Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema) plants are native to southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, explains Lindsay Pangborn, a gardening expert at Bloomscape. "These plants evolved in humid, tropical rainforests, growing along the forest floors in dappled shade," Pangborn explains.
People started bringing them inside and keeping them as houseplants—ones that could survive in darker parlor rooms, at that—around the Victorian era. Over time, Chinese Evergreens have been bred to take on bright shades like hot pink (Aglaonema Creta), and today, you can find many varieties of the plant in offices, shops, and residences that don't get a lot of bright light, as well as in tropical gardens.
You can usually spot a Chinese Evergreen by its leaves: They're long, with a strong vein running down the middle and a speckled pattern along the sides.
"Because of their tolerance for both moist and dry conditions, and the fact that they will tolerate low light, they are a perfect choice for less than ideal light conditions or forgetful plant owners," says Pangborn.
While it isn't the fastest-growing plant, Chris Satch, a plant specialist at Horti, has found that Chinese Evergreens can get up to 3 feet tall when properly cared for. With time, it can also spread outwards and grow up to 3 feet wide.