If you’re looking for low-maintenance but stunning foliage for your plant collection, nothing beats an Aglaonema plant.
Also known as a Chinese evergreen, this popular houseplant comes in a variety of colours – from vivid pink to variegated cream.
Aglaonema species are native to Southeast Asia, but there are many varieties available in Australia. Some of the most popular include Silver Queen and Cutlass, while some of the rarest are the Pictum Tricolor and the Chocolate.
The Chinese evergreen likes warmth and humidity – which we’ve got a lot of down under. And with so many Aglaonema varieties popping up, there’s a cultivar for everyone… even those of us without green thumbs!
Whether you’re a first-time plant parent or a full-fledged foliage fiend, an Aglaonema is a staple in indoor gardens. Take your pick from this list of Aglaonema varieties in Australia.
About Aglaonema Plants
Aglaonema is a genus of tropical/subtropical, flowering plants that are native to Southeast Asia and New Guinea. The plants are popularly known as Chinese evergreen or Philippine evergreen.
In many Asian cultures, aglaonema varieties are considered “good luck” plants.
Chinese evergreens are herbaceous perennial plants that often feature variegation on the foliage. The plant has arrow-like leaves that can appear dark green, light green, or variegations of pink, cream, and silver.
Agloanemas grow upright with a compact or clumping habit. They reach a height between 0.3–0.9m and can spread up to 1.2m wide, although they grow slowly.
NOTE: Aglaonema plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to humans and animals when ingested. When pruning, wear gloves as the sap can cause skin irritation.
Stunning Aglaonema Varieties to Grow in Australia
There are many Aglaonema varieties in Australia, from the popular Silver Queen to the rarer pictum tricolor. Check with your local nursery or garden centre to see what seeds or seedlings they have available!
There’s no “best” aglaonema – just the one you love most.
1. Aglaonema “Silver Queen”
Easily one of the most popular aglaonema varieties, the Aglaonema “Silver Queen” has dark green leaves with stunning silvery-green variegation.
This classy variegated plant is a lush, tropical accent in any room. It can grow up to 0.6m tall, with short stems growing in clusters. The foliage is dense and longer than most other cultivars.
Silver Queen is sensitive to cold damage, so keep its environment above 15ºC.
2. Aglaonema “Emerald Beauty”
Take it from its name – this aglaonema is a beaut! Admire its dark green foliage with silver variegation, that grows in dense clumps up to 0.5m wide.
The Emerald Beauty (or “Maria”) thrives in low to medium light, and can transform a room into a tiny tropical rainforest.
It’s not as vivid as other Chinese evergreen species, but it can tolerate lower light than those with more colourful foliage.
3. Aglaonema “Black Lance”
The Black Lance has long, dark green leaves extending from long stems, sometimes with a silvery streak in the middle. It can reach up to 0.9m in height and 0.6cm in width.
This Chinese evergreen variety is also known for purifying household air. When grown outdoors, they need shelter and a frost-free environment.
There’s also a White Lance variety with light green foliage and deep green edges. It resembles the Cutlass, with elongated leaves.
4. Aglaonema “Siam Aurora”
The Siam Aurora or Red Siam is a less common Chinese evergreen cultivar, since it’s actually quite new!
It features dark green foliage with red or hot pink tones – making it an excellent floor plant, since it hits 1.2m in height.
This “lipstick” variety (aglaonema that has pink veins) can also tolerate living in your bathroom, since it’ll get that extra humidity.
HINT: Position this plant in an east, southeast, or south corner of the room for good feng shui.
5. Aglaonema “Cutlass”
Ahoy! The lance-shaped leaves of this aglaonema variety resemble the iconic sailor’s blade. Its distinctive foliage is a pale silver-green with dark green edges.
The stems clump together to give the leaves a dense, lush appearance.
The Aglaonema Cutlass is one of the more popular varieties since it’s very laid-back and can thrive even in low-light conditions.
It also grows slowly, reaching a maximum height of 0.5m, so you can position it on side tables or even your office desk!
7. Aglaonema “Silver Bay”
The Silver Bay variety is one of the most common – chances are, that Chinese evergreen in your local nursery or plant centre is one. Aglaonema “Silver Bay” has been around since 1992, cultivated in Florida.
You’ll know this Aglaonema by its graceful, glossy leaves that reach about 0.3m in length. The plant features green leaves with silver or cream variegation, and pale green stems.
