The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is also called the Aglaonema Tricolor. It is a rare plant.
And as its name suggests, its leaves feature a variety of colors.
You’ll see different shades of green along with white. Together, the patterns make its leaves look like camouflage that the military uses.
As you would expect, the plant goes for a hefty price of around $200 or more.
How do you care for the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor? Give it bright indirect light but avoid strong direct sunlight. It needs plenty of light to maintain its colors.
But avoid the intense rays of the sun which can burn its leaves.
Keep the plant in a humid location with consistently warm weather. Use well-draining soil and allow the soil to dry between waterings to avoid root rot.
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Plant Care
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor thrives in bright, indirect light. It needs good lighting to maintain its gorgeous leaf variegations.
It will likewise do well in medium lighting. But avoid low light as this can affect the quality of its leaves.
In low light the lighter colored parts of the leaves will turn more green in an effort to collect more light. That’s because the green color in foliage is caused by the presence of chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll also happens to be the compound that absorbs light for the plant to use in photosynthesis.
So, when the plant is not getting sufficient light, it will produce more chlorophyll as a means to compensate for the lack of light in its surroundings.
In doing so, the plant will lose the beautiful color variegations and you’ll end up with more solid green leaves.
To avoid this, always keep the plant in bright, indirect light.
And if you see the leaves turning more green, move it to a brighter location.
However, while plenty of light is best for the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor, avoid very strong direct light as well.
That’s because the plant is native to the understory of forests where is lives under the canopy of large trees. The branches overhead along with the leaves provide shade.
Thus, the light it gets in its natural habitat is filtered and dappled.
More importantly, the strong, harsh rays of the sun are blocked by the larger plants.
As such, the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is not accustomed to the intense direct sunlight. This usually comes from mid-day between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Indoors, the sun is in the southeast moving to the south and going southwest.
This is why you want to distance the plant at least 3 feet from a southern window to avoid the direct rays of the sun.
Just as importantly, the outdoor sun is stronger than that indoors.
That’s because of the ceiling and walls of our homes that block out most of the rays. Therefore, you need to be more wary or full sun.
The plant likewise thrives in partial shade outdoors.
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is a warm weather loving plant. That’s because it is native to the tropics.
As such, it is used to moderate to hot environments.
This is why its ideal temperature is between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Between this range, it feels very comfortable.
Luckily, humans also enjoys moderate to slightly warm conditions. As such, homes usually have temperatures running around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
As such, the plant easily adapts to indoor growing. And you don’t need to acclimate it or do anything else.
However, the outdoors is a different story.
It may not be much of an issue if you live in tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean climates. In these environments, the plant will fit right into your backyard or garden.
In fact, the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor loves USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 before of this. It is able to live outdoors (if you wish) all year long without any issues whatsoever.
You can keep it in a pot in your patio or yard. Similarly, you can plant it in the ground in your garden and it will grow happily.
On the other hand, in colder regions, the plant is better off as a houseplant.
You can still take the plant outdoors mid to late spring once the weather warms. But make sure to bring it back indoors around mid to late fall once the temperatures drop.
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor has problems when it gets colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, once the weather drops near 50 degrees Fahrenheit, move the plant indoors.
Similarly, keep it in a warm and cozy spot with good lighting indoors. This will help it keep growing through the winter indoors.
Due to its tropical nature, the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor loves humidity as well. It prefers humidity of 60% to 80%.
Although it can tolerate humidity of 50% and slightly lower.
However, the more you can stay in its ideal range, the more it will flourish. And you will see this in the vibrancy of its leaves.
I do know some gardeners who keep the plant in a terrarium.
This gives it the high humidity that it likes.
However, if you prefer to display the plant in your living room or anywhere else, it is important to figure out what the humidity in your home is.
Note that indoor humidity is almost always lower than outdoor humidity. So, do consider the variance between the two.
The simplest way to keep track of what humidity is indoors is to use a hygrometer.
This is a small, affordable and portable device that tells you what humidity is at any given time. As such, you know if you need to do anything to help the plant.
If humidity gets too low, you’ll see the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor’s leaf edges and tips turn brown and crispy. This means they are not getting enough moisture in the air.
A simple way to fix this is to mist the plant.
Note that you’ll need to repeat this every few days as the effects are fairly temporary. Also, don’t over mist the plant such that the leaf surfaces get wet spots.
These increase the risk of fungal disease.
Other options to misting include using a pebble tray or a humidity tray.
Of course, you can always get a humidifier.
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How Often to Water Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor likes consistently moist soil. However, you want to be careful with overdoing it and leaving the plant with soggy, wet soil.
Similarly, avoid letting the plant go dry.
As much as possible. Don’t let the soil go down to under 20%. It does not like this.
And it definitely dislikes it if you allow the soil to get completely dry.
Therefore, avoid the extremes. Both underwatering and overwatering are no-no’s.
Of the two, you want to be more cautious about overwatering.
That’s because overwatering can lead to root rot, which can eventually kill the plant. As such, this is what you want to guard for more when it comes to how often to water the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor.
This also means that the best way to water the plant is to allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry between waterings.
Make sure to test the soil each time before you water. Just feel how moist the soil is by sticking your index finger down 1-2 inches from the surface of the soil.
Never water the plant until the soil at that depth feels completely dry to the touch.
This will allow you to prevent overwatering or watering too frequently.
Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter if you don’t like getting your hands dirty.
