Camo plant, also called Aglaonema pictum tricolor, is one of the coolest looking plants out there. It never fails to catch people’s eyes with its army uniform style leaves.
The fact that it is so hard to get makes it even more challenging for exotic plant collectors all over the world.
Read this all-encompassing care guide to find out everything about this plant.
- What Is Camo Plant?
- Pictum Tricolor Care
What Is Camo Plant?
The Camo plant is a general name for the Aglaonema pictum tricolor, which also goes by the name Chinese evergreen. Its leaves are a mixture of dark and light green with specks of white in them, making it look like an army camouflage uniform. It has woody stems and is extremely rare to find.
Pictum Tricolor Care
Aglaonema pictum plant care includes putting them in bright indirect light, watering regularly whenever the surface of the soil dries up, and using well-draining soil. Don’t forget to fertilize your plant and maintain temperatures within a range of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Read about all of this in detail below.
– Water Requirements
Your camouflage plant needs constantly moist soil for the most part, but make sure it is not runny or watery. Find out the answers to some common questions regarding watering here.
– When Should You Water This Plant?
You should water this plant whenever the surface of its soil becomes dry. Don’t let more than once inch of the soil dry out.
Check the dryness of the soil by inserting a moisture meter into it. If you don’t have a moisture meter, then a pencil or your finger will do as well.
– How To Water This Plant
Use a large volume of water each time you water hese plants. Don’t pour water on the leaves and the stems. Instead, direct water towards the soil and the roots.
Water slowly until it starts to drain from the drainage hole, and then you can stop watering. Collect the drained water in a saucer and drain that as well.
What Type of Water Is Most Suitable for Aglaonema Varieties?
The most suitable type of water for these plants is distilled water as it is free from all harmful minerals and salts. You can also use reverse osmosis or filtered water.
The water you use should be lukewarm and neither too hot nor too cold. If you must use tap water, allow it to sit in a bucket overnight. This allows the chlorine present in water to evaporate before you use it.
– Light Requirements
This plant needs light of high intensity but only indirectly. Direct light will cause its leaves to undergo sunburn in only a couple of hours. Indoors, you can also use artificial lights.
Read below to learn more in detail.
– Growing This Plant Indoors
Keep your Aglaonema pictum tricolor plant indoors in a brightly lit room with large windows. If the plant is located in a southern-facing window, then keep your plant at least three feet away from it. Alternatively, cover the window using a thick curtain.
You can safely keep it near the windowsills of the eastern or the western-facing windows. These windows receive moderate direct light and only for a couple of hours.
The northern-facing window might not be sufficient enough for this plant. You might need to use artificial lights in such cases.
– Growing This Plant Outdoors
When keeping the pictum tricolor plant outdoors, choose a shaded spot for them. Put their pot under a tree or line them along a northern-facing wall.
– Growing This Plant Using Artificial Lights
Sometimes, the light inside the house isn’t adequate enough, and you might have to use artificial grow lights. Buy specialized lights meant solely for plants.
You will have to turn them on for twice the duration of natural light. This means they have to be on for 13 to 14 hours each day.
We recommend using a combination of fluorescent and LED lights. Fluorescent lights are quite potent, whereas LED lights will save energy and electricity bills.
– Soil Requirements
Your plant needs to grow in soil that drains quickly and is loose and airy. You can create your own perfect soil by mixing just a few simple ingredients.
Take an ordinary potting mix and add some perlite to it. This will loosen up the soil and improve air circulation. Then add some bark pieces to it to create spaces in the soil for the roots to grow.
You must also add peat moss or compost to the mix. These elements will improve the organic nutrition of your soil.
– Temperature Requirements
This is a house plant that must be grown within a temperature range of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It cannot tolerate temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit so make sure to bring it indoors during winter.
– Humidity Requirements
The camouflage tricolor plant needs more than 65 percent humidity at all times. During summertime, it is especially important to make sure the humidity is up to the mark. This is because the plant loses water through evaporation at an alarming rate under dry conditions.
– How to Artificially Increase Humidity
There are several effective ways to increase the humidity level around your plants:
- Create your own pebble tray and place it under the plant’s pot. A pebble tray is a shallow tray filled with water and large-sized pebbles. The evaporating water from this tray increases the humidity around your plant, just take care that the pot is not in direct contact with water or else it might get root rot fungal infections.
