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Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor, also known as the “camouflage plant,” is a rare houseplant highly prized for its unique foliage.
Read on for everything you need to know to keep the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor’s camouflage leaves bright and beautiful, and how to propagate this rare plant!
Where can I buy an Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor?
You can easily find the rare Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor for sale on Etsy. Check out this gorgeous plant for sale here!
This plant used to be extremely expensive. Prices are starting to come down now, but they are still not always cheap.
Be sure to read the description thoroughly when purchasing any plant online to make sure you understand exactly what you’re buying (a cutting vs. a whole plant, for example).
Is Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor easy to care for?
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is actually a relatively easy plant to care for, providing you’re giving it the conditions it requires to thrive (which I’ll describe in this post!).
We tend to think of rare plants as being difficult to care for, but that is not always the case.
If you’re a beginner when it comes to houseplants, I would only recommend this plant if you can find it at a reasonable price simply because everybody kills houseplants when they’re first learning!
How do you care for Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor?
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is a relatively easy plant to care for.
The key is to remember this plant grows in the jungle understory, so it likes medium to bright, indirect light, lightly moist soil, and warm, humid conditions. Read on for more details and a complete care and propagation guide!
(Check out this amazing plant! Huge thanks to @plantslovecasey for allowing me to use her GORGEOUS Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor photos for this post!)
Can Aglaonema grow in low light?
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is a jungle understory plant, so while it can grow in low light, keep in mind providing it with increased light will help it maintain its vibrant camouflage variegation.
How much light does Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor need?
Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal for this Aglaonema. It can handle low light but will become leggy and probably won’t grow as vibrant. Always make sure to keep the light indirect.
If you need help determining the light levels in your home, check out my easy guide to natural light for indoor plants.
When do you water Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor?
Keep this plant’s potting mix consistently moist. To achieve this, you can water when the top inch or so of the potting mix is dry. Use your finger to feel the moisture level of the potting mix before you water in order to avoid overwatering.
Note that MOIST is different from WET. Leaving a plant sitting in constantly wet conditions is a recipe for root rot!
What kind of soil does Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor need?
I know, “well-draining potting mix that holds some moisture” sounds contradictory. This just means the potting mix will keep some moisture, but the majority of the water will still drain out so your plant won’t be sopping wet.
Being native to Sumatra, the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor prefers warmer temperatures.
Your normal household temperature should be fine as long as it doesn’t get below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (about 18 degrees Celcius) or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (about 29 degrees Celcius).
Does Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor like humidity?
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is native to a tropical environment, so you can help them really thrive by providing them with more humid conditions!
The easiest way to do this (and my favorite method) is by using a humidifier. Check out this awesome humidifier below—it can run for up to 96 hours!
What is the best fertilizer for Aglaonema?
Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted by half, once a month during the growing season (the spring and summer).
When should you repot an Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor?
You should repot your Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor no sooner than every other year. This is because it likes to be rootbound, so it doesn’t need to be repotted often.
BUT, eventually, it will outoutgrow its pot and need to be repotted. You can check if your plant is very rootbound by looking for the following signs:
- Lots of roots coming out of the pot’s drainage holes
- Slipping the plant out of its pot and checking if the roots are significantly swirled around the outside of the soil and bottom of the pot
- Stunted or sad-looking growth is also sometimes a sign that your plant is too rootbound
Try to repot your plant during the spring or summer (the growing season). Use a pot the next size up from its current pot, and make sure it has good drainage.
Pruning is not necessary for this plant except to remove any dead or dying leaves once the leaves can be gently pulled off. If you can’t pull a leaf off, just use a clean pair of scissors to cut the leaf off at its base.
If your plant blooms, you should consider cutting them off using clean, sharp scissors. The blooms sometimes end up sucking energy away from the rest of the plant.
Since this Aglaonema is so prized for its foliage and NOT its flowers, you’ll want the foliage to have as much energy as possible!
How do I make my Aglaonema bushy?
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor won’t grow bushier than it normally is, so there is no way to prune it to achieve bushier growth like you would with some other plants.
What you CAN do—if your plant is getting leggy (stretched-out stems with fewer leaves)—is bury the stem deeper into the potting mix. The nodes along the buried part of the stem will grow roots.
Flowers and Foliage
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is easily recognized by its camouflage-pattern leaves consisting of three different shades of green—light green, green, and dark green.
This plant occasionally blooms a spathe and spadix, but its blooms are not nearly as magnificent as its camo foliage.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, you should consider cutting off the blooms with a pair of clean, sharp scissors so they don’t suck energy away from the rest of the plant.
Cleaning the Leaves
If you notice dust or grime collecting on your plant’s leaves, gently wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth while supporting the underside of the leaf with your other hand.
Keeping the leaves clean will help the plant photosynthesize better.
Growth Rate and Size
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor will generally grow to be about two feet tall at the most.
