In my many years of experience with growing plants, there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure: giving your plant a new home rejuvenates it!
Since Chinese evergreens grow up to three feet wide and three feet tall, they occupy some space, and their growth can be surprising.
So, if you want to bring life back to your Aglaonema and make it glow, here’s a detailed Chinese evergreen repotting guide to help you do that.
Chinese evergreen plants are also known as Aglaonema Silver Queens. They’re tropical plants, native to Asia, and are well-loved for their beautiful foliage and low maintenance requirements.
The fact that Chinese evergreen plants can thrive in low to medium light makes them excellent indoor plants.
Despite their low maintenance requirements, they still need some care. This is to ensure their longevity, and repotting is a necessary factor.
Even if this is your first time repotting a plant, the process is simple, and the steps are easy to follow. There are four layers to the process. In this section, we’ll delve into each one in detail.
- Water your Chinese evergreen well before you repot it to remove it more easily from the original pot.
- Gently remove the plant from the pot by sliding it out or turning the pot upside down and tapping on the bottom with the top of the soil secured.
- Loosen any tightly bound roots with your fingers or a garden tool. It’s crucial to be careful in order not to accidentally damage any of the roots.
- Start by preparing a pot that’s one size bigger than the one the plant is currently in. Make sure the drainage holes on the new pot are adequate for the plant’s moisture needs.
- Fill the new pot with fresh and well-draining soil. You can mix in perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss to make the soil light and enhance air circulation. Not to mention, adding pebbles or gravel at the bottom also enhances drainage.
- Water the soil in the new pot until it’s moist but not soaking.
- Place the plant in the center of the new pot and make sure the sides are filled with soil. Make sure the plant is at the same level as it was in the original pot.
- Delicately pat down the soil around the plant to get rid of any air pockets.
- Water the plant thoroughly and let it drain.
- To make sure that your plant is thriving after repotting, make sure to place it in a bright area with indirect light.
- Water the plant consistently, with the same amount of water and at the same time of day. Always balance the moisture so that the soil isn’t too wet or too dry.
- Add a balanced fertilizer once every month.
- Keep an eye on the plant for the first few weeks after repotting. If you notice any unusual signs of unhealthiness, your plant might be stressed, and that would require more of your attention.
After a couple of years of experience with Chinese evergreen plants, it becomes easier to spot the signs that indicate that it’s time to repot your plant. At that time, your plant will need more space to grow and fresh soil to renew its nutrient absorption.
You might notice the following signs:
- The plant has become root-bound and is outgrowing its current pot.
- The soil becomes compressed, and drainage deteriorates noticeably.
- An imbalance happens, and the top of the plant becomes heavy, leading it to fall over.
- The roots are growing out of the drainage holes in the pots.
Generally speaking, it’s advisable to repot your Chinese evergreen around every two or three years, as this is the period they take to become root-bound.
However, if your Chinese evergreen plant shows the above signs earlier than that time, you should repot it as soon as you can to prevent the plant from wilting and dying.
Ideally, you should repot Chinese evergreens in the spring or the summer, as those are the times when the plant is actively growing and becoming bigger.
Repotting during that time allows the plant to achieve a faster recovery and adjust more seamlessly to its new environment.
Contrarily, you should avoid repotting during winter as the plant becomes dormant, and exposing it to a new environment might stunt its growth instead of enhance it.
Using the wrong soil, messing up the pot size, overwatering or underwatering, not getting the right lighting, and repotting too quickly—we’ve all been there. It might take some trial and error before you get repotting your Chinese evergreen plants just right, but it’s not impossible!
In this section, I’ll save you some errors and tell you about the most common repotting mistakes to avoid.
Chinese evergreen plants prefer damp environments but not wet ones. That’s why you should prepare a well-draining soil filled with organic matter.
Steer clear of soils that are heavy or that retain too much moisture, as this eventually leads to the roots of your plant rotting.
Another common mistake when repotting is using the wrong pot size. Ideally, you should opt for a pot that’s one size larger than the original. This gives your plant enough space to grow yet keeps it comfortably snug, as Chinese evergreens like to be slightly root-bound.
If your pot is too large, you might accidentally overwater your plant and cause the roots to rot.
You’ve probably gotten used to the old pot size and, accordingly, to the amount of water you give your Chinese evergreen.
However, by moving your plant to a bigger pot, your estimations might fail you, and that’s why overwatering is a pretty common mishap when repotting Chinese evergreens.
I recommend using a specific container to add the same amount of water during every watering session. You can adjust the amount of water in the container as per your observation.
After a while, you’ll understand just how much water your plant currently needs—after repotting—and you can go back to free watering.
Yes, Chinese evergreen plants like to be slightly root-bound. So, you should avoid repotting them too often. Doing so might cause overwatering and other issues.
While repotting can give your plant a healthier environment to thrive in, it might also shock it, especially if it’s not in the proper repotting phase where it’s outgrowing the current pot.
The material of the pot affects the health of your plant, and Chinese evergreens thrive in clay pots because they’re porous, which gives them ample air circulation and excellent drainage. However, clay pots can also cause your plant to dry out too quickly.
On the other hand, plastic pots are lightweight and retain moisture better than clay ones. Yet they might trap excess water, leading the roots to rot.
So, between the two, a clay pot is a safer choice. Yet, you should monitor the soil moisture or even use a moisture meter!
In summary, identifying the right time to repot your Chinese evergreen is crucial to its overall health and growth.
Keep an eye on your plant to spot any signs of root-bounding and repot during the summer and spring for the best results.
With proper care, your Chinese evergreen will thrive and add beauty to your home.
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.