How do you care for an Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah? Place your green-leaf baby under bright indirect light, not more than 6 feet away from the window; keep the temperature between 65 and 80°F, stick to a moderate watering routine, and mildly mist the lush leaves about 3-4 times per week.
Chinese Evergreens (Aglaonemas) have become extremely popular houseplants all over the world. Mainly, because of their fantastic looks.
There are plenty of different Aglaonemas out there – Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor, Aglaonema Prestige, Aglaonema Pink Dalmatian, Aglaonema First Diamond, Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah, and many more.
All these plants are true superstars that will steal your heart at first glance. And Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah is, probably, one of the most beloved jewels in the treasure chest.
The thing that makes this houseplant a real showstopper are the sparkling leaves that are not just dark green – there is plenty of cream and pink spots closer to the middle. The cherry on the cake is the vibrant pink vein that runs down the center of the leaf (unique and stunning!).
The plants also stand on bright pink stems, so an Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah can become a gorgeous colorful accent in any room.
How to care for this amazing plant? Below you will find everything that you need to know to ensure that your Sparkling Sarah lives its best life.
Indoor vs Outdoor Growing
Aglaonemas are native to the subtropical and tropical regions of New Guinea and Asia. These ornamental plants have been considered luck-bringing plants for hundreds of years. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘the Chinese evergreen plants’.
Not that long ago, a new colorful selection (including Sparkling Sarah) had arrived from the tropical rainforests and swamps of Southeast Asia. Before that, Aglaonemas were mainly green and silver. Today, you can find awe-inspiring plants with vibrant splashes of pink on them.
This tropical genus can’t tolerate cold temperatures. Even 59°F can be harmful to the tender plant. That’s why you can plant Aglaonemas outside only if you live in the Tropical South, for example.
However, these beauties make lovely indoor plants. But there are a few tips that you have to bear in mind.
Best Location for Your Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah
It is relatively easy to take care of Aglaonemas.
When it comes to finding the perfect location for your precious plant, practically anywhere, except full sun, would work.
If you want to plant Sparkling Sarah in your outdoor garden or patio area, simply make sure that it’s a place that gets enough sun but is protected by the shade. Remember that Aglaonemas do not tolerate low temperatures, so attempt planting this beauty outside only if you have very warm winters.
Sparkling Sarah can thrive in low light and tolerates both dry and moist conditions pretty well, thus making the perfect plant for a cozy bedroom, a modern office, and a living room.
Ideally, you would want to place your green friend not more than 6 feet from a south-facing window.
Fun fact: Aglaonemas are one of those rare plants that can adapt to fluorescent light.
Lighting for an Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah
As we have already mentioned, you will have the luxury of choosing practically any location for your Sparling Sarah. Except for full sun. Intensive sun rays will harm the exposed leaves.
The plant will do quite well with low light, but do bear in mind that it might become leggy and thin in such conditions. Compensate it with fluorescent light or artificial growing light.
Keep the lady about 6 feet away from the light source.
Diffused natural light (bright indirect light) is perfect for Sparkling Sarah.
Tip: the lighter the plant is in color, the more light it would need to maintain its beautiful variegation and color.
Temperatures for your Sparkling Sarah
Aglaonemas don’t tolerate cold at all. Low temperatures can harm the plant pretty badly, so try to make sure that the temperature never drops below 60°F.
Ideally, you would want to keep your lovely friends in a room that has a temperature between 65 and 80°F.
In case you have planted your Sparkling Sarah outside, don’t forget to transfer it to the indoors before the temperatures drop.
Warning! Even though it is normal for the temperature to drop as night falls, variations in more than 10 degrees can drastically affect the plant’s well-being.
By the way, Aglaonemas aren’t tolerant to very high temperatures as well. So, keeping the plant inside and away from any heat sources is the best option.
Soil For Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah
This green-leaf baby thrives in a common houseplant mixture. Peat-based mixtures with sand or perlite are also an option.
The most important thing to remember is that the soil has to be well-draining.
The ideal pH level of the soil for a Sparkling Sarah is between 6.1 and 6.5. That means that, in order to grow properly, the plant requires slightly acidic soil.
It is very easy to regulate the soil’s acidity. Simply add a small amount of peat moss once in a while.
DIY potting mix recipe:
Mix 50% of potting soil with peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.
This will help increase the soil’s aeration and soil drainage.
Watering Your Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah
With this houseplant, your watering routine has to be moderate. You should never let the plant dry out completely. But make sure that the soil has enough time to become dry at the top before your next watering.
If your Sparkling Sarah lives in a room with little light, then you should wait for the soil to dry out completely. But in case you have decided to keep the Aglaonema in bright light, water the lady as soon as the upper half (or even a quarter) of the soil has dried.
Temperature and weather should also be taken into consideration when coming up with a watering schedule. Of course, you would have to give your plant a drink a bit more often in the summer months.