This plant is a relatively slow grower, but you can help it grow as fast as possible by providing it with optimal growing conditions.
Problems and Pests
- My Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is losing leaves – Calm down! It’s probably OK. This plant sometimes loses its leaves under stress. If it loses all its leaves but the stem is still there, there is a pretty good chance your the leaves will grow back.
- Drooping leaves – The most common cause of drooping leaves is underwatering, but it can also be caused by overwatering if root rot is starting to develop. Too much direct sunight can also cause drooping leaves.
- Brown, crispy leaf edges – Your plant is most likely too dry—this could be in terms of humidity or soil moisture. Sheck the plant’s soil and the humidity level of your home to help determine the cause.
- Yellow leaves – Overwatering is the most common cause of this, especially for plants that like to remain moist because it can be hard to distinguish “moist” from “wet.” To help avoid this, feel the soil with your finger before you water your plant so you can tell if your plant actually needs it.
- Pests – Pests are not a huge problem for this plant, but like any houseplant, the risk is always there. I really like using Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control for general pest prevention and control.
How do you propagate Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor?
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is typically propagated by dividing the plant or taking stem cuttings.
Propagate Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor by Stem Cuttings
- Identify a node on a stem of a mature, healthy plant (the nodes are the bumps along the stem that produce new growth—leaves, roots, etc.)
- Use a pair of clean, sharp scissors to cut off the stem below the node (meaning, the node should be ON the part you cut off)
- Place the cutting into a container of moistened potting mix, making sure at least one node is buried
- If you prefer, you can root the cutting in water first and then transfer it to potting mix once the roots are a few inches long
- Place the cutting in a warm, humid environment with bright to medium indirect light. Keep the potting mix lightly moist as the roots develop
- After about a month, give the cutting a gentle tug. If you feel resistance, a root system has developed and you can start treating your stem cutting like a normal plant
Propagate Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor by Division
In order to divide a plant, there needs to be a few sections that have their own root systems. So, you’ll need to wait for your plant to mature a bit before you can divide it.
Division is usually done while repotting so that you can plant each section into its own individual pot.
- Remove your plant from its pot
- Identify one or more sections that have their own root systems (depending on how many separate plants you want)
- Gently separate the root system of each section from the mother plant
- If you can’t do this using your fingers, use clean, sharp scissors to cut them away. Try to do as little damage to the roots as possible
- Pot up each section into its own appropriately sized pot. The pots should not be too big, otherwise it could lead to overwatering. Make sure each pot has a drainage hole, too
- Water each new plant and the mother plant, and care for them how you normally would
- Give the new plants and the mother plant some time to adjust. They might be in shock, so it’s normal for new growth not to appear right away
Can you grow Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor seeds?
Yes, you can also grow this plant from seeds, but this requires a lot of patience, and usually a lot of experience, too!
Is the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor toxic?
Yes, unfortunately, Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is toxic so be sure to keep this plant out of reach from pets or children.
How do you care for Aglaonema?
Here is a summary for Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor care discussed in this post:
- Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal
- Keep the soil consistently moist—water when the top inch or so is dry
- Use a well-draining potting mix that will still hold some moisture
- Keep in a warm and humid environment
- Use a balanced fertilizer diluted by half once a month during the growing season
- Repot no sooner than every other year—it likes to be rootbound
- Prune to remove any dead or dying leaves
There are many species and varieties under the Aglaonema genus, but some popular ones include:
- Aglaonema Rotundum
- Philippine Evergreen
- Aglaonema Nitidum
- Aglaonema ‘Siam Aurora’
- ‘Pink Splash’ Aglaonema
More Aglaonema Posts
Once again, huge thanks to @plantslovecasey for allowing me to include her stunning photos in this post!
Here are some of my favorite houseplant supplies:
Full-Spectrum Clip-On LED Grow Light. Why I love it – The clip makes it so easy to put almost anywhere, and the two lights with their adjustable necks make it super versatile. The timer and dimming functions are also so handy.
Stackable Moss Pole. Why I love it – Plants that climb in the wild will benefit from being able to climb in your home, too. But the thing about plants is, they grow! It’s not helpful to have one small moss pole. This pole comes with two stable pieces and once your plant surpasses those, just order another and keep stacking!
Full-Spectrum Stick-On Grow Light Strips. Why I love it – These stick-on light strips work perfectly for my greenhouse cabinet shelves. They would also come in handy if you’re keeping plants in something with a top, like a bookshelf. These lights also have a timer and a dimming function.
Whisper-Quiet 1.7-Gallon Ultrasonic Humidifier. Why I love it – Using a humidifier is one of my favorite ways to provide humidity to my plants. This humidifier lasts up to 96 hours, which means less work for me!
Top-Fill 2.8-Liter Ultrasonic Humidifier. Why I love it – This humidifier is a little more budget-friendly. It’s extremely easy to refill and it can last up to 24 hours!