Indoor House Plants and Cooler Winter Temperatures

When outdoor temperatures begin to drop across the nation you need to be aware of some “potential” problems which could sneak up on certain indoor plant varieties.
Aglaonemas, commonly called “Chinese Evergreen” are one of these plant families.

The Aglaonema is one of the most durable of the indoor houseplants grown. They are compact, have unique foliage variegations, can handle some pretty poor indoor conditions and pest control is easy with neem oil.

Aglaonemas are not fond of cool and drafty conditions.

Prolonged exposure to temperatures less than 55 degrees can cause damage. New Aglaonema varieties introduced such as “Silver Bay”, “Jewel of India” and “Emerald Stars” can handle cooler temperatures below 55 degrees. But, why risk it?

One common variety known as “Silver Queen” can experience damage in the 60 degree area. Most growers try to keep greenhouses above 65 degrees to limit damage.

Damage usually shows up first on older leaves and on older plants. Leaves get a mottled, dark, greasy appearance which comes from epidermal cell collapse. There is no way to reverse the damage short of growing out the plant.

When purchasing plants during this time period and through the winter. Keep in mind, that brief exposure to cold can damage a plant. This damage may not show up right away. It usually takes 2-7 days to visually see it.

Make sure to check out your nursery or garden center facilities. Can a truck back right up to the greenhouse to unload?

Moving plants only 100 feet from the curb and exposing them to the elements can cause damage. Your “fresh” foliage plant may not be as fresh as you think.

As the winter season approaches make sure your tropicals do not get blasted with cool/cold air every time the door opens or be on the look out for cold damage.

This isn’t limited to just AglaonemasDracaenas, Ficus, Dieffenbachia and many others can get cold damaged just from cold blast.

Keep in mind most tropicals do not like big changes in their temperatures (at least not into the 50’s). Remember our Plant tip on ficus?

Try to keep your tropicals out of the way of drafts and cooler temperature conditions, and generally you’ll have less problems.

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