Glossy, lush, and very colorful variegated leaves are the hallmark of all varieties of Aglaonema, commonly known as Chinese evergreen. And what a palette you find on the shiny foliage of this popular houseplant…
Shades of green, red, pink, white, silver, and even copper all mix and match in the bushy but elegant, rainbow and leafy rosettes and clumps of this amazing perennial from tropical forests. Just picture this bright display on your table or desk!
Ideal for most indoor spaces, from offices to living rooms, many varieties are small enough to bring to life coffee tables and bookshelves. But there is more: all Chinese evergreens are low maintenance, and they have low demands. This makes them perfect for beginners and amateurs as well as for the many admirers who can’t get enough of the color combination and variegation of the many Aglaonema cultivars.
In fact, the leaves of Chinese evergreen are so incredibly attractive that they overshadow its blooms – yes, because it is also a flowering plant! But while the blossoms are all similar, the foliage is not…
There are between 21 and 24 species in the Aglaonema genus, and hundreds of hybrids and cultivars. The key difference is in the shape, coloring, and variegation of the foliage and in the overall size of this popular houseplant.
And finding out how Chinese evergreen varieties mix colors on their glossy leaves is an artistic, even kaleidoscopic experience, and this is exactly what we are going to do, cultivar by cultivar and shade by shade.
As you can see, colors are the main theme… Surely there are at least one (at the very least!) of these varieties of Chinese evergreen type that you will be amazed by and fall in love with. But we want to know a bit more about the Vibrant Aglaonema genus first…
Chinese evergreen, aglaonema, plant overview
Chinese evergreen, a.k.a. Aglaonema, is a genus of evergreen perennial and flowering herbaceous plants native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and New Guinea.
They are prized as houseplants for their foliage, which naturally presents colorful variegation and a glossy surface. In fact, they have been grown for decorative purposes for more than a century!
First brought to the West by the plant collectors (plant explorers) of the most important botanical garden in the world, Kew Gardens in London, in 1885, they were since vastly hybridized and bred into cultivars.
Easy to grow and low maintenance, they have since become very popular all over the world, also thanks to easy propagation by stem cuttings or clump division.
But they do flower as well; not frequently, and in fact, their blooms comprise a spathe, long and pointed, elliptical shape, usually pale green or white, and a spadix, white as well, or cream or with some greenish blushes.
These are followed by berries, which will then ripen to a red color.
Aglaonema, Clean Air, and Toxicity
Not all species of Chinese evergreen have been tested, but Aglaonema modestum is for sure an excellent air purifier. Given the mass of foliage, all other varieties are likely to be as well.
On the other hand, Aglaonema is a toxic plant! It contains calcium oxalate, which, if ingested, can cause serious irritation of mucous tissues.
Aglaonema fact sheet
For a full and detailed fact sheet on Chinese evergreen, or Aglaonema, just read below.
Should you cut Chinese evergreen blooms?
This question is part and parcel of the history of Aglaonema home gardening! Chinese evergreen does bloom, and it looks like a pity to have to cut the flowers off. But if you already know this houseplant, you will also know that most people say you should.
If you don’t, the blossoms will last a few weeks, and they do add to the decorative value of Chinese evergreens. But at this time, your colorful potted plant will direct lots of energy to its flowering display.
So, most people suggest cutting them early on, to allow your Aglaonema to divert all its strength to its glossy foliage. The choice is yours; your Chinese evergreen won’t die if you don’t remove them, so you can also enjoy them.
25 colorful varieties of aglaonema plants To Add Some Tropical Flair to Your Home
From classic to exotic, here are the 25 best Aglaonema varieties that range so much in color, leaf shape, and size to bring a touch of the tropics to your home.
1: ‘Silver Queen’ (Aglaonema ‘Silver Queen’)
Having received the prestigious Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, ‘Silver Queen’ Chinese evergreen is the dutiful Aglaonema cultivar to start with.
With long, pointed leaves that form dense and lush clumps, this prized houseplant has a very bright and fresh presence for all indoor spaces.
Displaying both edges and specks of mid to dark green on the pale silver-green foliage, it brightens up rooms with light and at the same time, it gives you an interesting and delicate variegation effect.
2: ‘Chocolate’ (Aglaonema ‘Chocolate’)
If you want to bring a deep mood to your living room or office, a dark-looking “Chocolate” Chinese evergreen is the houseplant you are looking for. The super glossy foliage of this Aglaonema cultivar is also thick looking, almost fleshy.
Each leaf displays a clear mid-rib and arching veins. These cut almost white waves through the deep, shiny green of the upper page, and they trace magenta lines in the intense maroon purple of the under pages.
