If you notice unusual coloration on your Chinese evergreen, you should investigate the matter to make sure your plant is doing well. There could be several reasons, and the main one relates to watering.
Keep reading to learn all about Chinese evergreen overwatering and underwatering and what you can do to fix it.
Chinese evergreen, or Aglanema, is a beautiful, low-maintenance houseplant native to Southeast Asia. They take very little effort to maintain, so they’re popular among plant enthusiasts.
Besides, their foliage is diverse and attractive. Chinese evergreen plants also have air-purifying characteristics.
They grow to three feet tall and three feet wide, depending on the variety. You can plant ones with green, red, or silver foliage.
Typically, their leaves are leathery, oval-shaped, and glossy. However, sometimes you might notice that this isn’t the case, and that’s when you have to check the setup for signs of overwatering or underwatering.
As a Chinese evergreen parent, I’ve learned that overwatering is a common issue that makes the plant look unhealthy. Here are some signs that are telltale of overwatering:
- Yellow Leaves: If you notice plenty of the Chinese evergreen leaves turning yellow, it could be a sign of overwatering.
- Root Rot: Leaving the soil wet for extended periods can cause root rot, which in turn causes your plant to die. Remove the plant from the pot to check the roots for browning, softness, or mushiness. Noticing these signs means that your Chinese evergreen roots are rotting.
- Leaf Drop: Another sign of overwatering is the leaves dropping. When the plant has too much water in the roots, it hinders the absorption of nutrients, resulting in the leaves dropping off.
After confirming that your plant is struggling due to overwatering, you should take some remedial measures to restore your Chinese evergreen’s health.
Start by repotting your plant to make sure that you’re giving it fresh, well-draining soil.
- Remove the plant gently from the original pot.
- Shake off excess soil from the roots and trim off any damaged or mushy roots.
- Fill a new pot with well-draining soil, and make sure that it’s larger than the original pot.
- Place the plant in the pot and fill the gaps with soil.
- Lightly water the plant and keep it in a shaded area.
The ideal remedial measure would be to give your Chinese evergreen better water drainage. This way, you ensure that if you happen to give your plant water when it doesn’t need it, the water won’t sit and rot the roots.
- Buy a pot with adequate drainage holes.
- Use a well-draining soil mix consisting of sand, vermiculite, or perlite.
- Add a layer of pebbles or gravel at the bottom of the pot to maximize drainage.
To avoid overwatering your plant again, revisit your watering schedule and do it less frequently.
- Make sure that the topsoil is dry before you water your Chinese evergreen again.
- Water the plant deeply but less frequently.
- Check the soil moisture level with a moisture meter.
Now that you’re all up-to-date on how to identify overwatering and how to fix it, let’s check the other side of the coin: underwatering. Signs of underwatering include:
- Curling Leaves: If you notice the leaves on your Chinese evergreen curling inward while the tips are becoming brown and crispy, it’s a surefire sign that your plant needs more water.
- Brown Leaf Tips: Another common sign of underwatering is your plant’s leaves drying out and turning brown. Make sure the soil is moist to ensure proper nutrient transportation across your plant’s body.
- Stunted Growth: If you suddenly notice that your plant isn’t growing at the same rate or regenerating new leaves, that’s another sign that you’re underwatering it.
After identifying that the root cause of your plant’s unhealthiness is underwatering, it’s time to fix the issue. Here are the ways that you can help an underwatered plant:
You should start by increasing the water quantity you provide to your plant when watering it. Alternatively, you might want to water the plant more frequently. Alter between both to see which gives you better results.
To avoid the underwatering issue, make sure you water your plant on a more consistent schedule.
Water your Chinese evergreen at the same time every week or 10 days, and use the same amount of water every time.
Finally, to ensure that your Chinese evergreen is getting enough water, it’s important to monitor the moisture level of the soil.
You can do so by sticking your finger around an inch into the soil to check for moisture. If the soil feels dry, you should provide the plant with more water. Otherwise, wait two or three days before checking and watering your plant.
How much and how often your Chinese evergreen needs watering will depend on the environment, including the season, light levels, humidity, and temperature.
If your plant is in a warm and dry environment, you’ll need to water your Chinese evergreen around once every seven or eight days in the summer and every 10 days in the winter.
On the other hand, in cold or moist environments, you should water the plant every nine to 10 days in the summer and winter, respectively.
Keep in mind that Chinese evergreen plants love a damp environment, so you shouldn’t let the pot dry completely.
In brief, water supply issues can cause significant damage to your Chinese evergreen, be it overwatering or underwatering the plant.
Check the leaves for yellowing or curling, the root for rot or pests, and keep an eye on wilting leaves.
If you find any of those signs and can confirm the cause is watering issues, just follow the steps to fix the issue, and your plant should thrive again.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.