Chinese evergreens, also known as Algonema, are perennial evergreens popular for their resilience and low maintenance.
They also grow beautiful, lush foliage, which is why they’re commonly used as indoor ornamental plants. But do Chinese Evergreens flower?
The short answer is yes, but not very often. The plant also needs special conditions to bloom its flowers, and even then, it’s still quite rare.
If you want to find out more about Chinese evergreen flowers, what they look like, and how to encourage their growth, This guide will have you covered with everything you need to know.
The Chinese evergreen is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the Araceae family. Like other species of this family, Chinese evergreens do bloom flowers.
However, Chinese evergreen flowers are known for being quite inconspicuous and small in size. Additionally, they typically bloom in optimal conditions only, which makes them quite elusive and difficult to spot.
Chinese evergreen flowers are actually an inflorescence. In other words, instead of having one normal-sized flower, the plant grows several extremely tiny flowers arranged in clusters, called a spadix.
The shape of the tiny flowers and the spadix as a whole will vary from one species/variety of the Chinese evergreen to another. However, they typically have the same general elongated structure with a white color.
What makes it even harder to spot is that it’s usually surrounded by a bract, which is a modified leaf that covers the spadix from most sides, also called a “spathe”.
This modified leaf that covers the flowering spadix makes it easier for the inflorescence to blend between the bushy plant’s leaves.
In most cases, Chinese evergreen flowers don’t produce any distinct fragrance. Yet, in the wild, the plant still attracts plenty of pollinators, despite its modest looks and lack of aroma.
Chinese evergreen flowers don’t have a particular blooming time. However, in most cases, you’re more likely to find your plant blooming in late winter as well as some weeks between summer and spring.
This is because Chinese evergreens typically bloom their flowers as a response to the conditions around them.
As previously established, Algonemas will typically bloom an inflorescence when conditions are perfect, so it’s usually a sign that you’re taking excellent care of your plant.
That being said, Chinese evergreens will also bloom if they’re extremely stressed or about to die.
In that case, the plant will reserve all its energy to grow the flower as a last hope to pollinate, form seeds, and regrow.
Of course, you can easily tell the difference between the two by checking the conditions of the plant itself. Signs like shiny leaves and erect stems are all clues that your plant is doing quite well.
Blooming flowers and pollination are critical for wild Chinese evergreens, as it’s the ideal method to reproduce and form a seed that can grow into a new plant.
Since wild Chinese evergreens exist in the optimal conditions for them to grow and thrive, it’s more likely for the plant to bloom its flowers.
That being said, spotting flowers on wild Chinese evergreens is quite a challenge since wild Algonemas usually grow considerably larger with more leaves, making it harder to spot its tiny flowers.
Chinese evergreens can bloom indoors. However, this is usually quite rare for several reasons and factors.
For instance, Chinese evergreens come in a wide range of species and varieties, and the tendency to bloom flowers can vary between them depending on the hardiness of the species.
Additionally, despite the name, Chinese evergreens are actually native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia, which is a tropical region.
This means that the plants are adapted to staying indoors, but it’s not the perfect growing situation for them, which prevents the plants from growing flowers.
In fact, even if the plant grows flowers in ideal conditions, the bloom is typically small and short-lived if it’s not pollinated in time.
In other words, the time window to spot the plant’s inflorescence is quite small, and blending among the lush foliage doesn’t make the job of finding it any easier.
The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. As previously mentioned, blooming in Chinese evergreens is quite unpredictable, and it’s based on conditions rather than time.
As such, some Chinese evergreen varieties will bloom more often than others. For instance, some growers report that the plant will bloom multiple times per year, given ideal conditions.
On the other hand, some growers claim that their Chinese evergreens never flower indoors, even when they’re provided with the best growing conditions.
This doesn’t only apply to the frequency of blooming, but also to the duration of the bloom.
For instance, your Chinese evergreen might stay in bloom for as little as a couple of days and up to a week.
That being said, the plant can stay in bloom for longer if it’s pollinated. If not, the flowering spadix will shrivel, turn brown, and fall off.
While it’s not guaranteed that Chinese evergreen will bloom indoors, here are some helpful tips to encourage the plant to bloom:
- Provide the plant with indirect light, preferably low to medium brightness (darker leaf varieties may need less light)
- Grow the plant in peat and perlite-based potting soil
- Keep the plant at a temperature between 65 and 80 °F (around 18.5 to 29.5 °C)
- Fertilize the plant every two weeks during the ideal blooming seasons (late winter, spring to summer)
- Mist the plant regularly, especially during the winter months, to make up for the low humidity when temperatures are low
While the plant will also bloom if it’s heavily stressed or deprived of its necessary growing conditions, you shouldn’t try to do this for the plant to bloom, as it puts your plant at serious risk of dying in the process.
Unless you’re planning to regrow and pollinate the Chinese evergreen in your garden, the flowers serve no purpose, as they’re quite small and not particularly showy.
After all, the ornamental quality of the plant is due to its leaves and stems, not the flowers.
For that reason, some growers actually cut off the flowers when they bloom to redirect the plant’s energy reserves to make the leaves and stems healthier.
Chinese evergreens do flower, but the flowers are quite small and covered with a modified leaf, making them hard to spot.
The plant also rarely blooms indoors, and since the flowers don’t serve any ornamental purpose, you shouldn’t worry if your plant never grows flowers.
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.