I read in a book by Thalassa Cruso called Making Things Grow: A Practical Guide for the Indoor Gardener that the Chinese Evergreen was a dull plant, as houseplants go, but they were coming out with some new variegated and striped varieties.
That was in 1969.
Fast forward 50 years, and look at the Chinese Evergreen, Aglaonema, now!
(Pause. Yes, I am also having trouble believing that 1969 was over 50 years ago. A topic for another post…)
Now the Chinese Evergreen is making a comeback, of sorts, with all kinds of new varieties showing up in garden centers, big box stores, and houseplant stores.
Varieties like ‘Red Valentine’ shown here.
Dull houseplant? With those leaves? Only if your definition of “dull houseplant” is a plant that can live with low light, doesn’t like to be overwatered, and grows slowly. Then yes, Aglaonema is a dull houseplant
But it is a pretty dull houseplant!
And I’m on the hunt for more of them. Like this one which I think is ‘Osaka White’ based on similar pictures of varieties online. It wasn’t labeled but I bought it anyway.
(If a Chinese Evergreen expert sees this and thinks this is something then ‘Osaka White’, please let me know.)
And there are more to get! Like ‘Calypso’, ‘Red Gold’, and ‘Silver Queen’. And a new one that has leaves that look like green camouflage, which seems to be quite expensive.
This could be trouble for me. Big wallet trouble.
Because when I was at the garden center buying ‘Red Valentine’ and casually asked if they had other Chinese Evergreens she replied, “What do you want? I can order them for you.”
Yep, Big Trouble. And its name is Aglaonema.