Home Plants Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor – Features, How to Grow and Care

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor – Features, How to Grow and Care

by gardeningit
Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is a one-of-its-kind, beautiful plant with interesting foliage and a very “humble” nature considering how low-maintenance it is. These are slow growers and have stunning oval-shaped leaves with unique variegation. True to its name, Tricolor, the plant’s foliage shows a mixture of three different shades of green- light, medium, and dark. These plants are perfect for indoor environments and thrive in regular household conditions so they are very well-loved houseplants.


  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Genus: Aglaonema

About the Genus Aglaonema

In Greek, “Aglos” means “bright” and “nema” means “thread”. This genus of plants is particularly ideal to be kept indoors as it does not enjoy the regular tropical and sub-tropical environments. Also known as the Chinese Evergreen, these plants are very popular for their foliage, whether original or variegated. The oval-shaped leaves with their glossy appearance are an absolute bliss to be sighted.  The Aglaonema plants have over 100 varieties, each of them different in terms of size, colors, and shapes but what makes all of them so popular is how beautiful they are and how much they can adapt to different indoor environments. The Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is one of these beautiful varieties.

Common Names and Synonyms

  • Chinese Evergreen Tricolor

Origin and Distribution

The Aglaonema genus is found originally in the tropical and subtropical areas of the south of China, Malaysia, and New Guinea. It is also found to be native to the Philippines. Not only are they found thriving in the tropical and subtropical areas of rain forests, but they are also spotted around swamps and uplands as well. What is surprising to a lot of botanical specialists is that even though these plants have tropical origins, they are equally fond of growing indoors in low-humidity environments.

The particular Aglaonema Pictum is found in the Sumatra and Nias Island from 2000 meters to down to 35meters around the popular volcanos’ slopes

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Features

Foliage and Stem

These plants have big, beautiful leaves with a glossy texture and an oval shape. They have short stems that grow about 30 to 60 centimeters tall and about 2 centimeters thick. The petioles grow about 4 to 7 centimeters long that hold leaves with a crisp outline. The leaves are about 10 to 20 centimeters long and 4 to 6 centimeters wide. They have a defined, showy venation on top of dark, spectacular leaves with a variegation of silver and lighter shades of green.


The good news for the Aglaonema Tricolor owners, these plants are evergreen, meaning that they stay lush and beautiful throughout their lives, unaffected by the passing seasons. This is one of the many reasons houseplant owners love this species.


These particular plants are compact and grow about 2 feet high and not any more than that. They spread around the same width too.

Temperature Tolerance

Even though they are pretty adaptable in terms of environment, cold, freezing temperatures are the one weakness of an Aglaonema plant. To avoid any growth problems and potential death of your precious plant, make sure you shift it to a more suitable spot during cold, windy weather.

Humidity Tolerance

The tropical origin of this species allows it to grow in a mildly humid environment but too much of it can frustrate your plant. Remember, it can survive in a moderately humid environment but prefers low humidity.


Aglaonema plants grow a spadix which ultimately grows unisexual flowers. The flowers near the base only contain a female part and the ones near the tip are mostly male flowers. These flowers have a green-white color and grow fruits in the form of yellow or red berries. It is just a thin covering layer over a big seed. The plants bloom during the spring or summer season but the foliage of the plant remains to be the primary attraction.


An Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor does not die if deprived of water for a few hours or days, so technically, it is drought-tolerant. However, it does not grow the best in such dry, water-deficient circumstances so it is suggested that you make sure your plant stays nice and hydrated all the time.

Pressure Tolerance

These plants have a rather delicate structure and would not tolerate the pressure of being stepped on or pressed against another object. Make sure you keep it somewhere more open where it can grow to its potential and where no one would accidentally step on it.

Disease and Pest Resistance

Even though no serious complaints are reported with this plant, it is still, however, prone to annoying bugs and insects like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Under excessively moist conditions, Root or Stem rots may occur. You can spot a potential disease or insect attack by paying close attention to the foliage and stem of the plant. Weak, brown, or pale-looking leaves may indicate an underlying abnormality. You can even find these insects roaming around the soil or hiding under the leaves. Small spider webs under the leaves are an ideal indicator that your plant has been visited by mites.

