Aglaonema is a close relative of the familiar Dieffenbachia. This plant was famous for having received almost the main role in the film “Leon”, however, the beauty of this modest ornamental deciduous flower in Europe was learned at the beginning of the 18th century. It was then that the first copies of Aglaonema were brought from the islands of Southeast Asia by a Jesuit priest. True, then these flowers were called Dracunculus, and only at the beginning of the 19th century the botanist Heinrich Wilhelm Schott gave him the name that is still in use today - aglaonema.
The appearance of aglaonema is typical for all aroid, which can be distinguished by leathery leaves of a rounded or slightly pointed shape, an upright stalk and a slight branching. Externally, the plant is very similar to Dieffenbachia, but the leaves of the aglaonema are brighter and more expressive due to the strongly prominent central vein and various spots and strokes. Unlike dieffenbachia, aglaonema often blooms at home. In this case, the inflorescence is a cob with a greenish coverlet. As the cob ripens, it is converted into fused 3-5 bright red cones, which take up to six months to mature.
The stem of the young aglaonema is absent, but as the plant grows and the lower leaves die off, it is indicated more clearly. In 5-year-old aglaoneem, the stem can reach a maximum of 10 cm in height, and some types and varieties of plants begin to branch at the base of the bush in the first 3 years of life.
In nature, aglaonema grows in rainforests.in which the soil is relatively poor. At the same time, the plant prefers to settle along the banks of rivers, near marshes and on humid plains, where peat deposits are present in the soil.
It is important to remember that aglaonema juice has a strong irritating effect, and therefore it is recommended to work with it with gloves.
About 50 species of aglaonemes grow under natural conditions, and in culture, thanks to the efforts of breeders, there are already more than 500 hybrids and varieties of this plant. They differ mainly in color, however, among varietal diversity, plants with different shapes and sizes of leaf blades can be found.
The following aglaonemes are considered the most popular among flower growers:
|Silver queen||A plant with smoky-silver leaves covered with sparse green specks, the length of which reaches 15 cm and a width of 8 cm. In adulthood, the bush of this variety reaches a maximum of 80 cm in height|
|silver king||A plant that is similar in shape to the previous variety, but differs in more compact sizes. The leaves and cuttings of the silver king are painted in silver gray|
|Crete (Crete)||Slow-growing variety, mutating with age. in young plants, leaf plates are colored red, and as the bush grows older, green strokes appear on them. In bright light, the contrast of spots becomes more pronounced. The maximum height of plants of this sotra is 40 cm|
|Tribea (Tribe)||Compact variety up to 40 cm high with narrow leaves coated with silver-green pattern|
|Maria (Maria)||A lushly growing variety with elliptical leaves. The plant is painted in a uniform dark green color, and leaf blades are covered with silver spots.|
|Aglaonema crispus||One of the largest varieties (up to one and a half meters high) with semicircular leaves of silver-matte color with green veins and the same border around the edge|
|Siam Aurora (Siam Aurora)||A small, very unpretentious plant, the leaves of which are streaked with touches of green, silver and red. In bright light the flower becomes even brighter due to the darkening of red areas and yellowing of green spots|
Aglaonema can not be called a whimsical flower, however, when growing it, numerous recommendations must be observed. At first, aglaonema loves clean air, and in the same room with smokers it does not get along. To achieve maximum brightness of the leaves, the grower will have to monitor the humidity of the air and soil, the lighting and temperature. Fortunately, the requirements of the flower are very easy to satisfy even for novice lovers of decorative leafy indoor crops.
Aglaonema positively perceives bright lighting, but most varieties of this culture quietly grow in rooms with artificial lighting. The only thing you should save a flower from is direct sunlight. They have a detrimental effect on leaves, and can cause them burns.
Aglaonema grows better with a long daylight. When grown in the middle lane in summer, they have enough natural light, but with the advent of winter, it is advisable to extend the day with fitolamps. The average daylight hours for this species are about 12-15 hours.
It is not recommended to put a pot of sinter in the kitchen and in other rooms with high air pollution. The best place for culture will be a living, often ventilated room. At the same time, it is not recommended to leave the plant in a draft, especially if the weather is cool outside.
Aglaonema is a hygrophilous species, and therefore, in order to feel well, plants need to be regularly watered and sprayed. Especially generously flush the soil with water in the spring and summer. In this case, you can slightly pour water, but an hour after watering, you will need to drain the excess from the pan. Subsequent irrigation should be carried out at the moment when the topsoil dries to a depth of 4-5 cm.
