mr_subjunctive

Which cliche applies? (Aglaonema x 'Red Gold')

mr_subjunctive
January 16, 2008

Went out plant-shopping today, which is a thing I do, and wound up in Cedar Rapids looking an Aglaonema x 'Red Gold' in what would have been its face, if Aglaonemas had faces. I've wanted one of these since I first found out about the red Ags (I think Asiatica Nursery was where I saw them first.), so I bought it, but now I'm wondering if I've got myself a white elephant. So, is the appropriate cliche:

1) Good things come to those who wait, or

2) Be careful what you wish for: you may get it?

Anybody have experience growing these indoors? The few websites I managed to dig up all said that all Ags were the same, easy easy easy, but they were also all sales sites, not informational ones, so I'm not sure I trust them.

If they are tougher than the standard, what should I be worrying about?

(There's an outside chance that the cliche should be, straw that broke the camel's back: I wasn't doing such a great job of keeping up with the plants I had already, despire trying to keep their numbers down. But, um, he who hesitates is lost. Or something.)

Comments (15)

  • watergal

    Another message board I frequent was talking recently about the "hot Thai Ags (colored leaves...red, orange, yellow, etc.)" - I'm not sure if that's what you have or not. Here was one guy's opinion about them:

    "Those brightly colored ags were a big hit in the Twyford (KerryÂs) booth at the TPIE show last year. In my opinion most interior environments will not be suitable for these aglaonema, they need hot, humid and bright conditions to survive. I had some 10-12 years ago that lasted all of a few months after being taken out of the greenhouse but they were beautiful while they lasted."

    I saw some cool ags when I was plant-shopping yesterday, looked almost like crotons, but I was scared to buy them. If the culture is like what this guy said, they probably would like the same conditions as crotons do. I wonder if they come standard with spider mites too?

  • sasha_one56

    i had to laugh at your sayings! for some unknown reason, i, too keep bringing home plants. i have about 85 healthy plants and about 10-15 that don't look so hot. so its not like i need them...but i figure if they are dying i can always 'try try again' or just buy a new plant that catches my fancy. i strongly believe in 'good things happen to those who wait' though. i'm optimistic! but maybe i need to be on that addiction show and have my family and friends give me an 'intervention' so i stay away from the plant sections in stores....good luck with your new little friend! you can always 'try try again' ;)

  • pepperomia

    That is SO exciting. I don't know what I would do if I saw one of these new red Ags face to face. It would probably be like running into a celebrity on a streetcorner. (Stammering, blushing, tripping over my own feet...) I don't think I would be able to resist buying it no matter what. Speaking of which - where did you find it? How big of a grow-pot? And how much did it cost?

    If anyone can make this plant thrive at home, it's you, Mr. S - don't let it intimidate you! Just give it as much light as possible and keep us updated on what happens. Oh, and a picture would be awesome!

  • water_roots

    I'm going to side with pepperomia here - because I would buy it as soon as I'd see it, regardless of the care requirements. And I'd do my best to keep it alive and well. If it died, oh well, at least I enjoyed something different for awhile.

    But with your experience and knowledge, I wouldnÂt worry too much; you have a great shot at this. And like pepperomia said "Don't let it intimidate you"

    Do what I do to remind your plants to show a little gratitude for your generous care:

    Walk around with scissors and a green garbage bag, and mumble (loud enough to be heard): "If you don't do well, you ungrateful fiends, out you go..." Shake the bag once in awhile for added emphasis, and point suddenly at a plant (make sure your eyes are squinted) to add to the drama.

    Yup, I'm going to take what's behind door number one..." Good things come to those who wait"

  • mr_subjunctive

    Found it at Pierson's, in Cedar Rapids (probably not driveable distance for you, I guess). They had about 6 or 8 of them, $22.99 each for a 6" pot.

    I did think about checking with their greenhouse person, to ask whether they'd found them more trouble than the normal cream-and-silver Aglaonemas, but I couldn't find her, and after I searched for her for a while I was like, what am I doing; I'm going to buy it anyway regardless of what she says, so let's just pick one out and go. Which is what I did.

    Since the first post, I've gotten that sinking feeling you get when you buy a plant that you realize you shouldn't have gotten, but since I'm committed to trying, now, I guess there's nowhere to go but forward. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

    There'll be a picture up at PATSP sooner or later, though not, probably, today. I'm thinking Sunday is likely.