- Get a humidifier! Sure, it can be a bit expensive to buy and run it all the time, but this is the best when it comes to making sure your plant’s humidity needs are being fulfilled 100 percent.
- Mist your plant lightly from a distance. Misting can be a bit tricky and lead to fungal infections too. Therefore, only mist in the morning so that the water has plenty of time to evaporate before temperatures dip in the evening.
- Move your plants close together. This also increases the humidity around them, but take care that air circulation is not compromised.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Fertilizing is an important aspect of Aglaonema camouflage care. You can use either slow-release or liquid fertilizers. Read when to apply both of these in the upcoming sections.
– Slow-release Fertilizers
These come in the form of pellets. You can bury these pellets mid-depth into the soil, and they will continue to release their nutrients slowly into the soil for a period of three to four months.
The advantage of slow-release fertilizers is that they release their nutrients slowly. Therefore, the chances of your plant getting a chemical burn from them is very minimal. But they are not useful when you want to provide nutrients to the plant as soon as possible.
– Liquid Fertilizers
Liquid fertilizers take little time to provide nutrients to your plant. Buy a balanced one with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20 or 5:5:5.
Always dilute a liquid fertilizer to half its strength using water. You should also water the roots of your plant before pouring in a liquid fertilizer. Both of these practices reduce the chances of your plant getting a chemical burn.
Pruning means getting rid of old and dying leaves and stem ends. This opens up nutrition for the younger plants and also improves air circulation around the plant.
The best time to prune your plants is at the end of the growth period right before fall. Make sure to use clean and disinfected scissors.
You can propagate Aglaonema pictum using three different methods: through cuttings, seeds, and by dividing the adult plant. It’s better to carry out propagation in the early spring and summer. This is when the plant is going through its peak growth period.
Find out the step-by-step procedures for these methods below.
– Propagation Through Stem Cuttings
Here is a guide on propagating using stem cuttings:
- Select a stem on your plant that you want to take the cutting from. It needs to be free of pests and diseases. Make sure that it has at least one leaf and one node in it. No cutting will propagate unless it has a node in it.
- Cut a piece of stem that is at least four to six inches. Make an oblique incision. Always clean your knife before use by using soap and rubbing alcohol on it.
- Place the cutting on a paper napkin and allow it to dry for one to two days. Let callus formation occur at the cut end of the cutting.
- Apply rooting hormone at the cut end. This is absolutely not a requirement, but it does improve your chances of success.
- Take a new pot and fill it with the appropriate potting mix. Insert the cutting vertically into it.
- Place your pot in a bright, warm location. Keep watering constantly.
- Within two to three weeks, your new baby plant will grow.
– Propagation Through Seeds
Buy authentic and premium quality Aglaonema pictum tricolor seeds from a trusted nursery or greenhouse. You want to use only the best products out there!
- Soak the seeds in water overnight, then take a seedling tray and fill it evenly with a store-bought nutrition medium.
- Gently press your seeds into this medium. Make sure there is a distance of at least one to two inches between each seed.
- Take your seedling tray to a warm, bright area. Cover it for extra humidity and keep the nutrition medium moist all the time. However, make sure it is not runny.
- Your seeds will germinate in three to four weeks, but you must still wait for two months before you can transplant the little plants into pots.
– Propagation Through Division
In order to propagate your Aglaonema pictum through divisions, you must take it out of its pot. Why don’t you carry out this task whenever you are repotting the plant?
- Be very careful while uprooting the plant. You must take care not to damage the roots while doing so. It is best to water the soil abundantly the night before so that it is soft and the plant is easily removed from it.
- After uprooting the plant, wash its roots and inspect them carefully.
- Now, carefully separate individual roots along with their stems. Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut them off from one another.
- Plant each of the separated plants in their new pots respectively. As a general rule, your pot’s diameter should be two inches larger than the root ball of your plant.
- Make sure your plant’s basic care requirements are being met.
The most common problems you might find your Aglaonema pictum facing are leaves turning yellow, brown or drooping. Root rot might also result due to overwatering, and you might even have to deal with certain annoying pests.
– Leaves Turning Brown
Brown leaves on the camouflage Aglaonema pictum tricolor plant indicate dryness. This can either be due to underwatering or insufficient humidity. It may also be accompanied by crisp, wrinkly leaves.
