How to Propagate Chinese Evergreen: A Quick Guide

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Chinese evergreen, also known as Aglaonema, is a popular houseplant known for its attractive foliage and low-maintenance requirements. These resilient plants thrive in various indoor conditions, making them an ideal choice for beginner and seasoned gardeners alike. One of the many benefits of growing Chinese evergreens is their ability to be easily propagated, allowing you to expand your collection or share these beautiful plants with friends and family.

Propagating Chinese evergreen can be achieved through several methods, including stem cuttings, division, and even using underground shoots called pups. By choosing the best technique for your specific plant and following proper care instructions, you can successfully multiply your Chinese evergreen collection and enjoy lush, thriving plants in your indoor garden. In this article, we will explore different methods of propagation and provide the necessary guidance to ensure your propagation success.

From selecting the right stem cutting to promoting healthy root growth, the steps involved in propagating a Chinese evergreen are straightforward and can be completed with minimal equipment.

Understanding Chinese Evergreen

Plant Features

Chinese Evergreens, scientifically known as Aglaonema, are attractive, versatile, and easy-to-grow indoor plants. They feature lush green foliage, often adorned with eye-catching patterns or variations in color, which can range from silver to red. These plants are excellent for purifying indoor air and can thrive in a wide variety of environments.

Growth Habit

Aglaonema species exhibit a clump-forming growth habit, gradually spreading as their many stems grow. These plants can reach heights between 1 and 5 feet when fully mature, with the leaves growing from 4 to 12 inches long. They can thrive in various lighting conditions, making them perfect for indoor gardens or spaces with limited sunlight.

Chinese Evergreens are quite low-maintenance and can tolerate low light, dry air, and even some neglect. Here are some important care tips for optimal growth:

  • Light: Provide indirect, medium to low light for best results.
  • Water: Water your plant regularly, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Temperature: Maintain indoor temperatures between 60°F and 75°F.
  • Fertilizer: Feed your Chinese Evergreen with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Humidity: These plants appreciate humidity, but they can also tolerate average indoor conditions. If desired, you can increase humidity by placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water or using a humidifier.

When it comes to propagating Chinese Evergreens, there are a few methods you can try, including stem cutting and air layering. With a little patience and the right tools, you can easily expand your collection.

Remember that consistency in care is key for healthy, thriving Chinese Evergreens. Keep the environment, light, and watering routine stable to ensure your plant continues to flourish.

Propagating Chinese Evergreen

Materials Needed

To propagate a Chinese Evergreen, you will need the following materials:

  • A healthy Aglaonema plant
  • A sharp pair of scissors or pruners
  • Root growth hormone (optional)
  • A container or jar with water
  • A pot with well-draining soil (for root division)

Propagation Techniques

There are two popular methods for propagating Chinese Evergreens: stem cuttings and root division. Both techniques can be successful, but they require slightly different approaches.

Stem Cuttings

  1. Choose a healthy Chinese Evergreen plant with minimal damage from pests or diseases.
  2. Cut a 6-inch-long stem from the plant, making sure it has multiple leaves.
  3. Optionally, you can dip the cut end of the stem into root growth hormone to encourage faster rooting.
  4. Place the stem cutting into a container or jar with water, ensuring that the leaves do not touch the water.
  5. Refresh the water every 2-3 days to prevent bacteria buildup and maintain a healthy environment for the cutting.
  6. Be patient, and wait for the roots to develop.

Root Division

  1. Remove the parent plant from its pot, carefully disentangling the roots from the soil.
  2. Identify a point where the roots can be divided, ensuring that each section has some foliage and a healthy root system.
  3. Use a clean, sharp tool, such as a knife or pruners, to separate the root ball into two parts.
  4. Repot the divided plants into separate pots with well-draining soil.
  5. Water the newly propagated plants, and place them in a location with appropriate light and temperature conditions for their growth.

Both stem cuttings and root division can result in successful Chinese Evergreen propagation. However, root division tends to be the fastest and easiest method. Regardless of the method you choose, always use clean, sharp tools when handling the plant material and make sure to provide a healthy environment for the new plants to grow.