  • kioni

    Hey, I think something similiar occurred to me today. While waiting for the vehicle to have a flat repaired, I took a heart-healthy hike to the local HD near the auto shop and came across a sweet little yellow bloomed phal. Now, I've got several, white with a reddish lip, pinkish/purpleish, and a deep red. Been wanting to find an orange. Told myself no more orchids, unless it's the exact shade of orange or peach that I've been wishing for. I just don't have room for another orchid unless it's the right color.

    Then I see this yellow (with faint pink background striping and lip, and I tell myself, yellow is close to orange, maybe this'll tide me over 'till I find the orange.... but it could be years, maybe never for me to find the orange, and then I won't know the joys of this yellow. What a shame that would be.....and hey, that blue pot it comes in (for a fair price) is too big, I've got a smaller pot for this yellow at home, and hey, won't my just recently purchased strawberry begonia look wonderful in that blue ceramic pot? Sold. To me.

    So I vote for 'Good things come to those who wait', since I'm still waiting for when I should come across that perfect shade of orange.

  • sasha_one56

    hahaaaa! i'm glad i'm not the only one with plant/pot buying issues. at least we have a healthy compulsion...i mean plants just don't hurt people like meth and gambling do. it may also be cheaper in the long run?

  • nanw_4wi

    I tried one of these Thai Ags a couple of years ago.
    A seller that I had made several purchases from in the past gave me a 'killer' deal on one.

    I think my skills at nurturing my plants are good, but they simply weren't good *enough* to pull this one through. I failed miserably with it, even though I tried really hard!!

    As stated above, these need much more warmth, (especially at the roots) humidity and light than the average Ag.

    I agree they're absolutely gorgeous and would be totally irresistible to me if I were 'staring one in the face', (LOL!) too, but it just needed too much pampering and IMHO wasn't meant to be grown as a houseplant, at least not at my house;)

    What size is your plant? Is it an EA plant? (I know they've had that one on their website for quite some time, though no one I know has seen it for sale.)
    You know, we'd really love to see a photo of it!

    The funny thing about plants is that sometimes the plants touted as the 'easiest' give trouble to good growers, and then again, some that are described as 'difficult' thrive for some growers - hoping yours does well!

  • ronalawn82

    mr subjunctive, the adage which aptly applies to ME in similar circumstances runs, 'an addle pated beetle head and his specie divaricate with amazing prematurity'- a fool and his money are soon parted.
    If only every day were Saturday mornings!

  • ooojen

    Quite a while back, I asked a similar question here. In fact, the only difference was that my question was more of a "what if" I found one, rather than "I already did".
    Besides Nan's valuable advice (and she is a very experienced grower; anything difficult for her is going to be a bear to grow in our zones) we also heard from Russ in FL on that thread. (He's a very knowledgeable guy, with a special interest in Aroids. I'm not sure whether he's done any posting here lately.) He offered some interesting info about the background of the Thai hybrids. I did a search for the thread & found the link, "Pink Aglaonemas"
    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg071923349372.html?20
    Anyway, the general idea was that I couldn't expect to keep one around very long & would do better to spend my money on one of the other lovely, but easier to manage hybrids. The advice I got was enough to keep me from ordering one of Asiatica's gorgeous (pricey) plants. Still, if I saw one "face to face" for $22.99, I might very well end up bringing it home with me!
    Best of luck! As Nan suggested, throw all the warmth, humidity and light you can at it (well, within reason ;) !

    (I also see there was a bit added to the thread after I quit checking back. I'll have to respond!)

  • watergal

    Not nearly as much red as the plant I saw and didn't buy, but nice looking, nonetheless.

    I take care of SO many ags at work that I'm getting really sick of them. Except I still like the huge leaved ones, like Silver Bay, they are so elegant. I have a photo of one in a deep blue ceramic pot that I use in my business ads.

  • ooojen

    Nice plant Mr. S! I really like the twisty-leaf form and the stripes. I hope it does wonderfully well for you.

  • watergal

    Latest report from a pal at the Tropical Plant Industry Expo in Florida last week:

    "The wonderful-looking but fragile Thai Aglaonema hybrids were on display and looked as good in person as they did in photos. Maybe some further breeding to add vigor to their constitutions will make them a commercial reality in a few years...we can only hope."

  • nanw_4wi

    Hmm...just as you and others noted, I expected to see more red!
    The small one I had purchased a few years back did have a lot more red coloring, though I agree with you that it likely has much to do with lighting and likely temperatures, as well.

    Nonetheless, it is a beauty - and I confess I probably would have succumbed and bought it too!

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