Chinese Evegreen (Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’): A Complete Plant Care Guide

The Chinese evergreen, scientifically known as Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’, is a popular indoor plant known for its lush foliage and ease of care. It is a versatile plant that thrives in a range of indoor conditions, making it an ideal choice for both experienced and novice plant enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of Chinese evergreen care, including its cultural requirements, propagation methods, common diseases and pests, and much more. Whether you are a seasoned plant enthusiast or a beginner looking to elevate your indoor gardening skills, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to successfully cultivate and maintain the Chinese evergreen in your home.

What is the Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’)?

The Chinese evergreen, or Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’, belongs to the Araceae family and is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. This evergreen perennial is prized for its striking foliage, which comes in various shades of green, often marked with eye-catching patterns and variegations. It is a popular choice for indoor cultivation due to its adaptability to low light conditions and its air-purifying qualities, making it an excellent addition to any indoor space.

Chinese Evergreen
Figure 1: Chinese Evergreen Plant (Aglaonema)

Key Takeaways

Before we delve into the intricate details of caring for the Chinese evergreen, let’s gain a quick understanding of its key attributes and benefits.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’) Characteristics

  • Botanical Name: Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’
  • Growth Habit: Clumping
  • Foliage: Broad, glossy, and variegated
  • Light Requirements: Tolerant of low light conditions
  • Watering Needs: Moderate moisture, avoid waterlogging
  • Propagation: Easily propagated through stem cuttings
  • Toxicity: Considered mildly toxic to pets and humans if ingested
  • Air Purification: Effective in removing indoor air pollutants

Now that we have a brief overview of the Chinese evergreen’s characteristics, let’s explore each aspect of its care in detail.



The Chinese evergreen is primarily cultivated as an ornamental houseplant, valued for its decorative foliage and air-purifying properties. Its lush, variegated leaves add a touch of elegance to interior spaces, making it a popular choice for homes, offices, and indoor landscapes. Additionally, its adaptability to low light conditions further enhances its appeal as a versatile indoor plant.


Proper watering is crucial for the health and vitality of the Chinese evergreen. While it is important to provide sufficient moisture, overwatering can lead to root rot and other moisture-related issues. Here are some essential guidelines for watering your Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’:

  • Frequency: Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Typically, this translates to watering every 1-2 weeks, depending on environmental conditions.
  • Watering Technique: Ensure thorough watering, allowing excess water to drain from the pot’s drainage holes. Discard any standing water from the saucer to prevent waterlogging.
  • Water Quality: Use room-temperature water to avoid shocking the plant’s roots. Additionally, consider using distilled water or collected rainwater to prevent mineral buildup in the soil.


One of the key attractions of the Chinese evergreen is its ability to thrive in low light conditions, making it an ideal choice for indoor environments with limited access to natural sunlight. However, it can also adapt to moderate indirect light, provided it is not exposed to harsh, direct sunlight. Here are some guidelines for ensuring optimal light conditions for your Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’:

  • Light Requirements: Thrives in low to moderate indirect light. Direct sunlight can cause leaf burn and should be avoided.
  • Placement: Position the plant near a north- or east-facing window where it can receive gentle, filtered light. Alternatively, artificial grow lights can be used to supplement natural light if necessary.


Appropriate fertilization is essential for promoting healthy growth and vibrant foliage in the Chinese evergreen. A balanced, liquid fertilizer formulated for houseplants can be applied during the plant’s active growing season, typically from spring to early autumn. Consider the following fertilization guidelines for your Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’:

  • Frequency: Fertilize the plant every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Dilution: Use a half-strength, balanced liquid fertilizer to prevent the risk of overfertilization.
  • Application Method: Apply the diluted fertilizer to moistened soil to avoid potential root burn. Cease fertilization during the plant’s dormant period in winter.


The choice of soil plays a pivotal role in the overall well-being of the Chinese evergreen. A well-draining, peat-based potting mix with a slightly acidic to neutral pH range is ideal for promoting healthy root development and preventing waterlogged conditions. Consider the following soil-related recommendations for your Aglaonema ‘Cutlass:

  • Composition: Opt for a high-quality, well-aerated potting mix containing peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand to ensure adequate drainage.
  • Acidity: Aim for a pH range of 6.0-7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral, to provide an optimal growing medium for the plant’s root system.
  • Moisture Retention: The soil should retain moisture without becoming waterlogged, promoting healthy root growth and overall plant vigor.


Regular pruning is essential for maintaining the Chinese evergreen’s desired shape, controlling its size, and removing any damaged or discolored foliage. Proper pruning practices contribute to the plant’s overall health and aesthetic appeal. Here are some key pruning tips for your Aglaonema ‘Cutlass:

  • Tools: Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make precise cuts without causing unnecessary damage to the plant.
  • Pruning Frequency: Inspect the plant regularly and trim any yellowing or damaged leaves as necessary. Additionally, prune to shape the plant or to remove overgrown stems.
  • Sanitization: Disinfect pruning tools before and after use to minimize the risk of spreading diseases or pests between plants.


Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’ can be readily propagated through stem cuttings, allowing you to expand your plant collection or share cuttings with fellow gardening enthusiasts. The following steps outline the process of propagating the Chinese evergreen through stem cuttings:

  1. Selecting Cuttings: Choose a healthy stem with several nodes and healthy leaves for propagation.
  2. Preparing Cuttings: Use a clean, sharp blade to take 4-6 inch stem cuttings, ensuring that each cutting includes at least one node.
  3. Rooting Medium: Insert the cuttings into a well-draining rooting medium, such as a moistened peat-based mix or a water-filled container, ensuring that the nodes are in contact with the growing medium.
  4. Rooting Conditions: Place the cuttings in a warm, humid location with indirect light and maintain consistent moisture levels until roots develop.
  5. Transplanting: Once roots have developed, transplant the rooted cuttings into individual pots filled with a well-draining potting mix.

The propagation of Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’ through stem cuttings is a rewarding and straightforward process, allowing you to expand your plant collection and share the beauty of the Chinese evergreen with others.

Container Popularity

The Chinese evergreen is a popular choice for container gardening due to its compact size, striking foliage, and minimal care requirements. It thrives in containers, making it an ideal indoor plant for various settings, including offices, homes, and public spaces.

Container Common Diseases

While the Chinese evergreen is relatively resilient, it can be susceptible to certain diseases when subjected to unfavorable growing conditions or inadequate care. Common diseases that may affect Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’ include:

  • Root Rot: Caused by overwatering and waterlogged soil, leading to the decay of the plant’s root system.
  • Leaf Spot: Manifests as dark, water-soaked spots on the leaves, often caused by fungal pathogens under humid conditions.
  • Crown Rot: Occurs when water accumulates in the center of the plant, leading to the deterioration of the crown and surrounding foliage.

Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing and addressing diseases promptly is essential for safeguarding the health of the Chinese evergreen. Here are some signs indicating potential disease issues in Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’ and their respective management strategies:

  • Yellowing Leaves: Indicative of overwatering, poor drainage, or root rot. Adjust watering practices and improve soil drainage if necessary.
  • Dark Spots on Leaves: Suggestive of leaf spot diseases. Remove affected leaves, enhance air circulation, and avoid overhead watering to deter fungal growth.
  • Softened Crown: Signals the presence of crown rot due to excessive moisture accumulation. Remove affected portions and adjust watering practices to prevent further damage.

Common Pests

The Chinese evergreen is generally resistant to pest infestations, but certain pests may occasionally pose a threat to its overall health. Common pests that may affect Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’ include:

  • Mealybugs: Tiny, white insects that cluster on the undersides of leaves, resulting in honeydew secretion and leaf damage.
  • Spider Mites: Microscopic pests that cause stippling, discoloration, and webbing on the plant’s foliage, particularly under dry and dusty conditions.
  • Scale Insects: Small, immobile pests that attach to the stems and leaves, feeding on the plant’s sap and leading to weak growth and yellowing foliage.

Botanist’s Tips

To ensure the optimal health and growth of your Chinese evergreen, consider the following botanist’s tips and recommendations:

  • Environmental Conditions: Provide consistent temperatures and avoid exposure to cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations.
  • Humidity Management: Maintain moderate humidity levels to support healthy foliage and prevent dryness-related issues.
  • Regular Monitoring: Inspect the plant regularly for signs of disease, pest infestations, or environmental stress, and address any issues promptly.

Fun Facts

To appreciate the Chinese evergreen beyond its care requirements, here are some intriguing fun facts about this beloved houseplant:

  • Symbolism: In Feng Shui, the Chinese evergreen is regarded as a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, and positive energy, making it a popular choice for enhancing interior spaces.
  • Varietal Diversity: The Aglaonema genus comprises numerous cultivars with varying leaf patterns, sizes, and colors, offering a wide array of options for plant enthusiasts.
  • Historical Significance: The Chinese evergreen has been cultivated for centuries in its native regions, where it holds cultural and medicinal significance.

Links to External Resources

For further exploration of Chinese evergreen care and cultivation, the following external resources provide valuable insights and guidance:

  1. The Spruce – Chinese Evergreen Plant Profile
  2. Gardening Know How – Aglaonema Grow Guide
  3. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Chinese Evergreen Toxicity

In conclusion, the Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’) encapsulates the perfect fusion of beauty and resilience, making it an excellent choice for indoor plant enthusiasts seeking an elegant, low-maintenance addition to their living or workspace. By adhering to the care guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure the vitality and longevity of your Chinese evergreen, fostering a thriving and visually captivating indoor environment.

Whether you are drawn to the intricate leaf patterns of variegated cultivars or the air-purifying benefits of this tropical beauty, the Chinese evergreen is sure to captivate your botanical senses and enrich your indoor gardening endeavors.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.