Soil is an essential factor as the plant lives on it. Chinese Evergreen is a tolerant plant that survives different conditions. But since you want it to remain healthy, you will want to choose the best potting soil for your Chinese Evergreen.
But what kind of soil does a Chinese evergreen need? Let’s find out.
Chinese evergreen generally prefers a slightly moist and well-drained soil mix. A mix of equal parts of regular potting soil, vermicompost, cocopeat, and perlite would be ideal for them. Also, the ideal soil mix for Chinese evergreen must be slightly acidic with soil pH between 5.6 to 6.5.
The regular potting mix will retain the required moisture, while the sand and perlite will drain the excess water out of the system. Now, let’s discuss the soil requirements of a Chinese Evergreen plant in detail.
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What kind of soil do Chinese evergreens like?
Before you go to the market and get a potting mix for your Chinese Evergreen, you should understand the requirements and what makes any soil mix ideal for these plants.
Let’s look at the factors that make the soil suitable for Chinese Evergreen. It should be:
Nutrient-rich: All plants get their nutrients from the soil. In the natural habitat, nature maintains the soil’s nutrition itself, but it is the limited soil that it lives in for indoor plants.
So, while preparing the soil mix, you should ensure that it contains enough nutrients for your Chinese Evergreen.
Well-draining: The Chinese Evergreen plant remains happy with slightly moist soil. If the potting mix is not well-draining, it will not drain the excess water.
The excess water will remain in the soil and make it soggy, ultimately leading to root rot.
Moisture-retaining: Chinese Evergreen will not prefer the soil to go entirely dry and thrives in slightly moist soil. So, you need to ensure that the soil has elements that help retain the required moisture.
Aeration: The soil needs to be well-aerated. Otherwise, the root health of the plant will deteriorate. The roots require oxygen to remain healthy, but a compact soil will block the airflow between the roots.
Signs of using the wrong soil mix for Chinese Evergreen
If you are not using the correct soil mix for your Chinese Evergreen plant, you will notice the following signs:
- Weak stems
- Slow growth
- Wilting leaves
- No blooms
- Waterlogged soil
- Dry soil
Best soil mix for Chinese Evergreen
I already told you the factors you need to consider for getting the ideal soil mix for Chinese Evergreen: the soil should be nutritious, well-draining, moisture-retaining, and aerated.
But you need to mix the ingredients in the correct ratio to prepare the ideal soil mix. This will ensure that your Chinese Evergreen does the best.
How do I prepare the soil mix for Chinese Evergreen?
I am here with three recommendations that have worked for my Chinese Evergreen plant and will likely work for yours as well.
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- 30% Potting soil
- 25% Vermicompost
- 25% Cocopeat/Peatmoss
- 20% Perlite
- 3 parts Potting soil
- 1 part Perlite
Chinese Evergreen is highly tolerant, and it can live in any soil, but we try to provide the best to avoid any chances of problems.
According to the first recipe, you can use regular potting soil, which will act as the base and retain moisture. Adding perlite will improve the drainage, which is a must. Cocopeat will make the soil loose and airy, and vermicompost will lead to nutrient-rich soil.
In the second soil mix, the clay and sand make the base that retains and drains moisture. Cocopeat again keeps the soil aerated, and compost helps retain moisture and add nutrients.
The third recipe is the easiest, where you mix 3 parts of potting soil with 1 part perlite. The potting soil retains the required moisture while the perlite drains the excess.
Does Chinese Evergreen like acidic soil?
A Chinese Evergreen plant will do best in slightly acidic soil with a soil pH of between 5.6 to 6.5. It might tolerate slight variations, but it will not prefer too much variations.
If the soil goes very acidic or alkaline, you should change the soil. You must repot the plant with fresh soil mix.
How do you know when Chinese Evergreen needs repotting?
Repotting is an essential aspect for all plants. You can repot your Chinese Evergreen if you notice any of the following signs:
- Roots showing above the soil
- Roots coming out of the drainage holes
- Signs of breakage on the pot
- Expanding pot
- Stunted growth
- Discolored foliage
- Signs of dehydration
- Roots curling inside the pot
- More roots than soil
All these are signs of a rootbound plant, and if you notice these in your Chinese Evergreen, you need to repot the plant.
You will also need to repot a Chinese Evergreen once in two-three years because the soil usually loses all the nutrients by that time, and replenishing the plant with fresh soil mix will help the plant with new growth.
If you notice any other issues with the roots, such as the root rot disease, you will need to prune the affected roots, spray fungicide on the healthy ones and repot the plant in a fresh potting mix to cure the issue.
Do Chinese evergreens like to be root bound?
The Chinese Evergreen is one of those plants that enjoy being slightly rootbound. So when you notice the signs of a rootbound Chinese Evergreen, you don’t need to select a much bigger pot.
Go for a pot that is slightly bigger than the previous one. This will be enough to provide space to the roots.
How to repot a Chinese Evergreen plant?
Here are the steps to help you repot your Chinese Evergreen with ease.
1. Inspect the plant
You might be repotting a healthy plant, a rootbound one, or a diseased one. Whichever the case may be, you must take a good look at the plant.
Identify the parts you need to get rid of and the healthy ones so that you don’t damage any during the process.
2. Take it out of its pot.
Next, you need to take the plant out of the pot.
This can get a little difficult, so I recommend watering the plant the previous day of repotting. It will ensure that the soil remains moist and the plant comes out of the pot without a problem.
Grab the stems at the soil base and pull the plant gently out of the pot. You can tap the sides of the pot to shake and loosen up the soil.
If the plant still doesn’t come out, run a knife along the edges to help the soil loosen up and allow the plant to come out.
3. Prune the dead and damaged parts
Before you repot your Chinese Evergreen, you must prune the damaged leaves, stems, roots that can affect the entire plant if not removed.
You must also prune the dead parts as they are unnecessary to the plant.
If your Chinese Evergreen has root rot, you must spray fungicide on the healthy roots after getting rid of the affected roots.
4. Prepare the potting mix and get a new pot
Get a new pot and prepare a fresh soil mix by following any of the three recipes mentioned in the article.
Make sure that the new pot is slightly bigger than the previous pot so that the roots have enough space for growth. The pot should also have enough drainage holes.
5. Repot the plant
Put a little soil inside the pot and place the plant in the middle. Hold it straight with one hand and add soil on the sides with the other hand.
After adding the soil, tap the sides to let the soil settle down, and no air pockets are left in the soil. You will need to add more soil if required.
Leave a 1-inch gap on top for watering.
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After repotting, water the plant thoroughly. It will reduce some stress and allow the plant to settle down.
Keep the repotted plant in a well-lit area where it will get enough indirect light for growth. Providing ideal growing conditions will help the plant settle with the new change.
Is sand good for Chinese Evergreen?
Aglaonema, or the Chinese Evergreen plant, is known for its tolerance and ability to adjust to different conditions. It is added to the potting mix to improve the soil’s drainage when it comes to sand.
Therefore, you can add soil to the potting mix of Aglaonema, and it will be good for it as long as you are adding it in the correct quantity. Too much sand can hamper moisture retention.
Can I use cactus soil for Chinese evergreen?
You can grow Chinese Evergreen in cactus soil as this soil type drains excess water very well, so it will not let the plant get overwatered.
Cactus soil will also have a suitable pH level for the Chinese Evergreen. You can add some Nitrogen-based fertilizer to the soil to make it perfect for your plant.
Reference: Wikipedia, Nasa clean air study, Missouri Botanical Garden, The University of Kansas, NC State University.
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