Chinese evergreen plants (Aglaonemas spp.) are leafy plants popular in homes and offices. They thrive in low light and a mild, protected environment. They are compact plants and grow big leaves that are a mix of green and cream color. Pruning Chinese evergreen plant foliage is hardly ever required. However, there are times that trimming Chinese evergreens is appropriate. Keep reading for more information on when and how to cut back a Chinese evergreen.
Chinese Evergreen Pruning
Many houseplants require regular or even constant pruning and pinching to keep them looking good. One of the advantages of Chinese evergreens is that they are very low maintenance. As long as you keep these plants in low light areas with temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees F. (18-23 C.), they will likely thrive. Due to the dense leafing of the plant, trimming Chinese evergreens is not a must. In fact, since new growth appears from the plant crown, pruning Chinese evergreen plant leaves can kill the entire plant. You may be tempted to pick up the pruners if the plant, as it matures, begins to look leggy. Experts suggest that you resist. Instead, consider planting pothos or another species of low-light plant, to fill in the bare spots.
How to Cut Back a Chinese Evergreen
Occasions for pruning Chinese evergreen plants are few and far between, but they do arise. Prune off any dead leaves in order to keep the houseplant looking its best. Trim them off as low as you can by reaching deep into the center of the plant. Another occasion for trimming Chinese evergreens comes in the spring if the plant produces flowers. Blooms generally appear in the spring – watch for a spathe and spadix in the middle of the leaves. You are probably helping the plant by removing these flowers since it lets the Chinese evergreen use that energy for foliage growth. Since the flowers are not extremely attractive, you will not suffer from their loss. If you feel badly pruning Chinese evergreen plant flowers off the plant, do it anyway. Remember that removing the blossoms is good for the longevity of the plant.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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