The leaves are gently folded in the middle, and most point upwards, especially at the top and center of this brooding houseplant.
3: Prestige Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Prestige’)
Vibrant and full of bright energy, ‘Prestige’ is an Aglaonema variety to light up rooms with the power of fire.
In fact, this Chinese evergreen has literally shiny leaves with irregular variegation, in broad patches and specks, which include pink, carmine red on the magenta side, deep green, bright green, and orange-yellow!
The undulation on the almost fleshy foliage adds to the glittering effect of the snooty surface. Growing on pink petioles, these are almost lance-shaped, yet another trait that adds to the dramatic and explosive effect of this cultivar.
4: ‘Pink Dalmatian’ (Aglaonema ‘Pink Dalmatian’)
To catch your guests’ eyes with a houseplant with unusual variegation, I suggest “Pink Dalmatian” Chinese evergreen. This Aglaonema variety has very broad foliage, almost as large as it is wide, but with a pointed tip.
The glossy leaves have a background color that ranges from bright to dark and deep green, but they are decorated by lots of contrasting spots in pink, varying from rose to bubblegum!
Very lush and with a gentle undulation, the clump has an overall round shape, which gives it a sense of harmony and balance.
5: “First Diamond” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘First Diamond’)
If you are an admirer of strong and striking contrasts, I suggest you look at the variegation on the “First Diamond” Chinese evergreen.
One of the most dramatic varieties of Aglaonema, it will blind you with its deep dark green specks and leaf edges scattered over a white canvas!
Each leaf is also quite well balanced, about twice as long as it is wide, with pointed tips and forming a very, very dense rosette where you can get lost following the speckled spectacle of its foliage.
It is a bright ideal centerpiece for a very elegant room or office, even in a formal or minimalist style.
6: “Stripes” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Stripes’)
The name says it all! ‘Stripes’ Chinese evergreen offers you what it says on the tin: elegant arching stripes that start from the mid-rib of the leaves and lead your eyes gently to the margin.
And it does so with a variety that includes emerald and dark forest green, silver, and white.
Given the glossy surface of the foliage, the effect is almost marbled; it’s a bit like looking at a cross-section of a geological stratum, rather than at almost lance-shaped, pointed, and decorative leaves.
7: “Golden Flourite“ (Aglaonema ‘Golden Flourite’)
For lovers of bright and pale shades, the Aglaonema variety that suits your taste is ‘Golden Flourite’. This Chinese evergreen has almost anemic variegation, but with lovely and light-filled coloring.
The pink of the petioles spreads to the leaves, following their margins, while the undulation of the surface in between shows areas of cream yellow and very pale to mid-green that fade into each other.
Delicate and elegant, this cultivar is what you need to add the light of dawn to your living room or office.
8: “Cutlass” (Aglaonema ‘Cutlass’)
‘Cutlass’ Chinese evergreen takes its name from a type of sword, and in fact, it is the foliage shape that sets it apart from other varieties of our houseplant, Aglaonema!
Very long and very narrow pointed and arching at the tips, the glossy leaves look like blades and they add strongly contrasting variegation as well.
You will notice this at first glance because dark green edges and specks seem to float on a pale cream, almost white background.
Dramatic and very sculptural, this cultivar is ideal to bring light and movement to coffee tables, desks,, and even bookshelves.
9: “Red Anjamani” (Aglaonema ‘Red Anjamani’)
Of all the Aglaonema varieties, ‘Red Anjamani’ is the one with the most quantity of red color on offer. Most of the broad, glossy leaves are in fact of a bright crimson shade.
Combined with the glossy surface of the leaves, this cultivar is very showy and catchy. A few specks of bright green will follow the veins, and they will also decorate the edges.
It also has an unusual upright habit for this genus. If your room needs both an injection of energy and a focal point that no one can miss, ‘Red Anjamani’ is by far one of the best choices you can make!
10: “Diamond Bay” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema “Diamond Bay“)
If you prefer the elegance of houseplants with an upright habit and simple but decorative variegation, I would suggest you have a close look at ‘Diamond Bay’ Chinese evergreen.
The glossy lance-shaped leaves point up and out, and the petioles are straight as well, giving you a slender look.
This is complemented by an irregular patch of silver white framed by a mid to emerald-green rim that follows the edges.
“Diamond Bay” Aglaonema would suit formal spaces, like tidy offices or smart, even minimalist living spaces.
