Aglaonema commutatum care guide

In this guide you'll learn: How to care for your Aglaonema commutatum plant and
answers to FAQs to keep your plant happy

In this guide you’ll learn: How & where to buy the Aglaonema commutatum, how to care for your plant and answers to FAQs to keep your plant happy

About the Aglaonema commutatum

The Aglaonema commutatum is a vibrant, attractive, easy to grow and popular houseplant that will delight with its flourishing bushy leaves and tropical variegated patterns.

Also known as the Chinese Evergreen or Poison Dart Plant, it is native to the Philippines under a tropical rainforest canopy, and so requires consistently moist soil, warm temperatures, dappled light and while it prefers high humidity it will still thrive with typical indoor levels.

This is a quick growing plant that during the summer growing season can put out several new dark green leaves at once, multiplying in size during its first few seasons given the right conditions.

As an indoor plant it is very easy to look after, even enough for us to say that this could be a great option for your first houseplant, and will reward you with plenty of new attractive foliage, even later in the season when most other plants have slowed down. It requires minimal maintenance but weekly watering to keep the soil moist but not wet.

If the Aglanonema commutatum seems like the plant for you, read on to learn more about how to care for it, and see our buyers guide below to get the plant delivered direct to you.

Aglaonema commutatum in the House & Office

As long as you can provide this plant with consistently moist soil and bright but indirect light, with typical indoor temperatures, it should produce lots of bushy leaves throughout the year.

Unlike some indoor plants, this requires relatively little maintenance and will be happy in most circumstances, making the chinese evergreens a great option for homes and offices.

We have a cultivar of this plant at Outplanted HQ, the Aglaonema commutatum “Crete”, kept in a sunny position in our office. Our plant is extremely easy to look after and requires very mimimal watering at maximium once per week and once every other week durinng autumn and winter.

These plants have a very tropical feel to them and do attract attention from passersby, making them a great conversation starter.

Popular Cultivars

The Aglaonema commutatum “Crete” is a colourful cultivar which sprout long pink stems and forest green leaves with pink-red leaf edges and veins.

Aglaonema commutatum Size

Height: 45cm / 17.7in / 1.5ft

Spread: 30-45cm / 11.8-17.7in / 1-1.5ft

Aglaonema commutatum Care

Light: Bright but indirect light is necessary, as very strong direct light will burn its leaves. This plant sees dappled light on the forest floor in its natural environment, so does not need a strong light source. Keep it within five feet of most bright windows, except for south facing windows where it should be kept a little further away.

Soil: Provide a well draining soil that maintains a good level of moisture. You can increase drainage of potting soil using rocks, perlite and similar materials, while increasing water retention using sphagnum moss. 

Watering: Watering the Aglaonema commutatum should be done at least once per week and more often during the summer. Keep the soil moist as consistently as possible and water when the top inch of soil is starting to dry out. Do not allow the soil to remain waterlogged, as it should be light and moist but not heavy and saturated.

Humidity: While this plant prefers high humidity of 60%, it will still thrive down to about a 40% humidity level and may still survive at levels below this. Our Aglaonema sits in a 40-45% humidity room and still puts out plenty of new growth, but we provided it with an inch of sphagnum moss above the soil to increase the local humidity levels.

You can also increase humidity using a humidifier, setting the pot on top of a plate of pebbles and water, or by grouping the plant together with several others, as well as by misting the area daily.

Feeding: Feeding with a standard houseplant fertiliser twice per month during summer, once per month at other times and not at all during winter is a standard but effective strategy to keep your plant thriving and growing beautiful new foliage weekly.

Temperature: Typical indoor temperatures are suitable for this plant, with 18-27ºC (65-80ºF) being ideal. The plant may begin to suffer at temperatures below 15ºC (60ºF) and could experience tissue damage if temperatures approach freezing.

Ailments: This plant is susceptible to aphids, whitefly and similar bugs which can rapidly multiply and extract moisture and energy from it. To remove, wipe away with a damp cloth after spraying with a light soap solution, and repeat with a light oil solution if there is no improvement after a couple of days.

A common problem is ‘tipping’, where the leaf tips can brown if watering is too inconsistent. To remedy this, try to determine whether you might be watering too much or not enough. For most plants, you may only need to provide a small amount of water once per week, or a tiny amount every few days; just enough to keep the soil very lightly moist but not dripping wet.

Further care: Read our full care guide to keep your plant happy and healthy with beautiful, full foliage.

Where To Buy Aglaonema commutatum Online

  • Ebay (UK) / (USA)
  • Etsy
  • Bloombox Club (UK) / (USA)
  • Local Facebook Groups

This is a popular plant that can be found at many speciality plant stores, but may be tricky to find at some more mainstream shops and garden centres. Online, it is easy to find beautiful specimens, including some of the popular cultivars such as the Aglaonema commutatum “Crete”. 

If you do buy online, we recommend to read testimonials and reviews from other customers, both for marketplace websites like Ebay and Etsy, as well as with standard online plant stores.

Always ensure that you are happy with the reviews from other customers so that you are buying from a reputable source, and be aware of their return and refund policies.

If you receive a plant that is infected with a virus or pests, do not introduce it to your other plants as it may spread. If the plant arrives damaged or in any way that you are unhappy with, contact the seller and arrange a return and refund.

FAQs

How do you care for Aglaonema commutatum?

The main needs of this plant are; typical warm indoor temperatures, bright but indirect light, typical indoor humidity levels with a minimum of 40%, well draining soil that maintains consistent moisture and light waterings when the soil begins to dry. This plant is very forgiving and will survive most conditions as long as it doesn’t dry out completely or get too cold.

Is Aglaonema commutatum toxic?

The roots, stems and leaves are all somewhat toxic if consumed, so this plant should be kept away from children and animals that may try to nibble. If the sap gets on your skin, remove it immediately with soap and water.

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About the Author

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Plant-lover with a life-goal to buy land across the UK to plant his own forest, James specialises in horticulture and botanical research, and has been growing and rewilding forests with trees, including endangered species, for over 15 years. He is an avid gardener, allotment owner, and aids in the running of a carbon neutral initiative in companies across the UK.


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