With lowering the temperature, watering is reduced, and in winter, it is necessary to moisten the soil under the flower when it is completely dry.
Watering in summer should be alternated with top dressing, while you should not get carried away with lime fertilizers - aglaonema does not tolerate low acidity. You need to feed the flower alternately with mineral and organic fertilizers. It is enough to carry out the feeding procedure twice a month, and closer to the fall it is worth stopping it altogether.
In nature, aglaonema blooms throughout the summer period. Despite the fact that the flowers of this plant do not represent decorative value, many flower growers unsuccessfully try to make it bloom. But in fact, in order for the plant to produce a peduncle, very little is needed.
Firstly, it is recommended to place the flower pot in a room where the temperature will be constant at night and during the day. Secondly, you will need to spray the flower daily and maintain high humidity. Finally, the grower will need to create the most comfortable lighting conditions. The last condition for aglaonema flowering is a shallow and wide enough pot.in which the flower will be a little cramped. If when creating such conditions the flower does not release the arrow, it is recommended to use the last tool - add bone meal as top dressing.
It is important to understand that flowering greatly depletes the flower and helps chop its leaves. If the plant is grown for decorative leaves, flower stalks must be removed before they have gained strength. by the way, those who grow variegated varieties of aglaonema do so.
Young aglaonemes need to be transplanted annually in the spring, while adult specimens grow better if they are in a tight pot, so they need to be transplanted no more than once every three years. So that the flower does not have an acute need for nutrients, it is recommended to change the topsoil to fresh. This will have to be done in spring and autumn.
The most suitable soil for sinter is considered to be an acidic mixture of peat, leaf soil, humus and sand. Such soil meets such requirements as friability, breathability and nutrition. In addition, it is as close as possible in composition to the soils on which the aglaonema prefers to settle in nature.
When planting a flower, special attention should be paid to choosing a pot. Since the root system of the plant is superficial, it is not recommended to take deep containers. The width of the pot should always exceed its height. About a quarter of the height of the pot should be covered with drainage: broken shards, pebbles or expanded clay chips.
Soil is poured on the drainage to about half the height of the pot, and only then the flower itself is placed in it. The roots of aglaonema need to be carefully straightened so that they do not bend. After that, you can fill the root system with soil and water the flower along the edge of the pot so as not to erode the soil lump.
Propagation of aglaonema by all possible means is quite easy. Both seed and vegetative gives a very high percentage of healthy plants. True, it is recommended to follow certain recommendations.
This method is used by those who like to experiment with pollination of plants and obtaining new, externally unique specimens. To do this, you need a plant with ripe fruit on the cob. To determine whether ripe seeds are sufficient, you can easily extract them from the fruit. The easier it is, the more ripe the seeds.
Sow the collected planting material immediately after collection. To do this, they are immersed to a depth of about one and a half centimeters in a mixture of sand and peat or in pure sphagnum. Next, the crops need to be moistened and covered with glass. At a temperature of 20 to 27 degrees and regular moistening, seedlings appear after 2-3 months.
Cuttings aglaoneema gives almost 100% guarantee of the rooting of young plants, especially if you use part of the stem with formed leaf blades. This was the reason for the fact that the apical parts of adult aglaonems are mainly used for reproduction.
It is better to start vegetative propagation in the spring, not earlier than mid-March. For this, parts of the stem of an adult aglaonema are cut into pieces of at least 3 cm in length, making sure that each has a growth point (a small tubercle near the scars left from dead leaves). They are placed with a lower cut into the sphagnum, which is slightly moistened. Top planting is covered with caps or ordinary glass jars, and place the future plants in a bright and relatively warm place with a temperature of at least 24 degrees.
Subject to the conditions, the roots will appear in a month. After the root system becomes strong enough, young aglaonemes can be planted in separate pots.
Propagation by root offspring is an even easier procedure. This will require an adult, highly overgrown plant. During the spring transplant, the roots of the plants are freed from the soil by washing with water, after which young formed offspring with a strong root system are separated with scissors or a knife. Then they can be immediately planted in separate pots.
When growing aglaonema, the flower grower may encounter various problems in the form of wilting, spotting, yellowing. In most cases, it is possible to correct the situation quickly, but for this it will be necessary to establish the cause of the problem.
Aglaonema is a very beautiful plant that even a beginner grower can grow. A little patience and zeal, and the flower will answer its owner with a firework of bright leaves. It is for this that culture is valued throughout the world.