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Re: aglaonemas

  • Subject: Re: aglaonemas
  • From: Alektra@aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 21:08:03 -0600 (CST)

Dear Paul and folks,

Thank you for your immediate welcome to the list! I'm sorry I am responding 
so late, when all the threads seem to have wandered away. But I am very 
interested in Ags, so I am going to trundle on with this.

I believe that Ags are perfect houseplants for me, and certainly worth your 
time if you can get some. I find them extremely easy to grow, more satisfying 
than anything else I've ever encountered. Maybe you can introduce them to 
Australia if they aren't there already!

As for pests: I've never had spider mite or mealy bug problems on Ags 
although other people do. I can't keep a pot of ivy or mums alive because 
voracious spider mites commandeer them and kill them the moment I get home... 
and I've had mealy problems with jades and African violets in the past... yet 
I never have had pests on my Ags.

Here in the northeast U.S.A., Ags seem to be mostly used in plantings in 
public locations such as malls and photocopy shops; the sunlight here is weak 
enough that they often are put in unprotected windows, and they thrive.

Here it actually is difficult to find them sold as pot plants for the home. 
In fact, one of my biggest complaints in relation to Ags is that I have not 
been able to find a mail-order retailer who sells Ags by the variety. Ag 
growers seem to be focused on wholesale "to the trade," meaning interior 
landscapers. If anyone knows of a mail-order retailer of varietal Ags, let me 

I'm also disturbed that there are so few Ag breeders working to create new 
varieties. I only knew of two groups of breeders-- one in Florida and one in 
India-- although the recent response on the list shows that there are some 
people coming up in the Philippines and Thailand. Probably Dr. Brown's book 
talks about others; I have to get that book.

One big reason I asked about Ags the moment I got on this list is, I'm like 
Russ, I'm afraid that there are a lot of old varieties which are simply not 
surviving. This isn't like African violets where there are 10K varieties, or 
even like the 200 kinds of sansevierias.

There is a wonderful website called aglaonemas.com (note the plural "s"), but 
it only has maybe 15 varieties on it. Ags are so little known that a lot of 
people call all of them "Silver Queen" without realizing that "Silver Queen" 
is just the name for one variety, like "Mauna Loa" spath or "Emerald Gem" 
homalomena. (Though I have to admit that "Silver Queen" is a much prettier 
name than "aglaonema" or "Chinese evergreen.") But anyway...

WHY do I love aglaonemas?

Let me count the ways...

1)  They truly do clean the air, as Dr. Wolverton of NASA demonstrated, and

my experience upholds (with fumes from paint, carpet glue, and mothballs!).

2)  They smell green while doing their air-cleaning, and their flowers don't 

3)  They can get lovely little drops of pure water at their tips from 

4)  They are less picky than spaths about how much water they get and when.

5)  Their leaves are thicker and stronger than dieffenbachia leaves.

6)  They grow straight upwards, unlike so many philodendrons.

7)  They grow at a satisfying rate, without dormant spells like the tuberous 

8)  They range in height from a decimeter to over a meter.

9)  They have dozens of wonderful leaf proportions, shades, and patterns.

10) They can be multiplied by either offsets or stem cuttings.

11) They root in water and transition to soil extremely easily.

12) They can survive in light almost as low as aspidistra can handle.
And therefore...

13) They are a lot of fun for me! They just seem to me like strong, happy, 
friendly, relaxed plants, to anthropomorphize!

(...All of which, needless to say, is not meant as disparagement of anyone 
else's joy in other aroids! I keep various other aroids too!)

Best wishes,


In a message dated 10/24/1 3:04:34 PM, ptyerman@ozemail.com.au writes:
<< How are they as house plants?  I had never even heard of them until Laura
raised them (Thanks Laura) and I have just been looking them up in a book
to find out what they are.  Are they something that is available, or just
rarely in collections (and how do they go in Australia if anyone is growing
them here)?  Nice leaves!!


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia >>

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