10 Plants That Look Like Chinese Evergreen

When it comes to indoor plants, few make such a striking impression as a Chinese evergreen. Also known as a Philippine evergreen, the Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) is a group of large, tropical plants perfect for indoor use. There are many varieties of Chinese evergreen.

However, they are typically identified by their large, oval-shaped leaves and unique coloring. Most Chinese evergreens have multicolored leaves with patterns and stripes. You can find Chinese evergreens with green, white, pink, and red colored leaves.

And despite so many Chinese evergreen cultivars, other plants look similar also to them. These plants might be an excellent alternative to the Chinese evergreen or a good companion. Some of these plants include:

  • Snake plant – long, striped leaves similar to a Chinese evergreen.
  • String of hearts – similar colors and patterns as a Chinese evergreen.
  • Elephant ears – similar in size to a Chinese evergreen.
  • Spider plant – thin, striped leaves that look like Chinese evergreen.
  • ZZ plant – similar leaf shape to a Chinese evergreen.
  • Pothos – leaves and patterns look like Chinese evergreens.
  • Prayer plant – the patterns and colors remind one of a Chinese evergreen.
  • Rubber plant – the leaves have a similar shape to a Chinese evergreen.
  • Zebra plant – similar leaf shape and colors as the Chinese evergreen.

Follow along to learn more about how these 10 plants look like a Chinese evergreen and how you can tell them apart.

1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Sansevieria trifasciata
Forest and Kim Starr Sansevieria trifasciata

A snake plant is likely just as common as a Chinese evergreen for an indoor plant. This plant has long, sword-like leaves that grow vertically from the base. What makes them similar to a Chinese evergreen is their coloring. Snake plants are a vibrant green with yellow edges and white markings over the leaves.

Although the markings aren’t as prominent as on most Chinese evergreen varieties, they are still visible. Snake plants are easy to care for. They also grow between 1 and 3 feet tall, making them the same size as a Chinese evergreen.

2. String Of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)

Ceropegia woodii
Brigitte Rieser Ceropegia woodii

Although a string of hearts is a draping plant, unlike a Chinese evergreen, the coloring and patterns of this plant still remind one of Chinese evergreens. As the name suggests, the leaves of a string of hearts plant are heart-shaped and hang from their soft, supple stems down the plant.

The most common string of hearts variety is green with white markings, just like many Chinese evergreens. However, there is also a pink string of hearts variety that reminds one of harlequin Chinese evergreens and other varieties.

Like the Chinese evergreen, a string of hearts makes an excellent indoor plant. It is equally impressive as a Chinese evergreen. It is, therefore, a good alternative if you need a hanging plant with the same colors.

3. Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta)

Colocasia esculenta
Forest and Kim Starr Colocasia esculenta

Another plant that will impress people who visit your home is an elephant ear. The elephant ear can grow up to 8 feet tall but usually reaches between 4 and 5 feet indoors. The elephant ear is known for its large, heart-shaped leaves that look like elephant ears.

Although most elephant ear plants are a uniform color, the leaf’s veins make it look like it has stripes. This makes the plant look like Chinese evergreen, especially in certain light conditions. Since these plants are about the same size and shade of green, they are excellent companion plants for large indoor spaces with sufficient light.

4. Persian Shield (Strobilanthes Dyerianus)

Persian Shield
Ali Eminov Persian Shield

The Persian shield is one of the most beautiful indoor plants available. This plant grows up to 5 feet tall and has large, oval-shaped leaves resembling Chinese evergreen leaves. A Persian shield might look like a unique Chinese evergreen cultivar to the untrained eye.

Unique because the Persian shield stands out in any room because of its bright purple leaves. The leaf’s veins and edges are green, making the purple stand out even more. And, because the green veins give the plant a patterned effect, it reminds one of the patterns on a Chinese evergreen.

5. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Chlorophytum comosum
Forest and Kim Starr Chlorophytum comosum

Like the snake plant, a spider plant has long, sword-like leaves. However, spider plant leaves are much thinner than those of snake plants. They also have a green edge and white center, which reminds one of a Chinese evergreen.

Spider plants are much smaller than Chinese evergreens, reaching only about 15 inches high. This makes them a perfect companion plant for the Chinese evergreen. Furthermore, spider plants are excellent indoor plants with the same light requirements as a Chinese evergreen.

6. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Maja Dumat Zamioculcas zamiifolia

The ZZ plant has fewer similarities with a Chinese evergreen than other plants on this list. Yet, it is similar in size and does just as well as an indoor plant. The ZZ plant grows 2 to 4 feet tall, the same size as a Chinese evergreen. The ZZ plant has dark green leaves.

While the leaves are oval but much smaller than Chinese evergreen leaves. They also grow opposite on long, bendy stems. Because of how “plain” the ZZ plant is compared to a Chinese evergreen, it is a perfect companion plant.

7. Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum)

Epipremnum pinnatum
Forest and Kim Starr Epipremnum pinnatum

Pothos, also known as devil’s ivy, is another plant similar to a Chinese evergreen. Pothos plants are creepers/trailers and grow up to 10 feet tall indoors. They have heart-shaped leaves covered with white markings, making them look more like Chinese evergreens.

Some Pothos varieties also have plain green leaves, a medium-green shade. Like Chinese evergreens, Pothos plants prefer bright, indirect light. They are another great alternative to a Chinese evergreen if you want some color variation but don’t want the height of a Chinese evergreen.

8. Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)

Maranta leuconeura
Scott Zona Maranta leuconeura

Prayer plants are another excellent indoor plant with leaves that remind one of a Chinese evergreen. These plants grow up to 15 inches tall, which makes them ideal for a lower-rising Chinese evergreen alternative. Prayer plants are identified by their dark green leaves with lighter green markings down the middle.

The veins of a prayer plant are also usually a lighter green. Some varieties have dark pink or purple markings – the coloring makes it easier to mistake them for a rare Chinese evergreen cultivar. Prayer plants have large, paddle-like leaves and require bright, indirect light.

9. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Rubber Plant
Mokkie Rubber Plant

The rubber plant is yet another well-known indoor plant. This tall indoor plant grows between 6 and 10 feet tall. The leaves are dark green and glossy. They grow on opposite sides of long, straight stems that give the plant its height.

Some rubber plant cultivars also have white edges or spots on the leaves, making them look like Chinese evergreens. Rubber plants also have oval-shaped leaves that have a similar effect to a Chinese evergreen.

And because they are the same height or even taller than Chinese evergreens, rubber plants are an ideal companion plant for an empty corner in your home.

Related: 5 Plants That Look Like Rubber Plants

10. Zebra Plant (Calathea zebrina)

Finally, the zebra plant is another showstopper that competes with a Chinese evergreen. They grow about 2 feet tall indoors, making them the same size as a Chinese evergreen. Moreover, the zebra plant has large, oval-shaped leaves covered with white stripes.

The white stripe runs down the plant’s center and over each leaf’s veins, which is why this plant is named as it is. The coloring also makes the plant look like a Chinese evergreen, despite the leaves generally being a darker green.