Silver Bay grows quickly, adding a leaf a week in some cases. It can reach 1.2m in height and 0.9m in width.
Position it in bright, indirect sunlight for best growth, but it’ll also tolerate low-light conditions.
8. Aglaonema “Pink Dalmatian”
Of the pink Chinese evergreen varieties, this might be one of the cutest! The Pink Dalmatian has lush green foliage with stunning pink veins and spots – hence the name.
Many people chase after this variety for its distinctive appearance, but also for its characteristics. Pink Dalmatian grows to only 0.45m tall and can cope with shade, though it prefers bright, indirect light.
9. Aglaonema “Emerald Star”
This is a more understated Aglaonema species, with its dark leaves and silver or light green spots.
Emerald Star is one of the varieties that tolerate the cold better, so it’s great for more temperate climates.
The Emerald Star grows moderately quickly, but only up to 0.6m tall. It likes low-light conditions and a well-draining potting mix. You can place it in offices and living rooms since it improves indoor air quality.
10. Aglaonema “Super White”
Want a sophisticated Chinese evergreen to match your minimalist decor? The Super White is the perfect choice.
The large, oval leaves are a stunning creamy white with delicate green veins.
Due to the colour of the foliage, this rare Aglaonema variety doesn’t tolerate low light. To maintain the striking colour, you’ll need to keep it in bright conditions without direct sun.
Super White is one of the smaller cultivars, usually growing to 0.3m in height. Let the potting mix dry out before watering.
11. Aglaonema “Crete”
Add a pop of colour to any room with the Aglaonema “Crete”! This distinctive plant has green leaves with bright pink stems and edges.
Maintain the variegation by positioning it under indirect light. Crete is a pretty prolific plant, and can reach 0.6m in height if left to grow.
12. Aglaonema “Golden Bay”
Don’t be deceived – the Golden Bay may look similar to many Aglaonema varieties, but it’s unique in its own way! The plant has creamy-yellow stems and gold variegation. You may even find some yellow speckles.
Golden Bay is one of the less fussy Aglaonemas, able to tolerate temperatures down to 7ºC. The plant can grow up to 1.2m tall and can grow pretty much anywhere.
13. Aglaonema “Red Valentine”
When you look up Aglaonemas, this will likely be one of the common results. The Red Valentine is a popular houseplant with bright red or pink foliage and a green edge.
The plant is compact and doesn’t grow quickly, so it’s great for living spaces and shady rooms. However, too little light might impact the foliage colour.
Aglaonema “Red Valentine” needs to dry out so you don’t accidentally overwater it.
14. Aglaonema “Jubilee”
This Chinese evergreen is a hardy and understated cultivar, with dark green leaves with a grey-green centre.
Jubilee prefers brighter conditions, but will tolerate both low light and drought.
Aglaonema “Jubilee” actually has a smaller version, called the Jubilee Petite. Since the big sister grows up to 0.6m, if you want a more compact plant, the Petite version is for you!
15. Aglaonema “Stardust”
With leaves that look like they’re sprinkled with stars, the Stardust variety is a stunner. The leaves are broad with bright red veins and light green spots, and can grow upright or creep along the ground.
Don’t expose the Stardust to direct sun – it can thrive in indirect light down to artificial lighting.
Mist it often to maintain humid conditions. This Aglaonema grows up to 0.6m in height and does not flower.
16. Aglaonema “Stripes”
The Stripes cultivar has much more unique variegation – it has silvery-white bands running all the way up its rich green leaves. It has less dense growth than other Aglaonema varieties, and narrower foliage.
The Aglaonema “Stripes” can grow up to 0.3m in height under moderate to bright, indirect light.
Keep soil moist but avoid overwatering, and try to maintain temperatures between 18–24ºC. The plant is a slow-grower, so you can set it in small spaces.
17. Aglaonema “Sparkling Sarah”
Most pink Aglaonema varieties feature vivid shades, but the Sparkling Sarah has more light pink variegation. The plant frequently has a bright pink vein through the middle.
The sparkling Chinese evergreen is actually part of a patented collection called Jazzed Gems™. It makes a statement in any room, reaching 0.6m tall. Place it somewhere with indirect lighting.
18. Aglaonema crispum
The crispum is native to the Philippines, and is one of the larger cultivars. The glossy, dark green foliage can reach 0.3m in length, with an elliptical leaf shape. The edges are often a mottled silvery green.
