Chinese evergreen varieties: 10 fantastic Aglaonema cultivars

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Written By Martin Cole

Plantsman, gardener, plant-obsessive

Chinese Evergreen Varieties - Wishes
Aglaonema ‘Wishes’

Chinese Evergreen varieties

The Chinese Evergreen plant (Aglaonema spp) is one the best house plants for beginners, as it is easy to grow and can withstand a bit of variable care.

It can tolerate low light and, although it prefers high humidity, can survive well enough in the average home.

For more on Aglaonema generally, we have a full plant profile of Aglaonema here, including key facts and details of care, propagation and trouble-shooting. But for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on one of the main reasons why Chinese Evergreens are such popular house plants – the variety.

There are many different Chinese Evergreen varieties, species and cultivars, which means that there is a huge choice of Chinese Evergreens for us to grow.

As you would expect, the key differences relate to the colour, size, shape and markings of the foliage. In this guide we are going to feature some of the best varieties, showcasing their key features.

1. Aglaonema ‘Red Siam’

Aglaonema 'Red Siam'
Aglaonema ‘Red Siam’

‘Red Siam’ is notable for the vibrant red-pink edges and veins to the dark green leaves. This variety can act as a natural focal point in any room and is particularly striking when placed in white or neutral-coloured pots. It’s a great pick for anyone looking to add a touch of drama and colour to their indoor plant collection

2. Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’

Chinese Evergreen varieties: Aglaonema 'Cutlass'
Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’

‘Cutlass’ is one of the Chinese Evergreen varieties that stands out because of its long, narrow leaves patterned with silver-grey streaks. The leaves resemble the shape of a sword, hence the name. They also grow quite tall, giving the plant a distinctive, layered appearance and adding architectural interest to your indoor plant collection.

3. Aglaonema ‘Stripes’

Agloanema Stripes
Agloanema Stripes

‘Stripes’ has lovely deep green leaves, with bands of curving white irregular stripes. This is one of the extremely low light tolerant varieties, so it is a very versatile plant.

4. Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’

Aglaonema 'Silver Bay'
Aglaonema ‘Silver Bay’

‘Silver Bay’ has large, lush leaves with a broad silver-splashed centre, flanked by deep green edges.

It thrives in a variety of lighting conditions, making it a versatile option for rooms with limited natural light. Its dense foliage makes it a great choice for filling empty corners or as a centre piece on a table top or side board.

5. Aglaonema ‘Maria’

Aglaonema 'Maria'
Aglaonema ‘Maria’

‘Maria’ has deep green leaves with lighter green marbling. This is another of the Chinese Evergreen varieties that tolerates low-light environments. The great thing is that the leaves retain their colour even in low lights settings.

‘Maria’is a great air purifier and is less prone to pests compared to other houseplants, which makes it a smart choice, especially for beginners.

6. Aglaonema ‘Emerald Beauty’

Aglaonema Emerald Beauty
Aglaonema Emerald Beauty/Maria Christina by Photo by David J. Stang CC BY-SA 4.0

Also known as ‘Maria Christina’, ‘Emerald Beauty’ has a dense cluster of glossy, lance-shaped leaves with subtle variegation of creamy-white patterns on the dark green foliage. This variety is also known for its forgiving nature, accepting occasional watering lapses without any great harm being done.

7. Aglaonema ‘Wishes’

Aglaonema 'Wishes'
Aglaonema ‘Wishes’

This recent introduction among Chinese Evergreen varieties and has leaves with pink hued splashes set on dark, green leaves. Interestingly, the pink tones will darken in brighter conditions and the green tones will become more prominent in lower light. In a sense, therefore, you can style this plant how you want it.

The variability also makes it a bit hard to distinguish from another pink variegated cultivar ‘Lady Valentin’. But, both are stunners, so you won’t be disappointed with either plant.

8. Aglaonema ‘Crete’

Aglaonema 'Crete'
Aglaonema ‘Crete’

Aglaonema ‘Crete’ is recognised for its intricate pink-veined leaves with patches of dark green and cream colours. This is one of the Chinese Evergreen varieties that can grow quite large, making it a useful specimen for positioning on the floor.

The colour variations in the leaves can become more pronounced when exposed to higher light levels, though direct sun should be avoided.

9. Aglaonema ‘Sparkling Sarah’

Aglaonema 'Sparkling Sarah'
Aglaonema ‘Sparkling Sarah’. Image by Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz CC

Aglaonema ‘Sparkling Sarah’ is another of the pink hued Chinese Evergreen varieties. In this case, the emphas is more on the green background that the pink variegations. Nevertheless, this variety creates a sparkling effect that lives up to its name.

‘Sparkling Sarah’ tends to have a compact growth habit, making it ideal for desktops or small spaces. It’s also a relatively fast grower, so if you buy it more cheaply as a smaller plant, there is not long to wait until it fills out.

10. Aglaonema ‘Pictum Tricolor’

Aglaonema 'Pictum tricolor
Aglaonema ‘Pictum tricolor’ by isforinsects is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Aglaonema ‘Pictum Tricolor’ is probably the rarest and most sought after cultivar of Aglaonema – and with its incredible camouflage foliage you can see why.

Because this is a rare plant, it is hard to find and also expensive. Although I have seen it for sale on Amazon. But with its stunning leaves of the 3 shades of green it is well worth searching for.

However, beware of online scammers offering seeds. This is a cultivar, like most Chinese Evergreen varieties, that needs to be propagated vegetatively to be reliable. So you will want to see that the plant is genuine before you buy.

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