two most common methods are stem cuttings and division. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, even novice gardeners can propagate these stunning plants, resulting in new green additions to your home or making lovely gifts for friends and family. We’ll delve into the specifics of each method and provide valuable insights to help you choose the best technique for your individual needs and plant condition.

It’s important to remember that the key to successful propagation lies in using healthy plant material and ensuring proper care at each step of the process. By adhering to the advice provided here, you’ll soon be able to expand your Chinese Evergreen collection and marvel at the beauty they bring to your living space.

What Is a Chinese Evergreen?

Chinese Evergreen, scientifically known as Aglaonema, is a popular and low-maintenance houseplant that thrives in various indoor environments. Native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, these plants are renowned for their striking foliage, featuring a mix of green, silver, and sometimes red or pink shades.

The Chinese Evergreen plant family consists of multiple species and cultivars, each boasting its distinct leaf patterns and colors. These plants can be easily propagated, and their hardy nature makes them an ideal choice for both experienced and beginner gardeners.

In terms of care, the Chinese Evergreen prefers well-draining soil, moderate humidity, and indirect sunlight. It’s essential to be mindful of over-watering and direct sun exposure, as these aspects can negatively impact the plant’s health.

While the Chinese Evergreen is primarily grown for its ornamental foliage, it also contributes to improving indoor air quality. In fact, it’s recognized as one of the best plants for air purification, capable of removing toxins like benzene and formaldehyde from the surrounding environment. This attribute, combined with its low-demanding nature, makes the Chinese Evergreen an excellent addition to any indoor space.

Propagation Methods

Stem Cuttings

Propagating Chinese evergreens through stem cuttings is a highly successful and common method. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Identify a healthy, mature plant with a strong upright stem that is at least 6 inches long.
  2. Using clean, sharp scissors or shears, cut the stem at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Optionally, dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone.
  4. Plant the cutting in fresh soil and water it regularly. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. It’s important to provide adequate humidity for the cutting, so consider placing it in a plastic bag or using a humidity tray.


Dividing a Chinese evergreen is another effective way to propagate the plant. This method is typically recommended for larger, more established plants. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a healthy, mature plant with multiple stems.
  2. Gently remove the plant from its pot, being careful not to damage the root system.
  3. Identify the individual stems and their associated root clusters.
  4. Using clean, sharp tools, separate the divisions by cutting through the root ball.
  5. Replant each division into a pot with drainage holes and fresh soil.
  6. Water and care for each division as you would a single plant.

By following these simple methods, you’ll be able to propagate Chinese evergreens and enjoy their beautiful foliage throughout your home or garden. Remember to take your time and use clean, sharp tools to ensure the best possible outcome for your plants.

Preparing for Propagation

Choosing a Healthy Plant

When propagating a Chinese evergreen, it’s crucial to select a healthy plant as the starting point. Look for Aglaonema stems with multiple leaves, showing no signs of damage from pests or diseases. A strong and healthy plant will increase the chances of successful propagation and ensure the new plants thrive.

Gathering Supplies

Before beginning the propagation process, gather the necessary supplies to make the task more manageable and efficient. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • A healthy, mature Chinese evergreen plant
  • Clean, sharp scissors or shears
  • Spare pot(s) with drainage holes
  • Fresh soil and water
  • Newspaper or a plastic sheet for indoor propagation
  • Rooting hormone (optional)

To propagate a Chinese evergreen, cut a 6-inch long stem from a healthy plant using clean, sharp scissors. Dip the cutting end in rooting hormone, if desired, to encourage faster root growth. Moisten the soil in the pot and insert the cutting, taking care not to submerge the leaves.

Cover the pot loosely with a plastic bag or use a humidity tent to maintain a humid environment conducive to root growth. In about 2-3 months, the cutting should have rooted, allowing you to remove the cover and continue with routine care.

Stem Cutting Process

Selecting a Suitable Cutting

To begin the stem cutting process, first, choose a healthy Chinese Evergreen plant (Aglaonema). Look for a stem that has multiple leaves and shows no signs of damage from pests or diseases. It’s best to select a newly grown stem, ideally one that’s approximately 6 inches long and has at least five leaves. Using clean, sharp pruners or a knife, carefully cut the stem at a 45-degree angle below a node to encourage faster rooting.

Rooting the Cutting

Once you have your cutting, follow these steps to root it and grow a new Chinese Evergreen plant:

  1. Prepare a small bottle or container of water, ensuring it’s clean.
  2. Optionally, you can dip the cut end of the stem into a root growth hormone to enhance root development.
  3. Gently place the cutting into the water, making sure no leaves are submerged to avoid rotting.
  4. Position the container in a well-lit area, but not in direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for rooting is between 70-75°F.

You should start to notice new roots forming after a few weeks. Keep an eye on the water level, topping it off as needed to ensure the developing roots remain submerged.

Once the roots are about 2-3 inches long, you can transplant the cutting into a pot with well-draining soil. Water the new plant regularly, and soon you’ll have a thriving Chinese Evergreen to add to your collection or share with friends.

