Even when the outdoor gardening season is about to start, my wife and I sometimes give in to the urge to buy houseplants.

While at an open house at Skillins Greenhouse in Falmouth recently, we spied, then bought an aglaonema, which goes by the common name Chinese evergreen.

This plant is becoming more popular because hybridizers are creating cultivars with attractive variegated leaves of pink, red and peach. Our new aglaonema has green and pink leaves.

In her book “Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing and Caring for Indoor Plants,” Lisa Eldred Steinkopf rates aglaonema as an easy plant to grow. While it will survive in low light, the brightly colored leaves will fade to green. If it gets medium light – either an east or west window – the colors will stay vibrant. The plant prefers temperatures between 62 and 80 degrees, which covers the usual range in a typical Maine house.

Let the soil dry an inch or two deep before watering aglaonema, although it prefers high humidity. Give it that either by surrounding it with other plants or by placing it on a pebble tray; in the latter case, keep the water level below the pebbles so the plant gets the humidity benefit.

Different cultivars range from 1 foot to 3 feet tall. Ours is now about 8 inches. We will wait to see how big it gets as the label doesn’t tells us the cultivar name.

While aglaonema do produce flowers, the plant is usually grown for its leaves, and the leaves will do better if you cut off the flowers.

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