How To Water Chinese Evergreen: Aglaonema Watering

The right watering practice for Chinese evergreen (aglaonema) is what determines whether this plant will make it in your home or not. Chinese evergreen is known as easy to care for plants. Such a thing because of its tolerance to the different levels of indirect sunlight.

It can stay almost anymore in your home or office as long as it is not getting direct sunlight. It also has low maintenance requirements when compared to other houseplants that originated from the same habitat which is the rainforests.

In this article, we will answer the question of how to water Chinese evergreen. Plus we will discuss the factors that determine the watering frequency.

And which water type you should use when you water your Chinese evergreen. Also, we will talk about the difference between watering indoor and outdoor Chinese evergreen.

But before diving deep into the details I will put the answer for our main question as simple as this: how to water Chinese evergreen? Chinese evergreen is to some extent drought-tolerant plant. But in order to reach its genetic potential, it needs to be watered regularly. Water your Chinese evergreen only when the top two inches of the soil is dry. Then plan the watering schedule accordingly. Keep reading to know the things that you should do to ensure successful watering.

Chinese evergreen watered by rain in the forest
Wet Chinese evergreen

The right way to water Chinese evergreen

As I mentioned above you should only water your Chinese evergreen when the top two inches of the soil are dry. And when you do so, water thoroughly until the water drains from the drainage holes.

Since I mentioned the drainage holes I can’t explain enough how it is important to use a pot with plenty of drainage holes. That said, there are some people insisting to plant their Chinese evergreen in a container without drainage holes for different reasons.

while I don’t I recommend doing so, but later I will talk about how you can have the best odds of success when potting your Chinese evergreen in a pot without drainage holes.

There is no universal watering schedule that will work for every Chinese evergreen because there are factors that govern such a schedule. And those factors differ for each plant.

Also, it is important to plant your Chinese evergreen in a potting mix that has well drainage properties. An all-purpose potting mix will work well.

Don’t plant your container plant in garden soil. As garden soil is very dense and compacted. Such properties will not allow enough air to follow in order for the roots to breathe.

Also, it will not allow excess water to drain. The number one reason for losing Chinese evergreen is root rot. Root rot is caused by overwatering and poor drainage soil ability.

Factors affecting watering schedule

Light exposure

Most Chinese evergreen varieties will survive in different indirect light levels. Although they will thrive best in bright indirect sunlight. But they can survive low light conditions.

Chinese evergreen that placed in a low light environment will have greener foliage color. Such plants require less watering when compared with the ones that have bright indirect sunlight exposure.

Indoor or outdoor

The outdoor environment is different than the indoor one. When Chinese evergreen grows outdoor it will consume more water. Because of the higher evaporation rate and higher airflow.

So according to logic and experience, indoor evergreen should be watered less frequently than outdoor ones.

Humidity level

Chinese evergreen is native to the floor of the rainforest. Therefore they love the humid climate. Placing them in the bathroom where the humidity is high will be great.

However, The more humid the weather the less watering Chinese evergreen will need. So keep that in the mind.


Chinese evergreen tends to consume more water in spring and summer than in winter. In spring and summer, it is actively growing ( growing season). It consumes more water in order to generate more energy for the growth process.

While in winter Chinese evergreen go dormant. It focuses on resting rather than on growth. Therefore water your Chinese evergreen less in winter.

The right water type for watering Chinese evergreen

Tap water contains treated chemicals that will build up in the soil as salts through time. Therefore avoid watering your Chinese evergreen with tap water. Instead, collect rainwater in the autumn season to use it throughout the year.

Rainwater has a sweet pH level that Chinese evergreen love. It is the best option you can give to your plant in terms of water type.

Although distilled water also a good option if you currently don’t have access to rainwater.

In case you don’t have access to both rainwater and distilled water you can use tap water after been treated.

You treat it by putting the water in an open container overnight in order for some treated chemicals to dissipate in the air.

Should I must my Chinese evergreen?

Chinese evergreen loves humidity. Misting increases the humidity level around that plant foliage which is something Chinese evergreen appreciates.

Misting is more effective in Chinese evergreens that located outdoor. Because the water that will be traped in the plant foliage will not set there for a long period of time. And will evaporate due to the outdoor conditions.

But misting indoor Chinese evergreen can do more harm than good. Because the water may set in the foliage and, the crown for a long time and it may cause rot.

For outdoor Chinese evergreen only mist them in the morning in order for the water to evaporate during the day.

How to water Chinese evergreen that planted in a pot without drainage holes

I don’t recommend planting Chinese evergreen in a pot without drainage holes. However, sometimes you may pursue the decorative purposes more than the well being of the plant.

You may have a very beautiful pot that can not be drilled. And you want to add a green touch to it. In a such case, the most important factor that will determine the Chinese evergreen survival is the right watering practice.

The purpose of watering in such a case is to give the plant enough moisture to survive without excess water setting in the plant’s roots zone. Because there is no way out for the water to drain.

I once had a Chinese evergreen planted in a pot without drainage holes. I found that the amount of water that achieves such an equation is equaled half the soil volume.

For example, if your potting media fills X container. You should give your plant water that fills half the X container when the top two inches of the soil is dry.

Also, Chinese evergreens that located outside will have better odds of survival when compared with the indoor ones. Because the evaporation rate is higher in the outdoor environment.

When potting your Chinese evergreen in a pot without drainage holes make sure to use a porous potting media such as cactus potting mix instead of an all-purpose potting mix.

Cactus potting media have a wider space between its particles. Such a thing will allow to some extent the excess water to evaporate.

In conclusion

In this article, I hope I answered one of my readers’ most asked questions: “how to water Chinese evergreen?” Before be concerned with the watering practice you should use a well-draining potting mix in order for the excess water to drain.

This is even more important than your watering schedule. And you should use a pot with plenty of drainage holes. Potting in the right potting mix and having a pot with drainage holes is the first step toward proper watering.

The second step is to water your plant only when the top two inches of the soil is completely dry. There is no universal schedule that everyone can follow when it comes to watering Chinese evergreen.

Because factors like humidity level, light intensity, airflow, plant location differ from person to another. However, arrange and find your own schedule that governed by the simple rule: only water when the top two inches of the soil is completely dry.