Chinese evergreen plants (Aglaonema) are one of the easiest plants to grow in homes and offices. This plant can adapt to many different living conditions and environments. Therefore, many people love them for the beauty of their foliage, unique patterns on their leaves, and their ability to live vigorously.
However, Chinese evergreen plants will also stop growing when they do not receive ideal living conditions. Why is my Chinese evergreen not growing? How to best care for Chinese evergreen plants? In this article, we will share detailed information about the causes and solutions when this plant stops growing.
Chinese Evergreen Not Growing: Causes And Treatments
Chinese evergreen plants will stop growing when the living environment is too harsh. Some common causes include lack of water, waterlogging, temperature stress, low humidity, or fungal diseases and pests. Below are some of the main causes, treatments, and prevention to maintain stable plant health.
Wintertime In Each Year
Like most indoor plants, Chinese evergreen plants will not thrive in the winter. Extreme temperatures will cause plants to enter a period of hibernation. During this time, plants only use a small amount of water to maintain life without growing new leaves. Chinese evergreen plants will concentrate to store energy and grow quickly when spring comes. So, you don’t need to worry about anything if your plants stop growing when winter comes.
Watering too little or too much water causes Chinese evergreen plants to stop growing or grow stunted. Chinese evergreen plants are plants that like moist soil and will grow well in loose and moist soil conditions. Therefore, if you water these plants too little, they will have difficulty growing. Lack of water makes it impossible for plants to transport water and nutrients to all parts of the plant. Therefore, plants will begin to show visible signs on their leaves, stems, and root systems. The leaves of Chinese evergreen plants curl up to minimize the area exposed to sunlight and prevent transpiration through the stomata.
Overwatering is also a common reason why Chinese evergreen plants stop growing. Too much excess water will cause flooding. Although the root system can withstand a wet environment for some time, it cannot grow if waterlogging occurs for a long period. Excess water will prevent the root system from absorbing oxygen and nutrients to the leaves and stems. Besides, the root system will also suffocate due to too much water and lack of oxygen. Waterlogging will cause root rot and fungal diseases. A humid environment creates ideal conditions for fungi to grow and attack plants.
Below are some notes on how to treat and prevent improper watering.
- If your plants have withered due to lack of water, soak them in a container or tub that completely covers the plant for a few minutes.
- Move the pot to a cool area to avoid intense sunlight, which will cause water to evaporate quickly.
- Water continuously whenever the soil surface is dry and has small cracks. You only stop when the soil has moisture and the plants are healthy again.
- You can also mist to add moisture and water to plants during the first few days of the emergency.
- If your plants stop growing due to waterlogging, find a way to remove excess water through drainage holes or pour them outside.
- Use small stakes to plug into the soil to create air holes and prevent the soil from becoming overly sticky.
- Stop watering completely until the soil surface is 2-3 inches dry.
- Move the pot to a place with sunlight and good air circulation to promote the evaporation of water in the soil.
- Choose a potting soil mixture that is of good quality and meets the requirements such as being rich in nutrients, good moisture retention, and good drainage.
- The location where the pot is placed needs sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon to maintain daily water evaporation.
- Do not water according to a pre-existing schedule, water according to the actual needs of plants and the weather in the area where you live.
- Do not water the leaves at night to avoid fungal diseases and pests.
- Rotate the pot regularly so that the plants receive enough sunlight and stimulate the process of absorbing water.
Excessive Temperature Stress
Sudden temperature changes or excessive stress can also cause Chinese evergreen plants to stop growing. This plant is famous for its ability to adapt to many different living conditions. However, temperatures that are too high or too low will also affect plant health. Therefore, you need to use a thermometer to control the temperature and ensure the most ideal habitat for plants.
When Chinese evergreen plants continue with too high or too low temperatures, they will show symptoms such as discolored leaves, wilted leaves, drooping leaves, or even sunburn. Black spots, yellow spots, or brown patches will appear on the leaves.
Below is some important information about the temperature requirements of Chinese evergreen plants.
- The ideal temperature for this plant to grow best is 68-77°F.
- Place the potted plant in a location that receives warm sunlight and partial afternoon shade.
- The pot should not be placed in direct sunlight because intense sunlight will burn the leaves and create brown patches on the leaves.
- You should not place the potted plant near a window or an area where the airflow is constantly changing, such as a hallway or door. Air that is too hot or too cold will also create wind currents that affect plant growth.
- In winter, you need to protect plants from rain, snow, and cold winds. Use artificial lights for heating and place potted plants in a less windy location to protect plant health.
- Do not place potted plants in air-conditioned areas or next to fireplaces or radiators to keep them warm.
Chinese evergreen plants are susceptible to fungal diseases. Some fungal diseases and leaf spots caused by bacteria will also cause this plant to stop growing. The reason fungal diseases appear is because the environment is too wet which causes root rot. Root rot creates favorable conditions for fungi and harmful bacteria to attack plants. Air that is too humid or the leaf surface is always wet are also ideal conditions for fungal spores to appear and attack the leaves. To prevent fungal diseases, you need to keep the soil environment dry, with suitable humidity and good air circulation. Root rot and fungal diseases often go together and cause plants to stop growing completely.
