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Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor – Camouflage Plant Care

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor – Camouflage Plant Care

(Photo By Seth Woodworth via

Aglaonema pictum tricolor or Chinese Evergreen Tricolor is a slow-growing sub-tropical shrub and the variegated form of the more common Aglaonema pictum species. It is often referred to as the camouflage plant because of its pattern.

Araceae is the family where the Aglaonema genus belongs to according to the Oxford Academic Website.

Aglaonema is a genus of 40 different species. The genus has hundreds of different cultivars and comes in many different colors.

Aglaonema pictum plants grow in elevation of 1000 – 2000m on the slopes of volcanos in Sumatra and Nias island.

The species was described by Carl Sigismund Kunth in the year 1841.

Aglaonema pictum tricolor as the name suggested has three different colors on its leaves. It has dark green, bright green and white spotted leaves that give it this unmistakably cool army look.

Its leaves are oval to elliptic and longer than wide and it has thick woody stems.

These plants are very rare and thought after. Not only are they hard to find but they also tend to be quite pricey.

In most countries around the world, an Aglaonema pictum tricolor will set you back around $200.

We covered all the relevant aspects for you to ensure that your Aglaonema pictum tricolor care is spot on.

Let’s now move on to the next section starting with the right soil for your houseplant.



Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Care

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Care


Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Plant Care Guide



Well-draining rich soil is best. They do not like to be in compact soil. A mix between perlite, orchid bark as well as peat is a great mix for these plants.

Good drainage is essential as they are subtropical plants that need a lot of humidity and frequent waterings. 

To not run into problems such as overwatering and root rot your potting mix has to be airy and rainwater well.

A good indicator of well-draining soil is if the water starts to drain quickly out of the pot after you watered your plant.



No direct sunlight as this will burn the leaves of this plant. Aglaonema pictum grows in low light conditions in the understory of very humid tropical forests.  

However, this doesn’t mean that you should only provide little light under houseplant conditions. The sunlight in nature is much stronger than any grow light or light your plants receive through windows.

Since the Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is variegated it needs bright but indirect light to thrive and maintain its beautiful variegation.

Diffuse the light a bit if you can to ensure that it is not too direct or strong.



Keep the soil slightly moist but reduce watering in winter months. Water frequently whenever the topsoil is about to dry out.

These plants do not take dry periods as well as overwatering very well. I can tell from my personal experience that they are very fussy in this regard and either over- or underwatering may lead to you losing this expensive jungle gem.



Keep the temperature between 60°F to 85°F  (16°C – 29°C). This is a subtropical plant that needs to be kept warm.

It will not appreciate cold spells well. Avoid temperatures below 50°F (10°C) and make sure that winter temperatures stay in the range of 60°F to 64°F  (16°C – 18°C)



Keep the humidity levels up for this one. Aglaonema pictum tricolor does best in Terrarium conditions where you can keep the humidity high.

This is a subtropical plant after all that grows in the jungles of Sumatra and Nias island.

Hight to very high humidity above 65% is advised. I keep mine in a terrarium where the humidity stays above 90% and my Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor thrives.

In case you cant keep your Aglaonema in a terrarium make sure to provide a pebble tray that is filled with water underneath and plan spraying your plant with water frequently using a water bottle.

If humidity is too low these indoor plants tend to develop crisp leaves that will wilt quickly.



Use a diluted fertilizer at half the recommended strength. Fertilize every two weeks in Spring and Summer.

Do not feed the plants in autumn and winter months where the plant is not in its main growing phase.



Aglaonema pictum tricolor can be propagated by stem cuttings or division. Further methods are root division and tissue culture. Have a look below for a more in-depth step-by-step propagation tutorial.



These plants get 12-20 inches (30 -50cm) tall and have a woody stem that is  0.1-0.8 inches ( wide. 



Repot every 3-5 years in Spring or Summer to ensure your Aglaonema pictum tricolor does not get root-bound.


Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Propagation Step by Step

Let’s dive into how to propagate an Aglaonema pictum tricolor. The most common ways to propagate these beautiful Aglaonemas is to either use stem cutting or by division.


Propagate Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor from stem cuttings

Stem cutting is the way to go and the most common method to propagate and Aglaonema pictum tricolor.  Make sure that the section you are cutting has several leaves and sections.

This will significantly increase the chance of an successful propagation. Most sources will suggest taking cutting with at least 5 leaves but from my personal experience, even a section with no leaves can be propagated.

Let’s now have a look at the step-by.step propagation guide for Aglaonema Pictum tricolor:

  1. Identify a section on your plant that you want to propagate
  2. Make sure to have at least one node
  3. The top cuttings wit the terminal bud is usually the one with the most chances of success
  4. In order to cut the plant make use of either a pruning shear (best choice), scissors or a knife
  5. Whatever tool you are using, make sure that you sanitize it before use
  6. I suggest to hold it under a lighter for a couple of seconds and to use rubbing alcohol afterward
  7. Make a clean cut on the stem of your Aglaonema Pictum tricolor
  8. Root the cutting in water, soil, coco coir, Sphagnum Moss or Perlite
  9. After 25-45 days your cutting will start to develop roots and turn into a new plant

Other means to propagate your plant are root cuttings, propagation from seeds, or of course tissue culture propagation also know as micropropagation.