However, do not panic. Simply, isolate your plant so it doesn’t spread to the other plants around. Trim the plant and prune the parts that are dead or diseased.

If the condition is severe, spray some fungicide, insecticide or, if needed, re-pot the plan. Take care of it as usual and put it back next to the other plants once it starts growing normally again.


As mentioned before, these plants are slow growers and tend to take their time to develop into their full size, so, if you are taking good care of your plant and it is not showing visible progress in terms of size, do not panic because, with this one, consistency is key.


As pretty as it is, this species is not edible. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which can cause mild to severe physical symptoms if ingested. These symptoms range from a stomach ache to difficulty in swallowing as well as swelling of the mouth and throat. You must keep these plants away from your pets and children.


These plants have a perennial life cycle which makes them very durable plant. This also makes them economical as you don’t have to worry about replacing them for quite a long time and their purchase is worth the money.


One of the many reasons why Aglaonema Tricolor is a hit among houseplant enthusiasts is because not only are they surprisingly stunning, they are also surprisingly easy to manage. If you are a busy person or a beginner with houseplants, these will be the perfect choice for you.


Allow the plants to “rest” during the cold, frosty winter months. During this time, do not feed or propagate the plant. Just water it according to its needs. It will come back to bloom in spring.

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Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Care

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor care requires water and food only once a couple of weeks depending on the individual needs of the plant. They thrive in well-lit rooms with low-level of humidity and do not have to be repotted or groomed very often.

Water Requirements

To ensure that the plant thrives, keep it well hydrated and moist. However, make sure the soil is not soggy or wet. You can water the plant whenever the top 2 to 4 centimeters start to feel dry. Use your finger to feel the texture of the soil or use a moisture meter for more accuracy. You can water the plant regularly or several times a week depending on its individual needs, just make sure that the soil is not water-clogged, as that can lead to rots, or too dry, as that can make your plant droopy. The watering requirements of the plant usually decrease during the winter seasons.


When it comes to growing mediums and soil mixes, these plants are not very choosy. They thrive well in a good-quality, organic, well-drained soil that is not too thick or too sandy. The soil should be light and should contain equal parts of favorable ingredients like charcoal, peat, and sand. The pH should be slightly acidic to create ideal growing conditions.

Sunlight Requirements

Aglaonema is a shade-loving plant because of the natural origins of the species. It only prefers indirect, filtered lights. Indoors, you can place them inside the well-lit, bright room near windows that face north or east. However, sunlight needs usually depend on whether the plant is variegated or not. A plant-like Aglaonema Tricolor could tolerate a brighter environment than the darker variations of the genus to maintain the variegation in its leaves.

Remember to continuously keep rotating your plant so that it gets an equal amount of sunlight on all parts of it and grows symmetrically in terms of shape, size, and color.


As discussed earlier, these plants are very adaptable when it comes to their environment. The best temperature range for them to grow healthy is between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 to 25 degrees Celsius. This temperature is close to the average room temperature and so, it is ideal to be grown as a houseplant.

However, any temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (or 10 degrees Celsius) are not suitable at all for these plants. Frosty temperatures are an Aglaonema plant’s biggest weakness and can quickly affect them negatively. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, shift your plant to a more suitable, warmer spot during the winter seasons.


As discussed earlier, even though these plants can technically survive moderate amounts of humidity, they still prefer a drier atmosphere than most tropical plants. Even still, occasionally misting its foliage with distilled water can help the plant stay hydrated and clean, especially if the weather seems drier and the air lacks moisture inside the house.
In such cases, you can also group the water-loving plants or place the pot on the pebbles of a pebble tray and add some water at the bottom. If the dry air persists more most of the seasons of the year, you can even install a humidifier indoors.

Fertilizer Requirements

You can feed your Aglaonema once every month with a balanced, organic, liquid fertilizer. The plant’s fertilizer needs increase during the growing seasons of spring and summer and decrease during the winter months. During the cold season, you can feed it once every 5 to 6 weeks. The feeding frequency of these plants mostly depends on the individual plant and the kind of fertilizers you intend to use. There are three types of fertilizers you can choose from water-soluble, fast releasing fertilizers, temperature-controlled slow releasing fertilizers, and organic fertilizers. The slow-releasing fertilizers are usually fed to the plant once in a season while the fast-acting plant food can be given quite a few times.