Caring for New Chinese Evergreen Plants

Light Requirements

Newly propagated Chinese Evergreen plants prefer medium to bright indirect light for optimal growth. It’s crucial to avoid exposing the young plant to direct sunlight, as this can scorch the delicate leaves. Lower light conditions are tolerable but may slow down growth. Finding the right balance is key.


Proper watering is essential for new Chinese Evergreen plants. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy throughout the first few weeks of growth. Establishing a regular watering schedule can be helpful. Be vigilant for signs of overwatering, such as yellowing leaves, and adjust your routine accordingly in response to these cues. As your plant matures, you can gradually reduce the watering frequency, allowing the top one to two inches of soil to dry out between waterings.


It’s essential to plant your new Chinese Evergreen in well-draining soil with a mix of peat moss and perlite. This combination ensures adequate moisture retention while preventing root rot in the early stages of development. As your plant grows, be prepared to repot it into a slightly larger pot with fresh, well-draining potting mix when necessary, typically, every 2-3 years.

To summarize, caring for new Chinese Evergreen plants involves providing the right balance of light and water while using an appropriate well-draining soil mix. Monitor the plant’s progress, watch for signs of stress, and make adjustments to maintain healthy growth.

Common Challenges


One common challenge faced during the propagation of Chinese evergreen is dealing with pests. Some common pests that may infest the plant include mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. These pests can cause damage to the plant, hindering its growth and overall health.

  • Mealybugs: These small insects have a white, cotton-like appearance and can be found on leaves, stems, and other parts of the plant. They feed on plant sap, causing leaves to yellow and curl.
  • Spider mites: These tiny pests are difficult to see without a magnifying glass but can cause significant damage. Signs of an infestation include tiny webs on the plant and discoloration or stippling on leaves.
  • Aphids: These small, soft-bodied insects can cause leaves to become discolored and curled, as well as transmit diseases to the plant.

To prevent and manage pest infestations, it is essential to maintain proper plant care, such as keeping the plant clean and regularly inspecting for signs of pests. In case of an infestation, remove infected plant parts, and apply appropriate insecticidal treatments.


Apart from pests, Chinese evergreen plants can also be affected by several diseases. Two common diseases include root rot and leaf spot.

  1. Root rot: This disease is caused by overwatering or poor drainage, leading to the decay of roots. Symptoms include yellowing leaves, wilting, and poor growth. To prevent root rot, ensure the plant is potted in well-draining soil and avoid overwatering.
  2. Leaf spot: This fungal disease is characterized by dark, irregular-shaped spots on the leaves. High humidity and poor air circulation can increase the risk of leaf spot. To manage this disease, maintain proper airflow around the plant and remove infected leaves promptly.

In conclusion, staying vigilant and maintaining good plant care practices are essential in preventing and managing common challenges when propagating Chinese evergreen plants. Keep the plant clean and healthy to minimize the risks of pests and diseases.


In conclusion, propagating a Chinese evergreen plant can be a rewarding and simple process if you follow the appropriate steps. Beginning with a healthy plant, take a 6-inch long stem cutting and dip it into root growth hormone before placing it into a container with water. Ensuring the leaves don’t touch the water is crucial.

Another method to propagate Chinese evergreen involves air layering. Locate a point on the stem where you’d like roots to form and ensure an area of bare stem approximately 4-5 inches long. Using a sharp knife, remove a thin outer layer of the stem that encircles the entire perimeter.

Propagating Chinese evergreen offers several benefits, including air purification. These plants eliminate formaldehyde and benzene from the air, helping to reduce allergy triggers and even creating Feng Shui balance.

It is crucial to use healthy plant material when propagating to ensure success. Stems with multiple leaves and minimal damage from pests or disease are ideal for propagation. Always use clean, sharp pruners or a knife when cutting the stem.

Lastly, when propagating using a cutting, select a 6-8 inch long segment from a healthy branch, remove the lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and place it in moist soil. Cover the cutting loosely with a plastic bag to maintain humidity.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully propagate Chinese evergreen plants and enjoy their various benefits.

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