A Dull Houseplant Equals Big Trouble

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.

I recently bought 'Red Valentine' at a local garden center after Dee Nash of Red Dirt Ramblings and my co-host of the Gardenangelist podcast told me about it.

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.


  1. Beautiful plants. I have downsized many of my houseplants due to a kitten tasting many of them. Any that were poisonous were banished to a room where she couldn't go. Will have to see if these are kitty safe. Love the colors.

  2. Janet, these are poisonous to cats and people so they would need to be put where the cat can't get to them.

  3. They are beautiful but I have two indoor cats, so I guess I have to pass on buying these "Dull Plants". I love the podcast you
    and Dee inspire me in many ways, but especially in the shopping department!!

  4. Yes, pretty enough to make the winter shorter! 🌱

  5. I had two mini-poinsettias that lasted and lasted, adding a nice little splash of color in the kitchen and another room. They are on life support now. Any other suggestions for indoor color, especially but not necessarily only small plants would be appreciated.

  6. A garden center that will actually order something for you!?! Sigh. That has gone the way of the Dodo here...


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