The genus aglaonema has about sixty species of evergreen, herbaceous plants, originating in south-eastern Asia; they reach 100-150 cm in height, but there are numerous dwarf or compact varieties, which remain below the meter, or even below 50 cm. They have a short fleshy stem, from which long lance-shaped leaves branch off, slightly fleshy, which can reach 30-40 cm in length; the leaves of the Aglaonema they are of various colors, generally green, with yellow, light green or white streaks and variegations; the plants appear as dense, roundish bushes. In spring they sometimes produce some spade-shaped flowers, similar to small white or greenish calla lilies. These plants are very much cultivated as houseplants, because cultivation is very easy, and the appearance is very decorative.
While preferring the rather bright positions, which enhance the coloring of the leaves, the aglaonema pictum endure without problems conditions that would be unfavorable for other plants, from the complete shadow to the bright light; they fear the direct rays of the sun, which cause burns on the leaves. Like many other houseplants, they fear the cold, and are cultivated at a minimum temperature above 12-15 ° C, avoiding sudden changes in temperature.
Varieties with mottled leaves need more brightness to avoid losing their color, a very common factor in case of shaded exposure.
In the hottest periods, since the plant prefers a humid climate, it is good to provide nebulisations of water at room temperature on the leaves.
During the hot months water with regularity, always waiting for the soil to be dry between one watering and another; in autumn and in winter water less, vaporizing the leaves with demineralized water, every 3-4 days. Generally these plants can withstand short periods of drought, but they fear water stagnation and excessive watering. To avoid the formation of water stagnation, the pot can be placed in a saucer in which pebbles or expanded clay have been placed, so that the plant's roots do not remain in contact with the water in the saucer.
Every 25-30 days add some fertilizer for green plants to the irrigation water.
They are cultivated in the common universal soil, possibly mixed with little chopped bark and washed river sand. Aglaonema pictum plants grow rather slowly, so repotting can take place every 2 or 3 years, using a slightly larger pot than the previous one.
In autumn or late spring it is possible to divide the clumps, maintaining some well-developed roots for each portion practiced. The Aglaonema pictum can also be multiplied by seed in the spring period, sowing in special containers making them descend below the surface gently. The containers should be kept in a shady place with a constant temperature of around 20 ° C. Another technique to multiply these plants is to use cuttings, picking up the branches with new shoots and placing them in a rich and fertile soil, arranging the pots in rooms with temperatures around 20 ° C.
Aglaonema pictum: Diseases
In general they do not particularly suffer from the attack of fungal parasites or insects; it may happen that the leaves turn yellow, due to the presence of mites on the underside, or due to sudden changes in temperature. The mites that cause this phenomenon are the red spider mites and for their elimination, besides resorting to special products, it is also possible to increase the degree of humidity with sprays of water on the leaves, given that these parasites do not bear this element.