Your soil will also appear dry even at the surface and its pot will be lighter than usual. This plant doesn’t tolerate dry conditions well. Improve your watering habits as well as the humidity levels around your house.
– Leaves Turning Yellow
Yellow leaves are mostly an indication of overwatering. Overwatered leaves will also appear swollen, mushy and wet. Lift your pot up, and you will notice that it is heavier than it should be if it is overwatered.
Overwatering is dangerous. It can lead to a fungal infection called root rot which often proves to be quite fatal. Yellowing leaves is usually the first indication of this condition.
Therefore, if you catch this early on, you can just remedy your watering habits right away. Also, check whether there is a problem with the drainage of the soil or the pot.
– Leaves Drooping
Drooping leaves on your pictum tricolor can be either due to underwatering or sunburn. See if your plant is placed under direct sunlight. Its leaves might also start curling in this condition.
If the plant is under a shade and still drooping, check the humidity levels of the air around it. A hygrometer is a perfect tool to measure air moisture levels.
Another less common reason why leaves droop and become limp is frost shock. Make sure your plant’s high-temperature requirements are being met.
– Root Rot
This is a fungal infection that might destroy your plant within weeks. It occurs when the roots of the plant stay in water-clogged soil for a prolonged period of time.
Find out how to identify and treat it in the upcoming sections.
Here are the various causes of root rot:
- Overwatering the plant
- A pot with a very small or no drainage hole
- A compact soil with poor drainage
– Signs and Symptoms
Watch out for these signs of root rot:
- A rotten smell starts coming from the diseased plant.
- The leaves turn yellow and limp.
- Yellow, brown or black rot spots appear all over the plant.
Here is what you can do about it:
- Take the plant out of its pot.
- Wash the soil off and inspect the roots.
- Using a knife, remove the most rotten and dead parts of the plant.
- Repot in new soil and pot.
- Spray a strong fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Spider mites and mealybugs are the two pests that all plant parents need to be on the lookout for. Learn how to identify and treat their respective infestations here.
Mealybugs are the most common pests that might affect your Chinese evergreen plants. They are small, move slowly, and might be mistaken for white spots.
You can find out how to identify and kill them here.
– How to Spot Mealybugs
Look under the leaves and the sheaths of your plant. You will find mealybugs hiding down there in large numbers. Your leaves will be covered with the sticky digestive juice secreted by mealybugs. It is called honeydew and has the tendency to attract mold.
Some other common signs are leaf yellowing, drooping and the appearance of yellow spots.
– How To Eliminate Mealybugs
Wash the plant thoroughly using a good insecticidal soap and water. Apply neem oil on the leaves and the colonies of these bugs. It will remove the honeydew as well as kill the bugs.
Spray your plant with a mixture of milk and water every three days. You can also use a good-quality insecticidal spray.
Spider mites are very small sap-sucking insects. They appear as tiny dots on sight. If you look through a magnifying glass, you will see that they look a bit like tiny spiders that can be of a number of colors.
Read on to learn how to get rid of them.
– How to Spot Spider Mites
The leaves of the plant will develop tiny white and yellow-colored spots on them. You will notice very narrow and delicate spider webs woven around the stems and leaves of the infested plant.
Over time, your plant begins to weaken and starts dying.
– How To Eliminate Spider Mites
Wash the plant using water and soap. You can also use a toothbrush to scrub them off. Spray a good quality insecticide spray on the plant. Make sure to wear thick gloves and protective eyewear while you’re at it.
You can also use neem oil to kill these bugs.
Here is a brief summary of this camo plant care guide:
- The Aglaonema pictum plant is a Chinese evergreen that is very rare. The Camo plant for sale is not something you see in most nurseries.
- Keep the plant under bright indirect light. Provide warm temperatures and more than 65 percent humidity to keep them happy. Make sure your soil is well-draining and loose.
- This plant can be propagated by using cuttings taken from stems, seeds or simply by dividing the mature plant. Repotting is best done every three to four years.
- This plant is generally very unproblematic. However, you might face problems like leaf discoloration, pests and root rot whenever there is a lapse in its care.
This is a plant that is so gorgeous that you will not regret all the time and attention that you give to it. Luckily, it is super easy to care for.
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