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Potting Soil
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor needs rich, well-draining soil. This will allow the soil to stay moist but also prevent overwatering or waterlogging.
In contrast, avoid any heavy, dense or compact soil.
These soils will hold too much water.
Similarly, avoid using regular houseplant potting soil on its own as it does not provide sufficient drainage to remove enough moisture.
Keep in mind that this plant is fussy about water. So, you don’t want to cause it any stress as this not only affects growth but also the quality and colors of its leaves.
To achieve the right soil for the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor, you can mix:
- Orchid bark
These ingredients together will create a soil mix that holds on to just enough moisture to keep the roots happy and hydrated.
At the same time, the perlite keeps the soil light and fluffy while providing good drainage.
Orchid bark is chunky which leaves some air pockets between the soil particles. This increases aeriation even more and allows moisture not only to easily penetrate the soil but also for excess water to drain out as well.
In addition to using well-draining potting mix, it is also a good idea to use a pot with drainage.
Otherwise, the excess liquid that drains from the soil cannot go anywhere. Instead, it builds up at the bottom of the pot keeping the soil wet.
Therefore, choose a container with drainage holes. This will allow the drained water to drip out of the pot.
Feed the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor regularly during its growing season. This will ensure it gets sufficient nutrients that will let to grow and maintain its beautiful variegations.
With fertilizer, what you do is just as important as what you don’t do.
That’s because too much fertilizer is harmful for the plant. So, avoid this at all costs.
Use a balanced liquid fertilizer and dilute it to 50% when applying. Only feed the plant during spring and summer. Stop once autumn arrives.
Then, restart the cycle next spring.
Once a month feeding is perfect for the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor.
You want to focus feeding during its growing period which is spring and summer. This is when the plant is actively growing.
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor will grow to between 1 to 2 feet high. Although, its leaves will spread out towards the sides a bit.
The plant is a slow grower. So, you don’t need to worry about getting surprised one day with a sudden growth spurt.
Its size will generally be manageable, which makes it great for indoor growing.
More importantly, its leaves will make up most of the plant’s size above the soil. Therefore, the more foliage it develops, the more beautiful it will look.
This also means that you don’t really need to do any pruning unless there are some outliers or stems that end up going wayward.
If the plant is a bit sparse and you want it to get thicker, you can pinch it as well to encourage the ends to grow more.
On the other hand, most of the pruning will be to remove any old, dead, discolored or diseased leaves if they do happen.
How to Propagate Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is easy to propagate. And this is a good thing considering how beautiful the plant is.
Additionally, it allows you to grow more plants at home for free.
The most effective way of propagating Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is from stem cuttings.
Here’s how to propagate it step by step.
- Take healthy stem cuttings. This is the most important part as you need to get the cuttings right. Choose cuttings with at least 1-2 nodes and several leaves on it.
- Sterilize your cutting tool and snip the stem about a half inch to an inch below the cutting.
- Set the cutting aside for a while.
- Prepare a pot that will fit the cuttings but not something overly large. Fill it will well-draining soil.
- Apply rooting hormone to the end of the cutting that’s open. Skip this step if you don’t have rooting hormone, it won’t be a problem.
- Plant the cutting in the soil with the node buried under. Then water the soil until moist.
- Keep the pot in bright indirect light with good humidity.
It usually takes 4-6 weeks for the cuttings to root.
How to Repot or Transplant Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor will need repotting once it outgrows it current pot.
For the most part this comes out to around every 2 years. Although, the timing will vary depending on how fast your plant grows.
A lot will depend on how much light, humidity, fertilizer and other factor it gets.
Therefore, a better way is to check whether the plant is root bound or not. Once this occurs, you can repot in spring.
Spring is the best time to repot the plant.
In addition to move the plant to a larger container to encourage it to grow, it also gives you a chance to change the soil.
This ensures that your plant gets fresh soil every so often. It will keep the soil from getting compacted, allow it to stay light, porous and well-draining.
Similarly, this replenishes the depleted nutrients.
If you want to divide the plant to propagate it you can likewise do this when you repot it.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is toxic to people, cats and dogs.
Note that it only becomes toxic when ingested. And it can cause pain, swelling and inflammation of the mouth, throat, tongue and digestive tract.
Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the plant away from kids and pets.
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Problems & Troubleshooting
The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor usually stays pest-free. But it can experience pests just as other houseplants do.
The most common pests you’ll likely encounter with this plant include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies.
These are bothersome when there are only a few of them.
But they become dangerous once they grow into an infestation.
That’s because the suck on the sap of the plant. In doing so, they steal its nutrients and moisture that are meant for the leaves and its extremities.
This is why you see yellow patches that later turn into holes on foliage when pest attacks occur.
The problem with pest infestations is that their large number will deplete the plant’s moisture and nutrients causing it to weaken.
As such, treat the plant as early as possible.
Use neem oil or insecticidal soap spray to eradicate them.
Overwatering is usually the biggest cause of diseases. As such, most of them are man-made.
Therefore, you want to be mindful of how you water and when you water to prevent this.
One of the most serious issues caused by overwatering is root rot.
This happens when roots die. And if too many roots have rotted, the plant won’t be able to support itself since it can only absorb very little water and nutrients from the soil.
Another common issue the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor faces is leaf spot disease.
This time, excess water occurs when leaves get wet and don’t dry quickly enough. So, avoid wetting the leaves when watering the plant.
Instead, water directly on the soil.