11: ‘Super White’ (Aglaonema “Super White“)
You guessed it right—you are going to meet the whitest of all Chinese evergreen varieties, aptly called “Super White”! The very broad, gently undulating leaves of this variety of Aglaonema are, in fact, almost completely the same color as the snow.
You will only see some pale green blushing along the mid-rib and a scattering of dark green along the edges. The round shape of both leaves and the clump adds a strong sculptural quality.
As a houseplant, ‘Super White’ will surely bring lots of light and candor, a sense of purity, and peace to any room, including very difficult spaces to decorate, like modern styles and extremely smart offices.
12: Black Lance’ Chinese Evergreen (‘Black Lance’ Aglaonema)
For an unusual palette for Aglaonema varieties, maybe “Black Lance” is the Chinese evergreen that most diverges from the others.
The lance-shaped, pointed and glossy leaves will surprise you with their variegation: the edges are of a very deep forest green shade, while the central, long, and irregular parch that follows the mid-rib subtly plays with pale but unusual hues of green.
In fact, you will see aquamarine fade into silver, and at times, you will also see blushes on it! “Black Lance” suits a refined taste, adding a somber and meditative touch to both offices and living spaces.
13:“Prosperity” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Prosperity’)
I think the name of this Aglaonema cultivar is wrong. I have nothing against ‘Prosperity’, but it should be called Chinese “ever-pink” and not “evergreen”. And if you like this color, you will love this houseplant.
Yes, because the glossy pointed, and roughly lance-shaped leaves are almost all bright pink! They range from rose to almost magenta, and green spots with a cream halo are scattered here and there to highlight the unusual variegation.
Bright and cheerful, it may be a good choice if you want a touch of cheeky cheerfulness in the room, maybe a playroom or a tot shop…
14: “Pictum Tricolor” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Pictum Tricolor’)
For a cool and brilliant multicolor effect, ‘Pictum Tricolor’ Chinese evergreen will tick all the boxes. The glossy, balanced lanceolate leaves have gentle waves at the edges and a pointed tip.
But what will strike you of this Aglaonema is the patchwork of different colors you will see on them! Clear and distinct patches of dark, mid and bright green alternate with white and sometimes even silver!
This is the Harlequin of the genus, and for this reason it is very cheerful and playful. For a room that needs an intriguing and kaleidoscopic centerpiece or even just an addition, ‘Pictum Tricolor’ is just the ideal houseplant!
15: “Bidadari“ Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Bidadari’)
A romantic rebel, the “Bidadar,” or Chinese evergreen, is also one of the most surprising varieties of Aglaonema. The fact is that the variegation is irregular, and each leaf ends up being different in color.
While the shape is always broad and lanceolate, with a marked undulation on the glossy surface, the random palette is not. Expect off-white, pink from pale to magenta, and different shades of green.
But you can have whole leaves of almost one tint or a mix of speckles and patches of any of them. This is a perfect ornament for a super informal and bright presence in a loving space.
16: “Modestum” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Modestum’)
Here is another Aglaonema variety with irregular variegation. However, “Modestum” is a Chinese evergreen that offers you two main colors and broad patches, which can even cover most of a single leaf.
Elliptical and pointed, fairly board and glossy, and quite undulated, these will show bright green and white, in wide areas, with some pale green where these two tints mix and match.
With thin petioles and an open habit, this is a houseplant for a striking contrast in a very airy and tidy place, be it a living room or an office.
17: “Creta“ Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Creta’)
‘Creta’ is a Chinese evergreen variety that excels in fusion and mellow but also warm feelings. Crimson red to pink are predominant along the edges and veins of the lanceolate, glossy, and almost fleshy leaves.
But in between, it mixes with greens, up to dark in shade, with the fading and shading skills of an Old Master. So, you will see brighter hues become darker, and, very unusually for an Aglaonema cultivar, you will also meet some copper blushes and reflexes!
It is also one of the largest of all! Maybe my favorite among these houseplants, having ‘Creta’ in your living room or office is like having a living work of art!
18: “BJ Freeman” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘BJ Freeman’)
Almost ghostly, “BJ Freeman” is a Chinese evergreen variety with an unusual, ethereal presence. This is due to the color of the vast majority of the balanced, pointed, and fairly lanceolate leaves: silver green!
This anemic color makes up most of the impact of this Aglaonema cultivar, but the thin patches, mainly along the midrib, and lines along the edges of dark green, help define the shape and give this houseplant a clear structural dimension. For this reason, it is both sculptural and puzzling at the same time, for places that like to cast a spell on their visitors.
19: “Red Peacock” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Red Peackock’)
On the super glossy, elliptical leaves of the “Red Peacock,” you will see a color display that will easily explain its name to you!
