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How To Propagate Chinese Evergreen? (Step-by-Step Guide)

Chinese Evergreen is famous among houseplant lovers due to its ability to blend according to different environmental conditions. You can propagate your Chinese evergreen instead of buying new ones to get more of these beautiful plants.

This not only saves you bucks but also increases your experience as an indoor plant grower. Propagating a Chinese evergreen may sound daunting, but you can do it effortlessly with the correct knowledge.

So, in today’s article, we shall learn how to propagate Chinese evergreen.

The easiest way to propagate a Chinese evergreen plant is in the following way:

  1. Choose a healthy plant and, using a scissor, clip a 6 inches long stem.
  2. Now dip the cutting into root growth hormone and then plant it in a bottle or container with water in it.
  3. Make sure the leaves don’t dip into the water.
  4. Keep the container at a spot where it gets bright indirect light. Within 7-10 days, you will notice the growth of new roots.
  5. Once the roots are grown enough, prepare a small pot using a light soil mix and put the plant into that.
  6. Water the plant gently and keep it in the same spot.
  7. With proper care, your chinese evergreen plant should show a sign of growth within a few weeks.

Today I will explain the steps of propagating a Chinese evergreen plant so you can get new plants to decorate your house or gift to your loved ones. Let’s understand.


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Why should you propagate a Chinese evergreen?

A household gardener like you and me can enjoy many Chinese evergreens free of cost by propagating them. Propagation helps to widen the species of these plants.

A Chinese Evergreen plant is easy to grow and doesn’t take much time to grow roots. Cutting a stem and potting it or division method are two methods that can help you to propagate your aglaonema successfully.

Before propagating your Chinese evergreen, let’s understand the pieces of equipment needed, methods and steps of propagation, and how to pamper your new plant after propagation.

What is the best time to propagate Chinese evergreen?

The best time to propagate a Chinese evergreen is during the summer season. So, you have to cut the stems accordingly as it takes 3 weeks to grow roots from them.

If you stay in a region that doesn’t receive much heat, you can place your Chinese evergreen inside the house in a warm spot.

But if your Chinese evergreen is unhealthy, for example, it has curly, dry, brown, or yellow leaves or has a dull look, you have to restore it first. Then only it will be ready for propagation.

Propagating an unhealthy plant will make your efforts go to waste. It will also deteriorate the plant’s health, so you should be careful while propagating the plant and consider every situation.


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Equipment required for a successful Chinese evergreen propagation

You need some tools are required for the propagation process. Here is the list of the same:

  • A healthy Chinese Evergreen 
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs or cloth
  • A sterilized and sharp pair of scissors for cutting of stems 
  • Spare pots 
  • A container 
  • Fresh water and soil

How to propagate a Chinese Evergreen?

Water Or Soil? Which Is Best? | Chinese Evergreen/Aglaonema Propagation From Stem Cuttings

Here are two different methods that can propagate a Chinese evergreen.

1. Stem Cutting Method

2. Division Method

Propagation through Stem cutting

This is the most common method for propagation of Chinese evergreen. 

Here’s how you do it.

Locate healthy stems: You have to find healthy stems before cutting them because if you cut the stems showing signs of ill health, it will hinder the growth of the roots.

When you cut a stem, you need to ensure that it consists of at least one node from where the roots will grow.

Cutting of stems: Now, take a clean and sharp pair of scissors and cut the stems. Make sure it has a few leaves on it. The roots can grow quickly from the healthy and intact nodes.

The scissors need to be disinfected before and after use not to pass bacteria or fungus to the stems. Sterilization is essential to avoid the growth of unnecessary fungal diseases. Disinfectants can avoid the transfer of pests from the mother plant to the new parts.

As Chinese evergreen is a little toxic, you need to be careful while dealing with it. We recommend using gloves while working with Chinese evergreen to avoid hazards.

Propagate in water/soil: Now fill a container with water and put the stems inside it. Ensure that water is not so cold or hot and is moderate temperature.

Don’t fill the container too much as it can cause stems to rot. Half of the stem needs to be inside the water and the other half outside.

You can also add minerals or mix liquid fertilizer to the water for additional benefits.

You can also pot Chinese evergreen into the soil as it grows roots pretty quickly but putting them in water is best as it has shown a greater success rate.

Before you propagate it in the soil, you can apply some rooting hormone for faster growth of the roots. After putting the stems inside the soil, water the soil thoroughly and keep it moist to encourage faster growth of the roots.

You can also apply some fungicide before putting the stems inside the pot to avoid fungi and bacterial growth.

Put these stems near a humidifier or use a plastic bag to cover them and lock the moisture inside as moist soil will allow the roots to come out faster.