Aglaonema crispum is one of the older varieties, first recorded in the early 1900s. It is unique for its stemless growth, and even produces some berries!
Keep this variety in partial shade and moderately moist soil. Unlike most Aglaonemas, which are indoor plants, crispum is great for gardens in warmer climates. If cared for, it can reach up to 1.0m in height.
19. Aglaonema commutatum
This is the definitive Chinese evergreen species – it’s one of the “originals,” a parent or grandparent plant to many of the cultivars on this list. Crete, Silver Bay, and Silver Queen are all hybridised from the commutatum.
This Aglaonema is native to the Philippines and Sulawesi (an Indonesian island).
Surprisingly, despite its status among Aglaonema varieties, it’s pretty hard to find – you’re more likely to find one of its grandchildren. The Treubii and Maculatum forms are your best bets.
Commutatum has predominantly green leaves with reddish bases and edges. The foliage grows in a rosette pattern and forms dense clumps.
NOTE: Aussies should check their local ordinances before buying commutatum forms – they’re sometimes classified as invasive!
20. Aglaonema pictum tricolor
A relatively new cultivar, the pictum tricolor is a must-have for any plant collection. Gardening enthusiasts covet this stunning plant due to its distinctive leaf pattern.
Due to its popularity and rarity, you may have to pay a pretty penny for one – an Aglaonema pictum tricolor can go for over $150!
It’s difficult to grow from seed, so be meticulous and discerning when buying cuttings.
Unlike other Chinese evergreen cultivars, the pictum tricolor is a slow grower and must be placed under indirect sunlight. Low-light conditions will ruin the unique colouration.
21. Aglaonema “White Calcite”
Like the Super White, the Aglaonema “White Calcite” has predominantly white variegation with dark green mottling on the edges. Direct sun will scorch the leaves, so position this plant in low to indirect lighting.
The White Calcite reaches 0.9m in height with large foliage. Keep it in moist, peaty soil and in temperatures between 15–21ºC.
It can thrive in less humid conditions than other Aglaonema varieties, although the room shouldn’t be dry either!
22. Aglaonema modestum
The modestum has large, waxy leaves that are mostly creamy white with dark green edges. The foliage branches out from a central stalk, creating a classy appearance. There are also plain green counterparts with no variegation.
Position your modestum in bright light (preferably indirect), with a good potting medium. It’s sensitive to cold, so keep it in temperatures above 21ºC.
The 1989 NASA Clean Air Study found that the modestum species was most efficient at filtering common household air toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene.
Other Aglaonema Varieties
These varieties are less common or popular in Australia, although you can still check with your local nursery or plant centre to see if they’re in stock.
1. Aglaonema “Chocolate”
You might not think this one is an Aglaonema since it looks so different. The Chocolate is actually a commutatum cultivar like most other Aglaonemas; it’s from the rotundum species found in Sumatra.
The Aglaonema “Chocolate” has very dark green foliage with muted pink and brown undertones. The underside of the leaves is a distinctive pinkish-brown, giving the plant its name.
This Chinese evergreen has a bold presence, but it’s incredibly rare. If you do find one, place it in indirect light and water it when about 50% of the soil has dried.
2. Aglaonema “First Diamond”
The name gives it away – the First Diamond is a flashy plant! This Aglaonema has striking white variegation mottled with dark green, and features very dense growth.
First Diamond is a subtropical variety, so it prefers higher ambient temperatures and high humidity. Keep it in medium to bright light to maintain the vivid white.
3. Aglaonema “Pink Moon”
Yet another rare Aglaonema, the Pink Moon has an interesting look. It doesn’t actually have pink leaves; instead, the foliage is deep green with pink flecks and midribs.
An excellent ornamental plant, Aglaonema “Pink Moon” is unfussy with feeding and humidity. Settle it in a humid spot with indirect sunlight. If you live in a colder region with drier air, mist it regularly.
If you’ve fallen in love with Pink Moon, be ready for a hunt – this is one of the rarest Aglaonema varieties!
5. Aglaonema “White Rain”
Keep things simple with this reliable little plant. Its foliage ranges from light to deep green, with pale silver-green midribs.
Aglaonema “White Rain” is a slow grower, and tends to become bushy if left to its own devices.
Place the White Rain anywhere you want to add an elegant yet understated touch.
The slender leaves are prone to upright growth. White Rain is best grown in warm, humid environments.