Here is an approximate watering schedule that you can adjust, depending on your plant’s needs:
Warm spring and summer
Water 1-2 times per week
Fall and winter
1 time every 2-3 weeks
For a 5’’ pot, a Sparkling Sarah would need around 0.8 cups of water every 7 days.
Warning! Overwatering is extremely harmful. Too much H2O can literally make the plant suffocate. Moreover, it may cause the roots to rot.
It’s ok if you forget to water your little friend every now and then. This plant is relatively drought-tolerant and is able to retain water in its leaves. Of course, you shouldn’t leave your plant thirsty, but if you accidentally do – it won’t lead to any severe damage.
Humidity For Your Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah
Because of the fact that Aglaonemas are from tropical regions, you might think that these guys adore humidity. The truth is that they do. But Sparkling Sarah can also thrive in places that are relatively dry.
However, an extra dry environment (when heating is on, for example) is not beneficial to the beauty.
Here are a few things that you can do, when your houseplant needs a little more moisture:
- Misting is a great way to help your plant survive the dry days. You can use a spray bottle to mildly mist the leaves 3-4 times per week.
Warning! Your Sparkling Sarah shouldn’t stay wet for too long – this might cause some health issues. So, place the houseplant in a well-ventilated area.
- Grouping a few plants together also helps increase the air’s humidity.
- Another effective way to maintain the appropriate amount of moisture is by placing a pebble-water tray under the pot.
Simply fill a tray with pebbles, pour water into it (the water level should be lower than the pebbles), and place the pot over the tray. As water transpires, moisture will rise up and increase the humidity level.
- You can always go the extra mile and buy a humidifier.
Fertilizing Your Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah
These plants go through a sleeping phase during the colder months. That means that they barely grow and don’t need any fertilizer. In fact, extra nutrition during fall and winter can kill the plant (there might be an excessive salt build-up that will simply burn the roots).
However, when it becomes warmer, you can try treating your green friend to a balanced house plant fertilizer. Go for mild doses, about 1 or 2 times per month during spring and summer.
Fertilization is important for many plants as it encourages healthy growth.
Tip: use only half of the dose mentioned on the package to avoid over-fertilizing. Also, make sure to dilute the fertilizer before introducing it to the soil.
Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah should not be ingested!
The foliage has higher levels of calcium-oxalate crystals which can be dangerous for adults, children, and animals. Ingestion can lead to diarrhea, nausea, and ulceration of the throat and mouth.
You should keep the plant out of the pets’ and children’s reach at all times.
By the way, you might want to wear gloves when handling this stunning plant. The sap that oozes out of the stem and leaves is poisonous and can trigger different unpleasant reactions if it touches your bare skin.
Should You Leave the Flowers on Your Aglaonema?
Did you know that your Sparkling Sarah actually has flowers?
The plant sends out flowers when the lighting conditions are bright, but those can easily be mistaken…for a leaf.
The flowers form a spadix that is often surrounded by a green spathe. So, if you don’t know that these plants can bloom, you might end up never spotting the flowers as they look completely different from ‘normal’ ones.
First things first, if you have noticed that your Sparkling Sarah is blooming – congratulations! It means that the plant loves its home and that it is ready to share this home with new baby plants.
Whether you want to cut the flowers off or leave them on is totally up to you.
If you like the way they look (which not everyone does), then you can leave the little guys alone.
However, a lot of people find the appearance of the flowers quite unattractive, so it’s one of the reasons why they decide to get rid of them.
Another reason is the fact that the making of the flower requires enormous amounts of energy. In case you want your Sparkling Sarah to focus on producing lush foliage, it might seem logical to cut the flowers off to help your green friend conserve some energy.
Do you want to grow a few more of these beautiful plants?
The great news is that Sparkling Sarahs are not only easy to take care of, but you can also propagate these beauties without facing any major difficulties.
Here are a few things that you have to bear in mind when propagating Sparkling Sarahs:
- Never completely drench the soil.
- During the first month, keep misting the soil mildly.
- Keep the plantlets in low indirect light (sometimes, medium-light would do too). Give them a few hours of morning sun every day.
- After 4-6 weeks, you can continue with the basic Sparkling Sarah caring guide.
When to propagate?
Between the middle of spring and the middle of the summer.
These houseplants don’t have rhizomes. They form ‘clumps’ or root balls that can be easily separated to form new Sparkling Sarahs.
Here is your step-by-step guide:
- Find a well-grown plant and loosen the soil around the beauty.
- Once you remove the soil, you will see a few clumps. Try to gently separate each clump together with the little roots.
- Use sterilized scissors to cut secondary roots. The cutting should have a little stem attached to it.
- Fill a new pot with a mixture of cow dung and coco-peat (4:1). Place the tiny plants in the pot, about 2-3 inches away from one another.
- Place the pot somewhere with low indirect light.
Tip: if you want to place your new plants outdoors, you can put them under a tree where the little ones will be getting a few hours of sun every day.