Check them after a few days. Since it won’t be possible for you to see the roots in the case of soil propagation, you can gently pull the stem. If it doesn’t come out easily, it indicates that roots have started growing.

Maintain the temperature: You must place the propagated Chinese evergreen under indirect sunlight. You should also keep the temperatures between 68-77°F.

The plant should not be exposed to intense heat as it will dry out the moisture from the new plants. 

The process of taking moisture from plants is transpiration. Transpiration in new plants will hamper their growth. Therefore, try to maintain a moderate temperature around your newly planted plant.

Change the water regularly: If you are using water to propagate your Chinese evergreen, you must change it every 2-3 days to avoid any chance of bacterial or fungal growth.

Stagnant water can be very harmful to the new cuttings, so change the water regularly.

Wait for the roots: You have to wait for a few weeks as it takes 2-3 weeks for the roots to come out. Just wait patiently for the roots to emerge.

Every stem will take its own time to grow roots, and some will grow a little quicker than others. But the process is a lot faster than propagating other houseplants.

Putting the stems into a new pot: Now that the roots are a few centimeters long, it’s time to put them into the soil. Make sure to use soil that contains enough nutrients, supports well drainage, and retains enough moisture.

You can mix perlite with peat-based soil and plant the new Chinese evergreen in it. This soil mix will work well for this plant.

You can then continue with the usual routine care for your new Chinese evergreen plant.

Propagation through the Division method

Chinese evergreen repotting

This method is useful if you have a big and mature Chinese evergreen plant. This method is suitable for those who can’t wait for cuttings to grow roots.

Now let’s understand the steps to divide the Chinese evergreen plant.

Take the Chinese evergreen out of the pot: You have to take out the whole plant for the division method.

Shake and dust out excess soil from the roots. Keep the soil mix to utilize it again while planting the new parts of the plant.

Separation of the roots: You must separate the root system now that you have taken out the whole mother plant. The roots might be tangled with each other, so you have to trim them to detangle the roots.

If you have a rootbound Chinese evergreen plant, you can gently take the plant out of the pot without harming the root ball.

You can use a knife to cut through the tangled roots without damaging them.

Preparing the new potting mix: Prepare the soil for repotting them. Use soil enriched with nutrients and minerals to provide sufficient nutrients to the new plant.

The pH value of the soil used to plant Chinese Evergreen should be slightly acidic. Arrange a new pot, and do not use an old potting mix for your new plant.

You should use liquid fertilizers with a balanced ratio. New plants need nutrients to grow strong and healthy. The nutrition is limited to the soil content in the pot, so you should use additional nutrients.

Be careful while fertilizing, as too much fertilization can kill the plant. However, insufficient nutrition can make the plant weak and leggy.

Continue the usual care routine: After propagating the Chinese evergreen through the division method, you can go back to your usual care routine for your Chinese evergreen and enjoy its growth.

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Propagation through seeds

You can also use seeds to propagate a Chinese evergreen instead of propagating through the usual stem cutting and division method.

You don’t need to buy the seeds. If you have a mature Chinese evergreen plant, you can collect the seeds when it blooms. You can check the soil to find the seeds.

After getting the seeds, prepare a proper soil mix by adding peat-based soil and coco coir. Then spread the seeds on the soil and provide sufficient indirect light and suitable temperatures.

The seeds can take a month or more to germinate, so be patient and wait for the new Chinese evergreen.

Steps to follow after propagation

After following all the steps, you might have successfully propagated a Chinese evergreen, but what’s next? At the initial stages, caring for these species helps them become the toughest ones.

The first step is to care for the newly planted parts of the mother plant.

The first and foremost thing is to choose a perfect place for your plant. Indoor lighting is enough for them for their healthy growth. Too much scorching heat can harm the plant.

Water them once every week, drain all the water, and process nutrients before the next watering session. To avoid overwatering, maintain a proper schedule.

The soil mix should contain perlite with an acidic pH. Liquid fertilizers with a balanced ratio of 20:20:20 must be added to the soil every three weeks during its growth phase.

Final words

Chinese evergreen plants are easy-going houseplants. Their tolerance to different conditions justifies why everyone wants to have them. It might be difficult to be satisfied with just one plant, and that is when one thinks of propagation.

You can use both soil and water to propagate your Chinese evergreen plant. You can use a stem cutting, divide a mature Chinese evergreen plant, or use seeds for propagation. 

Your responsibility doesn’t end after propagation as you have to take care of the new plant while it is still growing.


Reference: WikipediaNasa clean air studyMissouri Botanical GardenThe University of KansasNC State University.