Remember to always maintain a confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear tone when providing information on this topic, and avoid making exaggerated or false claims. Enjoy the process of propagating your Chinese Evergreen plant through stem cuttings!

Division Process

Uprooting and Separating the Plant

The division process is a commonly used method for propagating Chinese evergreen plants. To begin, carefully remove the mother plant from its container. Lightly loosen the soil around the root ball with your fingers and gently begin to tease apart the roots to separate the plant into smaller divisions. Keep in mind that each division must have a healthy root system and several leaves to ensure successful growth.

While separating the plant, be sure to handle the roots gently to avoid damaging them. It is best to work on a clean surface or tarp to contain any mess and make it easier to collect the divisions.

Planting Divisions

Once you’ve separated the Chinese evergreen plant into smaller divisions, it’s time to plant them. For each division, select an appropriate container with drainage holes and fill it with a well-draining potting mix, such as a mixture of peat moss and perlite. Plant the divisions at the same depth that they were previously growing in the mother plant’s pot.

It is essential to keep the newly planted divisions in a warm, well-lit area with indirect sunlight. This will encourage the growth of new roots and help the plant establish itself in its new environment. Make sure to water the divisions regularly, maintaining a consistent level of moisture in the soil.

After a few weeks, the divisions should begin to show new growth, indicating that they are becoming established. At this point, you can gradually introduce the new plants to brighter light and begin to care for them as you would a mature Chinese evergreen plant.

Remember to be patient during this process, as growing new plants from divisions can take time. By following these steps and providing proper care, you will be well on your way to propagating beautiful new Chinese evergreen plants.

Aftercare for New Plants

Caring for your newly propagated Chinese evergreen is crucial to ensure its healthy growth. This section will cover two significant aspects of aftercare: watering and light requirements.


Properly watering your new Chinese evergreen plants is essential for their survival. It’s important to maintain a consistent watering schedule to prevent common issues such as root rot or dehydration. Here are some steps to follow when watering your plants:

  1. Wait for the top inch of the soil to feel dry before watering.
  2. Water thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain through the bottom of the pot.
  3. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water.
  4. Regularly monitor the plant’s moisture needs to account for seasonal variations. Remember that your newly propagated Chinese evergreen may require more frequent watering initially to establish its roots.

Light Requirements

Chinese evergreen plants thrive in medium to low light conditions, making them suitable for various indoor spaces. Therefore, it’s crucial to provide your plants with the following:

  • Place them in a spot that receives indirect, filtered sunlight, such as near a north-facing window or a few feet away from eastern or western windows.
  • Avoid direct sunlight as it may scorch the plant’s leaves and cause long-term damage.
  • Monitor your plant’s light exposure and adjust its location if needed to prevent leaf discoloration or uneven growth.

By attending to these essential aftercare aspects, you can support your newly propagated Chinese evergreen plants in establishing themselves and growing into strong, healthy houseplants.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Insufficient Growth

If your Chinese Evergreen isn’t growing as expected, some common factors could be at play. Insufficient nutrition in the soil can limit plant growth. Adding a balanced liquid fertilizer every four to six weeks can help boost nutrition levels. Chinese Evergreens appreciate bright, indirect sunlight, so placing your plant near a window with filtered light can improve growth.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue caused by overwatering. Chinese Evergreens need a well-draining soil mix to prevent excessive moisture buildup. A mixture of peat moss and perlite helps ensure a well-draining environment. Make sure to check the moisture level before watering—it should feel slightly damp but not wet.

Pest Invasion

Chinese Evergreens can fall victim to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests can damage the plant and hinder proper growth. To tackle this issue, use a mild insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat the infested areas. Regularly inspect your plant to catch pest issues early on.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves often indicate overwatering or poor drainage. Ensure the plant’s pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Also, maintain a consistent watering schedule, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. If the issue persists despite these adjustments, the plant may be suffering from a nutrient deficiency. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer to address this problem.

To sum up, insufficient growth, root rot, pest invasion, and yellowing leaves are common problems encountered while propagating Chinese Evergreens. Addressing these issues requires a combination of proper lighting, well-draining soil, and regular plant maintenance.


Propagating a Chinese Evergreen is a rewarding task that can be accomplished through a few methods such as stem cutting or division. When selecting a branch for stem cutting, opt for a healthy one with new growth, ideally reaching at least 6 inches long. The best time to perform this propagation is during spring or early summer, which is the growing season and offers the quickest rooting time.

On the other hand, division propagation is another viable method to multiply your Chinese Evergreen. This process entails separating the underground shoots called pups from the parent plant and repotting them individually. As a general guideline, wait until the pup displays two to three leaves of its own before carrying out this method.

In either of the methods, it’s important to provide the new plants with a suitable environment, including well-draining soil, moderate humidity, and ample sunlight. Additionally, you can monitor their growth and care for them consistently to ensure their well-being.

By mastering propagation techniques for the Chinese Evergreen, you can expand your collection or share these beautiful plants with friends and family. Furthermore, Chinese Evergreens are recognized for their air-purifying properties, which can help foster a healthier indoor environment. So, it’s certainly a win-win situation for everyone involved, as well as your space.

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