Starting from the pink petiole, you will see this color intensify to bubble and then almost magenta along the mid-rib that leads you to the pointed tip.
But on the sides, this transforms into spots that scatter and turn almost orange as they mix like a splash of water with the deep dark green, which, in turn, produces bright green patches!
If a lava lamp would look good in that room you have in mind, so will this amazing cultivar of Aglaonema!
20: “Green Papaya” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Green Papaya’)
An exotic beauty with few matches, the large variety “Green Papaya” Chinese evergreen has large and long, pointed elliptical leaves with an unusual upright habit and glossy, almost fleshy texture.
As the name suggests, it has lots of green on the foliage, which also waves gently at the edges. And it has a bright to emerald shade.
But the veins that run along them are scattered with bright pink spots, which, mixing with the rest of the foliage, give birth to some dark yellow cream patches. Suitable for large spaces, maybe in a prominent position, this tropical-looking variety of Aglaonema is a real eye-catcher!
21: “Harlequin” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Harlequin’)
Named after the famous Italian mask with a multicolored costume, ‘Harlequin’ is a Chinese evergreen with a palette like few others. The variegation is irregular, meaning that you find stripes, following the ribs of the lanceolate foliage, but also odd patches and very fine powder-like spots.
And you also find broad patches in one shade, and, again, each leaf is different. Throw in all the hues of almost white, pink, bright green, magenta, cream, and copper and you get an idea of what type of Aglaonema copper,we are talking about. Of course, it’s ideal for a colorful, cheerful, and surprising living room or office space!
22: “Nicole” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Nicole’)
A more sober but still elegant and decorative variety of Chinese evergreen is known by the name “Nicole”. The leaves are balanced, elliptical, and pointed, clumped together in very lush, dense,, and glossy rosettes.
What you will see looks like a pale feather in the middle, silver-white in color, and then a bright to mid-green area that flanks it and reaches the edges.
But look even closer and you will see tiny dots of, like snow, or dust, of a brighter hue, that, of course, harkens back at the central plume.
With ‘Nicole’ Aglaonema you have both elegance and a tropical, exotic, and lush houseplant, the best of both worlds for most indoor spaces!
23: “Siam Aurora” Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Siam Aurora’)
Here is another spectacular cultivar of Aglaonema with striking variegation on its glossy, lanceolate leaves: ‘Siam Aurora’! Harmonic and balanced, they have crimson to ruby stripes, quite broad that follow and define the edges.
The same chromatic range also traces the mid-rib, but sometimes a bit paler on the pink range. The rest of the foliage is bright to mid-green, with a lot of emerald in it!
This pattern and the two complementary colors give this variety of Chinese evergreen gives it a sculptural, artistic quality that suits a showy centerpiece for any indoor space, formal or informal.
24: “Red Valentine“ Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Red Valentine’)
If you are looking for a romantic but exotic present, ‘Red Valentine’ is the Chinese evergreen that you need! The leaves are heart-shaped, pointed, and broad, which starts the theme of love… Very glossy, they highlight this unusual shape for an Aglaonema cultivar with mid to bright green edges and spots that follow the elegant veins… But most of the foliage is pink, from very pale to intense, and crimson red!
Super showy but at the same time sweet looking, you can see why ‘Red Valentine’ has this name. But you don’t have to gift it if you wish: you can find it in a place on your desk next to the picture of your beloved!
25: “Frozen“ Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema ‘Frozen’)
From warmth and love with ‘Red Valentine’, we move to cold and snow with ‘Frozen’ Chinese evergreen! The leaves, which are fairly broad, lanceolate, pointed and with a strong undulation, appear to be totally covered in ice!
White is predominant in the variegation of this Aglaonema cultivar, but beneath this polar veneer, you will see shy shades of pink, especially along the mid-rib, and bright green, especially along the margins, trying to get through!
The effect is really unique! If you want to bring a frosty presence in your room, maybe to keep you fresh in summer, this is the variety you have been looking for!
Chinese evergreen, more than evergreen… ever brightly colored! Green, red, pink, white and silver! All creating decorative patterns on Chinese evergreen varieties, and you have just seen the most beautiful, like a journey on top of a leafy rainbow!
And you have just seen the very best! You will agree with me that “evergreen” does not really describe Aglaonema very well, maybe “ever colored”, or “ever rainbow” would suit it better?
Amber Noyes was born and raised in a suburban California town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of California as well as a BS in Biology from the University of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers’ markets, and plant nursery, she understands what makes plants thrive and how we can better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially organic gardening, houseplants, and growing plants in a small space.