For the last option, you will need absolutely sterile conditions and laboratory equipment. I prefer the stem cutting method and have done so with success in the past.

Aglaonema however is not an easy plant to propagate from my point of view as cuttings rot quite easily and the roots that are forming are fragile.

Let’s now move over and have a look at the most common problems that I hope you will never face with your plant.


Common Problems with Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor


Brown leaves

Brown leaves on an Aglaonema pictum tricolor are a typical sign of either underwatering or insufficient humidity.

These plants intake the majority of their water needs through their leaves as they grow in humid jungles in their natural habitat.

Crisp leaves and brown tips are usually a sign that the humidity levels you are providing your plant are not sufficient. 

When you see brown spots on the leaves make sure that the soil it is not too dry. You should keep the soil of your Aglaonema slightly moist at all times and never let it dry out completely. This is specifically important in spring and summer months.

You can reduce your watering in winter but you still need to adhere to a frequent watering schedule. Aglaonema pictum tricolor does not take underwatering well. 

A different reason as indicated can be that the humidity levels are too low. I recommend using a terrarium as humidity should be kept at 65% plus for these tropical indoor plants.

In case you keep them in your apartment or house you will need to use different means in most conditions to keep the humidity up.

A good idea is a pebble tray filled with water. Misting once a day is also a good idea as Aglaonema pictum tricolor will uptake the humidity through its leaves.


Yellow leaves

Yellow leaves are a typical sign of overwatering. Old leaves can also turn yellow and fall off. However, whenever I spot a yellow leaf on my Aglaonema pictum tricolor I usually check if the root system is healthy.

Brown mushy roots are a clear indication that the soil has been kept too wet for too long and that your plant has developed root rot.

We talk about root rot in-depth in the following article.


Drooping leaves

Drooping leaves on an Aglaonema pictum tricolor are an indication of either too much sun or insufficient watering.

Closely monitor where your plant is when the leaves are starting to droop. Does the Aglaonema get a lot of direct sunlight for multiple hours? If so, leaves will start to droop and might even curl.

A different reason for drooping leaves can be underwatering. Aglaonema pictum tricolor can store water in its stem but it does not appreciate being underwatered. 

A humid environment plays a further important role as Aglaonema Pictums intake a lot of their water through the air. 

Let’s now have a look at how you can ensure that your Aglaonema is thriving.


Tips to keep Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Problem-Free

Here is a summary of my top tips and tricks to keep your Aglaonema pictum tricolor growing healthy and vigorously:

  • Provide high humidity of 65-90% is best. You can easily maintain this level of humidity by providing an enclosure such as a terrarium for your Aglaonema.
  • I cannot stress how important the right soil mix is. Use light and airy potting mix. Read our best tips and tricks to mix an optimal potting soil.
  • Water regularity and never let the soil completely dry out
  • Fertilize every two weeks during the main growing season in spring and summer.

Moving on to the most frequently asked questions related to Aglaonema pictum tricolor care.


Frequently asked questions about Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor

Where can I buy an Aglaonema pictum tricolor?

Aglaonema is a difficult plant to find. They are propagated in good numbers in Indonesia and Thailand and will find their way to the US and Europa through international trade.

Your best bet is either a plant webshop for exotic plants online or sales throgh individual on Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.


Is the Aglaonema pictum tricolor color real?

The Aglaonema pictum tricolor is the variegated version of the Aglaonema pictum. Its color is not chemically induced or faked. It is a variegated variant of the Aglaonema pictum. The Aglaonema species is very variable in terms of colors, sizes, and looks in general.


Is the Aglaonema pictum tricolor difficult to care for?

Aglaonema pictum tricolor is a subtropical plant that grows in rainforests in Sumatra and Nias island. It is accustomed to warm temperatures and high humidity. The better you are able to emulate these condition the bigger your success in caring for this indoor plant will be.


What humidity level does a Aglaonema pictum tricolor need?

As Aglaonema pictum tricolor grows in the subtropics a humidity level above 65% is needed to keep your Aglaonema happy. I suggest using a Terrarium or plastic enclosure to keep humidity high.


How much does an Aglaonema pictum tricolor cost?

An Aglaonema pictum tricolor will set you back at least three digits. It can cost anything between $150 and $450 dollars depending on your location and of course supply and demand.


Aglaonema pictum tricolor is an army patterned Aglaonema plant that grows in very humid jungles in Sumatra and Nias island.

It is hard to get and currently rather an expensive plant to acquire. Its care is not recommended for the beginner and terrarium conditions are advised for it to thrive.

If you manage to keep humidity as well as the recommended temperatures in the suggested ranges, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of this plant for a long time.

Where did you get your Aglaonema pictum tricolor from if you are currently owning one? Let us know in the comment section.