Thursday, August 5, 2010

Random plant event: Aglaonema 'Diamond Bay' flowering

Around this time every year, I start seeing Aglaonema flowers, though usually, in any given summer, only one of my plants flowers. I'm not a big fan of the flowers, and cut them off. (If you don't, you run the risk of mold: it doesn't appear to hurt the plant, but it's unattractive.) It was more difficult to keep up with the plants at work, because they'd all go at the same time.

Flowering Aglaonemas will keep producing new flowers over and over for a few weeks, then resume growth as usual: they don't die back after flowering, or do anything else special. Care doesn't change during this period either, except for the flower-removal.


Leslie said...

I've had some of these in the past and have not been overly thrilled with the flower as well. I have also noticed that they would like to be more on the dry side than evenly moist? Is that correct? All of mine have always died from what would appear to be root rot. Any tips?

mr_subjunctive said...


That's correct. I let mine get to the point where it feels dry as far down as I can stick a finger, then water thoroughly, then wait until it's dry again. It's also not a bad idea to change the soil when you first buy them, if they're in a really peaty mix.

As for the root rot, some plants just can't be helped. I got an Aglaonema 'Stars' a couple years ago that just kept falling apart no matter what I did, because it didn't have much for roots to begin with, and I've also had trouble getting cuttings to root. I don't have any fix for this that isn't fairly obvious: try not to buy plants that don't have a solid, well-developed root system to begin with.

Liza said...

Bleeech, ugly flowers. I'm glad I'm not the only one who cuts them off right away.

Emily said...

One of mine just started to flower, and as this was the first time I figured I'd let it progress and see how it goes... should I just nip the buds?

mr_subjunctive said...


By all means, if you want to see the flowers develop, then let them develop. They don't really hurt anything, except insofar as they take some of the plant's energy to produce (which isn't that noticeable) and have the potential to lead to mold, which isn't likely to hurt the plant either and does come off with soapy water pretty easily.

I remove them because I've seen it before and know what's going to happen, and it's not that much of a show, but it's not like it's urgent, or even especially important to do so. By all means, if it's the first time you've seen it happen, you may as well watch the whole thing.

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

I love your photo Mr.S. The cream and green plant against the blue background is very attractive.

Emily said...

Good to know - I was/am excited about it and will see how it goes. This particular Aglaonema and I have a touchy history - I grew it as a single-stalk passalong and it was finally happy enough to start sprouting new growth from the roots, and then I moved it 6 inches to make room for a different plant and the new growth withered. But it recently forgave me and tried again with two new shoots and now the flowers. My other Aglaonemas have never seemed excited enough to flower so I've been happy this one and I seem to have come to terms.

Bash said...

My Aglaonema flowered last year and again this year, but this time around it keeps sending new flowers and i cut them immediately.
I have three stems and have cut 11 flowers in the past 6 weeks alone.. i hope it stops sending new ones.
if you leave the flowers on you are sending an invitation to pests and that what happened to me last year but got rid of the little critters fast.

mr_subjunctive said...


I've actually been leaving the flowers on lately (the last year or so), in hopes of getting a couple to bloom at the same time so I can cross them.

The timing mostly hasn't been working out, but I did get three seedlings that I think are 'Maria' x 'Maria,' and I keep hoping for something more interesting to come along. There haven't been any pests.