Written by Ivy
Jan 07 2023
The top five most popular indoor plants also include pothos, peace lilies, snake plants, and ZZ plants. Aglaonemas completes the list. They are ideal for beginners and easy to maintain, just like the others.
The oval leaves of the Silver Bay aglaonema, also referred to as the painted drop tongue, stand out due to their striking center variegation.
One of the more well-known Chinese evergreens is the Silver Bay Aglaonema. Due to its lovely leaves and low maintenance requirements, it enjoyed great popularity in the 1930s and is now regaining favor with homeowners.
Big-box stores, neighborhood garden centers and nurseries, as well as online shops like Etsy and Amazon, all sell plants.
When fully grown, plants reach a height of three to four feet and have an upright, bushy habit. The leaves are oval-shaped, elongated, and dark green. They end in a point. They grow to be about ten inches long, feel slightly leathery, and have stunning silvery patterns running through the center of the leaves.
Another popular plant is the Chinese Evergreen, which can survive in low light. As long as it's indirect, they can work in low, moderate, and bright light. The variegated leaves look their best when the plant receives an abundance of bright indirect light because too much direct sunlight, like with other low-light plants, scalds or scorches the leaves.
Plants do well in fluorescent lighting and in windows with an eastern exposure. That is why they thrive so well in office buildings. Supplemental lighting is beneficial during the winter or if your home doesn't have a spot with good indirect light because they will lose their variegation and become leggy if they don't get enough light.
Surprisingly, Silver Bay plants perform significantly better when the potting soil is kept on the drier side as they are susceptible to root rot if overwatered. Before thoroughly watering the plant, let the top two or three inches of soil dry out. This could happen as infrequently as every two to three weeks when temperatures are more laid back and growth slows in the winter.
These plants, which are native to tropical regions, thrive in environments with air temperatures between 65 and 80 °F. It is advised to keep them away from register vents, exterior doors, and drafty windows, especially during hot or cold weather, as they perform best in stable temperatures that don't drop below 50°F.
These tropical plants prefer humidity levels of 50% or higher because they originated in rainforests and dense jungles. The bathroom or the area next to the kitchen sink are examples of naturally humid areas where plants thrive. Put the plant in a pebble tray half full of water if your indoor air is dry.
Give your Silver Bay plant a half dose of balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the warmer months—spring through early fall—when it is growing vigorously—for optimum growth. At the very least, fertilize it in the spring when growth begins. It doesn't require plant food when growth slows down in the cooler months.
Check your Silver Bay regularly for scale, aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs when scouring your indoor plants for insect pests. In the case of an infestation, spray neem oil, insecticidal soap, or a mixture made of one quart of water, one cup of rubbing alcohol, and one teaspoon of insecticidal soap.
Plants of the genus Aglaonema are fairly hardy and rarely succumb to disease. They are prone to root rot, particularly in overwatered conditions or during cooler weather. The best course of action is to remove your Silver Bay as soon as you suspect it may have root rot, trim any mushy white roots, and then replant it in new potting soil.
Stem cuttings are a common method of propagation for Chinese Evergreen plants, just like for philodendrons and pothos plants. Aglaonemas, in contrast to the others, can also be multiplied by cutting plants in half. Propagation is a great way to multiply a single plant because it only requires a small amount of work and costs just new containers.
Like many other houseplants, Silver Bay stem cuttings take to water or potting soil well and quickly. Start by using clean, sharp scissors to cut a healthy stem halfway between two leaf nodes. After removing the cutting, you can either plant it directly into a container or allow it to root in some water.
Rooting in Water
Rooting in Growing Media
Even simpler than taking stem cuttings, houseplant division (which is frequently done with perennials grown outdoors) is a good option. Simply put, dividing a plant involves cutting up a single, mature plant into smaller plants. Plants should be divided periodically to prevent them from outgrowing their containers or the space they take up in your house.
In contrast to vining plants, Aglaonema Silver Bay plants grow upright, so they don't require pruning. The bottom older leaves on a growing plant will inevitably dry out as the plant gets bigger. When this occurs, you can either cut them off right away or wait until they are completely dry and fall off naturally.
The foliage of all Chinese Evergreens contains calcium oxalate crystals, making them poisonous to animals. These insoluble chemicals cause mouth and throat irritation when ingested and swallowed, which can result in diarrhea, vomiting, or drooling. Keep your plant out of reach of young children and pets to prevent ingestion or skin irritations.
While your plant is relatively trouble-free, it is not immune to the occasional pest or disease. Here are the most typical problems that your Aglaonema Silver Bay might experience.
Overwatering your plant may cause root rot, which can be problematic. Your roots will be drowned out by waterlogged soil at this point. Because they can't breathe, roots begin to rot.
By only watering when the topsoil feels dry to the touch, root rot can be avoided. Overzealous watering, while it may feel like giving your plant "extra love," does the opposite!
For information on treating root rot, refer to our detailed instructions.
On another plant, a close-up of a spider mite infestation Spider mites create recognizable webbing.
Spider mites are sap-sucking insects that eat through plant tissue and rob your plant of nutrients. They leave a distinctive webbing on the underside of leaves, which is how they got their name.
It's crucial to inspect your plant before bringing it inside your home because many infestations are caused by cross-infection from other plants. Due to the mites' rapid rate of reproduction, early detection is essential.
You have a variety of options for eliminating these mites. We prefer to apply an insecticide soap spray or, in more serious situations, a neem oil spray. Both options are healthy for the environment and natural.
To prepare for an infestation, we typically keep a bottle of insecticidal soap in our house.
Mealybugs look like little bits of cotton wool. While easily recognizable, they do like to cluster together in hard-to-reach corners of the plant.
This is why it's imperative to regularly inspect your plants!
Fortunately, mealybugs can be removed in the same manner as spider mites.
In 1989, a NASA Clean Air study looked at plants that naturally cleaned the air of pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde. The Chinese Evergreen is a plant with these air-purifying properties.
Consequently, the Silver Bay purifies the air, according to this NASA study. The levels of purification, however, are not significant unless you have tons and tons of these plants, according to some recent discussions. That could be a reason to purchase more plants, I suppose.
The Dumb Cane, Dieffenbachia Amoena, has variegated leaves with more yellow and and green variegation
Identical in appearance to the Chinese Evergreen in leaf color and leaf variegation is the dumb cane, Dieffenbachia amoena. They are not connected, though. The Chinese Evergreen belongs to the Aglaonema genus while the dumb cane belongs to the Dieffenbachia genus.
Look at its leaves closely to tell them apart. While the Dumb Cane has more yellow and green variegation, the Aglaonema Silver Bay's leaves contain a greater percentage of silver-cream.
Aglaonema Silver Bay is a hybrid between two Aglaonemas: the Aglaonema Manila Whirl and the Ernesto's favorite plant is Alagaonema nitidum. Because it is indigenous to China and New Guinea's tropical regions, the Silver Bay is also known as the Chinese Evergreen.