Since these plants like to be root bound, they are not supposed to be repotted very frequently. You can repot them to a bigger pot once every 2 to 3 years. You can repot them in case of an insect or disease emergency as well.

Grooming and Pruning

You do not need to prune the plant very often. Just remove the dead, dried-up leaves and keep it clean. Mist and wipe the plant often and dust it regularly. And while you pay your regular visit to the plant, take the opportunity to examine the plant thoroughly to check for any signs of an insect invasion and underlying disease.

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor Propagation

It is suggested that you propagate an Aglaonema plant during the spring and summer seasons. There are various ways of doing it. You may use a stem or root cutting, or seeds to propagate an Aglaonema plant. The stem cutting method is the most popularly used.

  • Start by sanitizing your equipment and tools because you don’t want to spread any germs or diseases. Also, make sure you wear protective clothing to avoid hurting yourself during the process.
  • Simply use a blade or knife or a pair of scissors to cut a stem from the parent plant that has leaves attached to it.
  • Dry the cuttings before you start to propagate them.
  • Now, plant them in a pot with moist soil with tips at least 4 to 6 centimeters under the soil. Keep the pot at a warm temperature and indirect sunlight.

If you wish to propagate through the seeds of the plant, wait till the plant blooms in spring or summer and remove the fruit from the plant.

  • Open the fruit and separate the seed from the pulp.
  • Wash it thoroughly and,
  • Place them in a mixture of equal parts of peat and sand.
  • Now water it and keep it under optimum growing conditions.


Day 1-7: Plant the cutting or seed into the proper soil and water it appropriately under the right conditions.

Week 1-5: Roots start to form by the end of the first month.

Years 2-4: Your plant will take its time to fully mature and develop to its full size. A combination of patience and consistency is the key.

Aglaonema Tricolor Growing Problems

Brown/Yellow Leaves

The most common reason behind pale-looking leaves is a transplant shock. A transplant shock is a normal condition that a plant goes through when it is planted into a new substrate or medium without a well-developed root system. It is common for plants to lose a few leaves and look unwell for a while. To manage this, simply prune the leaves that have dried and water the plant regularly under favorable conditions.

Drooping Leaves

The most common cause of a droopy Aglaonema plant is inappropriate or inadequate light or water supply. The plant becomes weak and un-well under direct sunlight and dry soil. Similarly, in inadequate light, the plants start to look pale, eventually wilt and droop. A water-clogged soil can also make your plant look unwell with droopy leaves and brown edges, while a thirsty plant has dry, crispy leaves. Examine your plant and figure out the root cause of the problem. Fix the underlying problem and your plant should be fine.

Some FAQs

Can Aglaonema Plant Root in Water?

The answer is yes. You can root an Aglaonema in water by placing the cutting in a water medium and letting it grow. However, the water-planted roots will not do very well once they are shifted to the soil.

Displaying Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor

Because of their extremely unique foliage and environmental preferences, these plants are ideal to be kept indoors. You can display them against a plain wall, in an empty corner, or in a room with a monochrome interior. These are great to add a touch of color to your place. But that does not mean that you can display them in a colorful environment. Their tropical aesthetic is very versatile and looks great anywhere and everywhere. Their convenient size is an added factor of portability, which makes it easier for you to place them in small corners, on shelves and move them around the house whenever you want.

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor For Sale

When trying to purchase this plant, make sure you know what age and size of the plant you want and what you can manage because the younger the plant the more attention it needs. Examine the plant you choose to make sure it does not have any rots, infections, or pests.

However, if you are looking for an Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor for sale online, the following are a few websites you can find it on:

Final Thoughts

Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor is a beautiful variegated plant with foliage true to its name: tricolor. It consists of three beautiful shades of green (light, medium, and dark) and is a rare but very popular plant. Even though it originated from tropical areas, it grows spectacularly well in regular indoor conditions. Its easy care and management, as well as simple propagation, make it a hit in the botanical community. Not only are these easy to grow, but they are also very easy to display as well. Just make sure you keep these plants away from your pets and children as they are very toxic.

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