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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:28 pm
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Please Help - Divided Chinese Evergreen Not Doing Well :(

Hi all,

I have a Chinese Evergreen plant in a container in my apartment which has generally been doing very well. Recently a new shoot started to grow out of the soil next to the main plant (the shoot is white to light-green colored, which makes me think it must be a new root system). I tried to transplant this shoot and put it in another large pot, but it is not doing very well so far. For what it's worth, the shoot has always been floppy and bent over partway up and was already taller (if held up manually) than the main plant when I moved it out.

Admittedly, a lot of the new plant's circumstances are not ideal, but I wanted to see if any of these sound like a deal-breaker for the plant. It's now in a fairly large pot (about the size of the original plant's pot) and an environment which is generally warmer than the original environment. Also, when I transplanted it I had tried to gently pull the root of the new shoot out from the rest of the plant, but I didn't go through the process of removing the parent plant from the pot, shaking off the dirt, etc... When I was able to extract the new shoot, there was nothing special at the end of it, but maybe this is normal. The reason I bring it up is I also transplanted a couple of "Dracaena Decremensis" at the same time and each of those shoots had a seed or ball at the bottom a bit larger than the peach pit, but I don't know if the Chinese Evergreen is supposed to have a similar form or not.

Anyway, if anyone can offer some suggestions to help save the new plant I'd really appreciate it! I just recently tried putting the new shoot in water because it looks very unhappy, but I can put it back in soil if that's preferable (I know the full grown ones don't like too much water, but I have also seen recommendations of putting new cuttings in a glass of water). Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

- Daniel

Senior Member
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:17 pm

If your plant is Aglaonema and I think it will be my experience of these is to propagate when the parent plant is very well established and has produced many stems. At that stage remove from the pot and actually cut though the root ball with a long bladed knife removing a clump complete with roots.
Be aware of overpotting as this can lead to failure especially as a house plant they will be in a less than ideal environment. Pot up into a container just large enough to take the root and some compost. Pot on into a size enabling just a half inch of compost to be added around the root ball. Try to keep in good light but not direct sunlight and at a minimum winter temperature of 70F. Also a moist atmosphere but only if the temperature can be maintained.
The shoot you have already removed I would place in a small pot of gritty compost and cover with a clear plastic bag keeping it form contact with the shoot. The optimum temperature for rooting this would be 75F.

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