- Mildly water the soil. Don’t drench it.
- The baby roots will develop in around 45-55 days.
- After that, you can replant your mini plantlets.
Repeat the first 3 steps that we have mentioned above, but this time place the tiny guys in a glass jar that is half-full with water.
Put the jars in a place with low indirect light. Make sure to change the water every single week – this will help avoid contamination
You would, once again, have to wait for about 45-55 days for the little ones to root out.
Propagation by stem cuttings
This is the easiest method out of them all.
- Remove a few cuttings that are 5-8 inches long with the help of sterilized shears.
Tip: try to always cut from the stems that are a bit older (those have at least 5 shoots).
- You will need a well-drained potting mixture. Plant the stem cuttings 3 inches away from one another.
- Place your babies somewhere with indirect light.
- Water the soil mildly.
- It will take the baby roots around 50 days to develop.
- After that, you can replant the Sparkling Sarahs.
These guys don’t need to be repotted too often. In fact, your Sparkling Sarah is going to feel just fine, if you decide to replace it to another pot once in about 3 years.
However, it is totally up to you. Some experts recommend repotting the plant every year or after it doubles in size (whichever comes first).
Go for small and medium-sized pots with drainage holes. The new pot should be around 1-2 inches bigger than the previous one.
You can leave the plant in the same pot even after your green friend had used up all the nutrients and minerals that the soil had to offer. Simply renew the soil, if you have had the plant for less than a year.
How big do Sparkling Sarahs get?
Depending on the available space, your Sparkling Sarah can get anywhere between 1.5 and 4 feet in size. Each leaf can get to around 8 inches in length.
The maximum height of the plant is 24 inches.
As you can see, the green friend prefers to grow in width rather than in height.
How do you keep Sparkling Sarah bushy?
If you want your plant to be bush, make sure to remove a few new leaves as they appear.
- Firmly grasp the stem with one hand.
- Gently pull the new leaf at its base with your other hand.
- The leaf should come out entirely, don’t leave any stumps behind (such wounds can provoke pest attacks).
- Don’t use scissors.
How should I prune my plant?
Prune your Sparkling Sarah at least once a year to free the lady from any dead leaves.
- Start from the bottom and then make your way up.
- Remove any dead, yellow leaves.
- Use only sterilized shears (disinfection is incredibly important as it helps prevent various infectious diseases).
Can mealybugs become a problem?
Unfortunately, they can.
Mealybugs are oval-shaped insects with 6 legs and a waxy ‘cover’ that give the creatures a ‘cottony’ appearance. The insects also produce sticky honeydew that you might spot on the leaves.
Mealybugs are usually found in leaf axils and on the undersides.
To avoid bug-related problems, you should:
- Quarantine any new plants for at least 2 weeks.
- Wash down the plant with a mix of water and mild dish detergent.
- Apply the solution to the leaves and stems (be careful not to pour the mixture into the soil).
- Use a spray bottle or a sponge to gently clean the plant on a regular basis.
Tip: apply the cleaning solution to the leaves only once the plant had been watered and when it is out of the sun.
Are Aglaonemas prone to rot?
Yes, your Sparkling Sarah can be prone to root and stem rot, if you keep the lady overly wet.
Is Sparkling Sarah an air-purifier?
It is! The gorgeous plant can actually remove such toxins as Formaldehyde and Benzene from the air.
How fast does a Sparkling Sarah grow?
The growth rate depends on a wide range of factors, but all-in-all this gorgeous plant has a slow-to-moderate growth rate.
Bear in mind that during the colder months, Sparkling Sarah might not grow at all (and it’s absolutely fine).
What makes the leaves turn brown?
If your Sparkling Sarah has droopy leaves with faded coloration, it looks like the lady isn’t getting enough moisture. You can mist the lush leaves 3-4 times per week to help them stay colorful and fresh.
Leaves can also turn yellow or brown if you tend to give your plant too much water. In case the soil always stays moist, you should change your watering routine and give the soil some time to dry out (at least at the top half).
Finally, the leaves can turn brown if the plant had changed its environment not that long ago. This is called ‘transplant shock’ and it’s absolutely normal. The little guy might lose a few leaves and show some discoloration.
All you have to do is prune off such leaves and continue to follow the care instructions that you can find above.
To Sum Up
How to care for your Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah?
- Place your friend under bright indirect light, not more than 6 feet away from the window;
- Keep the temperature between 65 and 80°F;
- Stick to a moderate watering routine;
- Mildly mist the leaves about 3-4 times per week;
- Repot your Sparkling Sarah at least once every three years;
- Use a mild houseplant fertilizer 1-2 times per month during spring and summer.
Aglaonema Sparkling Sarah is an amazing houseplant that can adapt to practically any space and wouldn’t require too much attention.
Taking care of such a plant is a real delight. And if you ever want to add even more pink, green, and cream spots into your interior, you now know how to propagate this beautiful plant.