The Anti-Poinsettia?

Red Stem Aglaonema

The grower–or perhaps its the marketer, or even both–have been trying hard to push this plant, the Red-edged Aglaonema, as the “anti-poinsettia” or the alternative to a poinsettia.

leaf close up

Here’s a close up so the coloring is more apparent.

Side view

And this side view shows the lovely red stems.

This is a hybrid–or perhaps a mutation–of the common Chinese evergreen plant. As such, it’s a great plant for cleaning the air, and because it has a bit more unusual coloring, I’m all for it! As my long-time readers know, I’m all for anything that looks interesting 365 days of the year (as opposed to something that flowers for a brief time and then is simply green leaves the rest of the year).

The other positives about this plant is that it does not need full sun–in fact, if the light is too bright, it will burn. I’ve found mine to be a fairly fast grower–or rather, a fairly fast re-generator of leaves–in the 6 weeks I’ve had it. What’s the difference? As fast as it is making new leaves, I am losing leaves near the bast of the plant or at its interior.

Honestly, this is fine with me. The plant is in an 8″ pot and I don’t need the thing to get much bigger than that for quite some time. It’s the perfect size and it could stay that way for the rest of its life so far as I am concerned. However, I have read in grower’s catalogs that it is a “slow” grower, and perhaps this is the reason why.

This time of year–or any time of year–if you are looking for a less garish alternative to the bright red poinsettia, or simply a bright plant to clean the air and help brighten a room, this Red-edged Aglaonema might just be the plant you are looking for!

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