The Emerald Gem plant, also called Homalomena, is a tall plant with spade-shaped, waxy, dark-green leaves. It comes from tropical Asia and South America. Since this plant is usually between 12 and 30 inches tall, it is great for places with height limitations.
Even though it is related to the philodendron, which is easy to take care of, the Emerald Gem plant is slightly pickier and needs more care. But if you’re bored of the typical houseplants, an Emerald Gem is a nice addition to your collection. These plants are thought to be slightly poisonous, so pets and kids should stay away from them.
Emerald Gem Plant Care Guide
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An Emerald Gem plant needs medium indirect light, but bright indirect light serves even better. These plants, also known as homalomenas, can survive with low lighting, but tend to get spindly and thin. Without adequate sunlight, the bottom leaves of this plant can turn yellow and fall off.
At the same time, the leaves will burn if they get too much direct sun, so make sure to avoid that as well. If the plant doesn’t get enough sun or if some parts of the plant do not receive sufficient light, the Emerald Gem Plant can grow long stems that reach for the light. To fix this, make sure the plant gets enough light from all sides. If not, you may end up with a leggy, stretchy plant with an irregular appearance.
The hardest part of taking care of an Emerald Gem plant is making sure it gets enough water. Just like with poor lighting, the bottom leaves of the plant can fall off with too little or too much water. Over-watering is generally the main reason behind these yellow bottom leaves. Before you water, you should always wait until the top half of the soil dries out. When you water, do it enough that the water runs out of the holes at the bottom of your pot. The Emerald Gem plant is not a fan of the cold, so make sure to always use warm water and never avoid adding extra ice cubes in its soil.
The plant is in the active growth phase in summer and spring. During this period, feed the Emerald Gem plant once a month with a balanced houseplant food that has been watered down to half the recommended strength.
If the plant is still producing leaves come winter and autumn, you can fertilize it every alternate month.
As mentioned, the Emerald Gem plant prefers warmth, and thrives best in indoor temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 27 degrees Celsius). Make sure to keep the plant away from air conditioners and cold draughts.
Temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit will hurt the plant, so if you keep it outside in the summer, for example, and the weather starts to get cold, you should bring it back inside.
While Emerald Gem plants enjoys moderate to high levels of humidity, it also does well under regular indoor humidity.
The Emerald Gem plant produces white, tall spaths.
Emerald gem plants are fairly resistant to pests. Mealy bugs and red spider mites can spread when the weather is warm and dry. Keeping the plant in a place with a lot of humidity and washing it under running water can both help keep these pests away.
The Emerald Gem plant is quite resistant to disease. That said, overwatering may sometimes lead to root rot.
For an Emerald gem plant, use a loose soil with a lot of perlite, peat moss, and hard sand. The soil should drain quickly. This kind of soil helps stop root rot caused by too much water.
The roots of this plant prefer being slightly crowded. However, once the roots have completely filled the current pot, you need to move the plant to the next size up (but make sure that the new pot is not too big). You must also ensure that the new pot has holes at the bottom for water to drain out.
The Emerald Gem plant is quite symmetrical, and hardly ever requires pruning.
You can propagate this plant by splitting it into new plants. It is best to perform the propagation while repotting the plants in the spring.
To divide, cut off a piece of the rhizome with two to three leaves and plant it in a pot with equal parts peat moss and sand. Make sure the soil in the pot is wet.
Cover with a plastic bag and place in a warm area with moderate sunlight until the roots start to grow.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Emerald Gem Plant
Should I Get Rid of My Emerald Gem Plant’s Spaths (Flowers)?
Since the spaths of this plant are quite insignificant, you can pull them out to make more room for leaf growth.
Why Are My Homalomena Emerald Gem Plant’s New Leaves Smaller and Farther Apart than the Old Ones?
Because the plant isn’t getting enough light, its leaves are getting smaller and further apart. Move your Emerald Gem Plant to a place with more bright indirect light and increase the frequency of fertilization.
Is the Homalomena Emerald Gem Plant Toxic?
The Emerald Gem, if ingested, can be poisonous for both animals and humans.
For this reason, you should avoid this slightly poisonous houseplant if you have pets or small children at home. If you do want to keep this plant, make sure to place it somewhere where it will be impossible for your kids or pets to reach it.
Why Are My Homalomena Emerald Gem Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?
If only a small percentage of the leaves turn yellow, the plant is probably just getting rid of its old leaves so it can grow new ones.
However, if a lot of leaves turn yellow at once, it may be because the plant is getting too much water.
Yellow leaves can also be caused by cold draughts or abrupt shifts in temperature.
The Homalomena Emerald Gem is a low-maintenance plant that requires easy-draining soil and a moderate amount of light.
With the right light and water supply, Emerald Gem plants generally live long and healthy lives.