Below are some notes on how to treat and prevent fungal diseases.
- You should regularly clean the two surfaces of the leaves to remove white patches or fungal spores attached to the leaves.
- Use neem oil to clean leaves and spray regularly as a natural pesticide.
- Once the plants are waterlogged and root rotted, you need to change the potting soil and pots to revive healthy roots.
- Prune damaged leaves and root branches before planting the plants back into a new soil mix.
- Use specialized fungicides to eliminate fungal diseases and white mold.
- Water properly to avoid waterlogging and create a favorable habitat for fungi and pests.
Chinese evergreen plants have the ability to resist the invasion of pests. However, they are also frequently attacked by insects such as mealybugs and spiders. These insects will directly attack the leaves and suck sap until the leaves die. They also penetrate inside leaves through open wounds and leaf stomata. When plants lose a large amount of sap, they become weak and gradually die. Some yellow and black spots will also begin to appear on the leaves.
Follow some of the measures below to prevent pests.
- Prune leaves and parts damaged by pest attack.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe off white patches and insect eggs stuck to the leaves.
- Place the potted plant in an area with good light and air circulation to eliminate pests.
- Use neem oil to kill insects as a natural insecticide. Spray the neem oil solution continuously until the insects are gone.
- Spray neem oil once a month as a pest-preventative measure.
- If the insect infestation is severe, use specialized insecticides according to the dosage and duration recommended by the manufacturer.
What Is The Growth Rate Of Chinese Evergreen Plants?
Chinese evergreen plants have a slow and medium growth rate. So you won’t see too much change in a short time in this plant. The reason is that they have a shallow root system, so the growth rate will not be as fast as plants with deep roots. Shallow root systems will have difficulty absorbing water and nutrients, while they also need to focus on developing root systems to enhance their ability to transport water and nutrients.
Chinese evergreen plants will take several years to mature. Therefore, they are very suitable for growing as ornamental plants in the home or office without the need for a rapid growth rate. You also shouldn’t repot this plant often because its root system is very shallow. You should only report every 3-4 years when the root system is firmly attached to the soil and growing healthy. Also, if the root system is experiencing health problems such as root rot or fungal disease, you should replace the pot with a quality potting mix.
What Are The Ideal Living Conditions For Chinese Evergreen Plants?
Plants will only grow best when they receive ideal living conditions and the right environment. Each plant species needs a different habitat due to different light and moisture requirements. However, basic factors such as light, water, moisture, nutrients, soil quality, and temperature are the factors that you need to pay attention to.
Light: Indirect light is the best type of light for this plant. Chinese evergreen plants can also tolerate low light and artificial light for normal growth. However, lack of light also causes many problems with the health and shape of plants. You can use artificial lights or change locations so that plants can receive enough indirect sunlight each day.
Water: Chinese evergreen plants prefer moist soil, so you should water them whenever the surface of the soil is dry. You should not water according to any available schedule that depends on the actual water needs of the plants. Proper watering and watering at the right time are important factors in determining plant growth.
Soil quality: Like most plants, Chinese evergreen plants prefer nutrient-rich and well-drained soil. The ideal potting mix is loose soil, with organic matter or fertilizer to enhance nutrients, bun or coir to retain moisture, and gravel or perlite to enhance drainage.
Nutrients: This plant does not need too much fertilizer. Too many nutrients will cause plants to become overly stressed. You should only fertilize during the growing season and stop fertilizing in the winter. You should use a liquid or slow-release fertilizer to maintain a steady supply of nutrients for your plants.
Temperature: Maintain an ideal temperature between 68-77°F. Use a thermometer to measure temperature and maintain appropriate humidity for plants. Plant pots should not be placed in areas with hot and cold winds, under air conditioners, or near fireplaces, or radiators to avoid stressing plants.
Humidity: Chinese evergreen plants prefer high humidity. In the natural environment, the ideal humidity for this plant is 70%. However, they can still grow well when the humidity is about 50%. Use a humidifier to maintain appropriate humidity for plants. In addition, you can also place the potted plant next to the aquarium, water tray, bathroom, or misting to maintain the ideal humidity.
Repotting: This plant has a shallow root system, so you don’t need to change the pot it often. You should change the pot every 3-4 years or when the plant has diseases such as root rot or fungus.
Pruning: Pruning is a popular method of stimulating plant growth. However, this method is not effective for this plant. You should only prune damaged leaves or rotten roots. Because they grow very slowly and it will take a long time to produce new branches and leaves.
The Last Word
Chinese evergreen plants are a type of plant that many people love to grow in their homes and offices. They will stop growing if the living environment is not suitable. Some factors that affect plant growth include too little watering, which leads to dry soil, and insufficient water transport by roots to leaves and stems. Over-watering causes the root system to suffocate and lead to waterlogging and root rot. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold also cause plants to become overly stressed.
In addition, Chinese evergreen plants can grow when humidity is maintained between 50-70%. You need to pay attention to pest problems such as mealybugs or spider mites. Diseases caused by fungi will often appear when the environment is humid. Use neem oil as a natural pesticide to prevent and control diseases.