6. Aglaonema “Red Anjamani”
It’s Christmas year-round with the Red Anjamani! The stunning red foliage retains its vibrance 24/7/365 – and is a great alternative to poinsettias (which eventually fade).
If you want a focal point for a room, Aglaonema “Red Anjamani” is for you.
This species is one of the more affordable Chinese evergreens, and provides great value due to its colour. It also has longer life spans compared to other popular pink Aglaonema varieties.
Keep your Red Anjamani in partial to indirect light, and in a warm, humid environment.
7. Aglaonema nitidum
Found in tropical forests when in the wild, nitidum is a fairly standard-looking Aglaonema.
It’s a parent or grandparent plant to many silver-variegated cultivars, which are more commonly available than the nitidum.
It grows fairly large – to 1.0m – and gets very bushy without maintenance. You’ll know nitidum by its oval foliage in a deep blue-green with silvery variegation.
Aglaonema nitidum can withstand infrequent watering and very low light. Feed it with weak fertiliser 1–2 times a year, and trim back flower stems to redirect its energy to the foliage.
8. Aglaonema “Diamond Bay”
An easy-going plant, this newer Chinese evergreen variety is fairly popular. Diamond Bay has long leaves with silvery centres and irregular edges.
You can grow this Aglaonema even in very low light, although that might impact the variegation. Just ensure the soil is moist (but not soggy).
Diamond Bay comes in both compact and full versions, so check the size before you buy! That’s if you’re lucky enough to find this rare Aglaonema, of course.
9. Aglaonema “Red Peacock”
If you can’t find much info on the Red Peacock, well – it’s just really rare.
This variety features a vibrant red midrib uncommon to Aglaonema varieties, and the red spreads outwards as the plant matures. The leaf splotches become outlined in bright yellow.
Red Peacock reaches about 0.6m tall, and needs semi-bright light to maintain its variegation. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
TIP: Choose a simple white pot to emphasise the Red Peacock’s leaves.
10. Aglaonema “Harlequin”
This is yet another pink variety with green mottling on the leaves. If grown in bright light, the Harlequin can develop a yellowish tone to the foliage, which can make the light pink colour fade to pastel.
Aglaonema “Harlequin” is noticeably small – growing up to 0.3m at most. It’s the perfect indoor plant for small spaces such as kitchens, side tables, and bedrooms.
Make sure they’re somewhere with good ventilation, and place them in rich, loose soil.
Basic Aglaonema Care
Caring for Chinese evergreen plants is fairly straightforward. Most aglaonema cultivars aren’t fussy – just don’t let them get cold!
Aglaonema can grow in AUS zones 1–5 with no issue, and in zone 6 with protection from frost.
Position your Chinese evergreen plant away from direct sunlight, such as large windows. Aglaonema varieties prefer low-light conditions, although they can tolerate short periods of bright, indirect light.
The Chinese evergreen is typically an indoor plant, but you can grow them in pots outdoors or even along pathways and patios. Just make sure they’re shaded from bright light, especially in the afternoon.
If you’re planting aglaonema varieties outdoors, find a garden maintenance service near you to care for your plants!
Humidity and temperature
Since aglaonema varieties are tropical plants, they prefer high-humidity conditions. If you’re growing them indoors, some strategies to increase humidity include:
- Grouping plants together
- Install a humidifier
- Mist the leaves regularly
Additionally, aglaonema cultivars cannot tolerate cold weather. Chilling injury starts setting in at 15ºC, where leaves develop dark, greasy patches.
Do not keep aglaonema varieties near air-conditioning vents, entrances, or drafty areas. Avoid placing them near heaters since this could rapidly dry out the soil.
Most aglaonema species thrive in lightly moist soil or potting mix. Allow the top 5.0cm of soil to dry out before watering again, and do not let the pot sit in standing water.
Chinese evergreens are not drought-tolerant – no more than 30% of the soil can dry out before risking plant health.
In cooler months, reduce the frequency of watering as the plants become semi-dormant.
Soil and fertiliser
Most standard potting mixes are well-suited for aglaonemas. As long as the soil drains well while remaining slightly moist, your plants will be happy!
Keep soil loose – not densely packed – to allow more freedom for the roots.
Trimming isn’t actually necessary for Aglaonema varieties unless you want to encourage a certain shape or appearance.
Remove any yellowing or dead leaves at the base.
If you’re not interested in flowers, prune them off before the bud opens.