The common name Chinese evergreen refers to several plants within the genus Aglaonema, which occurs naturally across parts of Asia. Several species within the genus Aglaonema are widely cultivated as indoor foliage plants for their glossy-green, ovate leaves and resistance to poor growing conditions. As with many tropical plants, Chinese evergreens propagate easily from cuttings and will root without soil in a glass of water, but the roots are fragile and care must be taken during transplant to keep them intact.
Take a 4- to 6-inch-long cutting from a healthy Chinese evergreen plant in late spring or early summer. Make the cut just below a set of mature leaves, using floral snips or by pinching the stems with your fingernails.
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Peel off and discard the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting. Set the Chinese evergreen cutting in an 8-oz. canning jar or drinking glass filled with water.
Set the cutting on a windowsill that provides moderately bright, diffuse light. Refill the water in the jar or drinking glass as it evaporates. Watch for roots starting in two weeks.
Transplant the rooted cutting once the roots grow to at least 1/2-inch in length. Keep the rooted cutting in the water while preparing a planter for it.
Fill the bottom one-third of a 4-inch plastic pot with a mix of 3 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite.
Hold the Chinese evergreen cutting upright in the pot with the base resting against the soil. Backfill around the cutting with the potting soil and perlite mixture until the bottom half is buried. Tamp the soil to hold the stem upright.
Drizzle 1/8 cup water around the cutting. Place a large plastic bag over the pot to decrease the rate of evaporation from the soil. Remove the bag in two to three weeks.
Test the Chinese evergreen cutting for additional root growth in two weeks by gently tugging on the base to feel if it is firmly anchored in the soil.
Transfer the Chinese evergreen plant to a permanent pot in two to three months, or once it begins to put on noticeable growth. Keep it under the same conditions as the mother plant.