The Chinese Evergreen, A Sage Plant For Your Home
Another great house plant for beginners, the Chinese Evergreen is a colorful and easy option for all the novices out there or those of us who are too busy watching the Bachelor or playing tennis. Some of us don’t have the time or the skills to tinker with plants, so the Chinese Evergreen is a great option for all of us. Native to Southeast Asia, they will survive under minimal artificial lighting conditions indoors and still live! So if you need a plant for your bathroom or “garden apartment” this is the one that will actually survive your dungeon-like conditions.
All of the Chinese Evergreens will have green leaves but some may differ with different streaks of color; silver, white, yellow or even red. The above picture showcases one of the newer varieties called ‘Siam Red’.
These plants are generally one to two feet tall, and while very versatile be wary with pets or children. If you know of anyone who likes to chew on your fauna, keep the plants away. They contain a chemical called calcium oxalate crystals which can cause irritation and burning when eaten.
Light: If you’re like me and only have north facing windows (suckers!) then you have finally struck gold and lucked out. These plants do their best in North facing windows, and should be kept out of direct sunlight. Bright light will cause their leaves to lift straight up.
Water: Keep the soil evenly moist if plants are in good light. If they are in extremely dim light areas, allow the soil to dry out between watering. These plants also tolerate low humidity, so if you have radiator heat, no fretting!
Temperature: Best when kept between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 10-degree drop in temperature at night for the best growth. Temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit may kill the plants.
Soil: Soil should be well-draining and rich in humus (not hummus the food but humus such as peat moss). You can find that here.
Bugs: You’ll rarely have to worry about bugs with these plants. If you do, however, spot any bugs just give this plant a soapy bath.