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Caladium is a plant of bulbous origin belonging to the Araceae family, it is a tropical as well as a sub-tropical plant originally grown in the South America. One of the most unique characteristics of the caladium is that its leaves are the major attraction rather than its small and less visible bloom. Caladium grows well in a shady location. Thus, the foliage dries off quickly when kept in a direct sunny location. As it a tropical plant grown in the forest, creek banks and it requires warm temperature to survive. It has mainly seven species and is commonly found in Brazil, South America and Central America. This plant grows up to the height of 40-90 cm tall and has big sized broad leaves of about 15 to 45cm long.  Caladium comes in variety of colors and the major visible colors are pink, red and white. These colors form the major attraction to towards this plant. Caladiums also come in a hybrid form. Caladium x hortulanum produces long lasting foliages. They serve as the garden borders. Caladium can be grown as a houseplant or it can be grown to serve as plant that brightens up the shady parts of the garden. They are regarded as an ornamental plant and serves well as a border plant.


Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class    : Liliopsida

Order   : Alismatales

Family : Araceae

Genus  : Caladium

Propagation: It is possible to practice the division method in propagating the plant. In this method we divide the tubers while planting.

Care: Taking care of any kinds of plant is important. Taking care of the caladium includes watering the plant occasionally, planting it in the warm soil with shady location and providing the necessary fertilizers to create vibrant colored foliage. Also keep in mind, the plant requires a well drained soil.

Although caladiums are shady plants, there still are some varieties of caladiums that grow in the full sunlight but will need to provide extra water to the plant. These caladiums show extra varieties of beautiful colored foliages.

Foliage: The major attraction of the caladium is the foliage. It comes in a mixture of colors and the foliage is in heart shape. These unique leaves are blended with exciting colors and they look wonderful although with not so visible to small flowers. They grow in a rapid scale and provides a beautiful landscape. When you let the caladium grow in the shady environment, the foliage grows larger in size but upon keeping it in the direct sunlight, the foliage yield is smaller. Also the color of the foliage varies according to the provision of sunlight, more exposure to sun, greater the beauty of the foliage with mixture of fresh foliage. They are popularly grown and kept both indoor and outdoor.

Leaves: The leaves of caladium present a unique appearance; it has a colorful leaves beautifully designed with deep colored vein.

Bulbs: The bulb size of the caladium varies, larger the bulb size, larger the foliage and greater the yield. The yield is wonderful with big sized bulbs. Smaller the bulb cheaper and smaller the foliage and it has less performance. Big bulbs need to be spaced 12”-18” apart and small bulbs need to be spaced 6”to 8” apart. Moreover, keep in mind to let the bulbs rest during the winter months, store them in a dry and safe environment away from extreme cold.

Flower: Flowers are not the major attraction of a caladium. Those tubers planted in the right location and in the right season produce some small flowers when well matured and these flowers at times produce pleasant scent. Some gardeners cut off the flowers assuming that they take in a lot of energy required for the proper growth of the plant.

Plantation: The best time to plant caladium is during the spring months and the best time is right after the frost gets over. It grows well in the soil temperature of 65˚F to 70˚F. You are suggested to plant the bulb with the top side up so that it grows fast. A gardener of caladium should plant the bulb to the depth of 3/2 to 2” deep into the soil. Mulch the soil and water after the bulbs are planted for a better healthy growth. And the best time to water is early morning and in the evening after the sun is down. You are also advised to space the bulbs-2bulbs each or 1 bulb per square foot.

 Temperature required: Caladium requires a shady, humid and warm environment to thrive. They grow much better in partial sunny location to shady location. But there are some exceptional species of caladium that are sun tolerant and can be planted in hot sunny environment too.

Care: When you are in process of taking care of the caladium, few things are to be kept in mind. Make sure that you plant the bulbs in a well-drained soil. They require winter storage. Make sure to dust off the mud and the bulbs are not moist before the storage. Also store them in a dry location with proper temperature (15 C). It can be planted in a container or on the shady part of the garden. Make sure to water well and provide good amount of compost manure.

Insects/Diseases: Caladiums are sometimes attacked by insects and fungi. Thus, you are suggested to use an insecticide or a fungicide.

Caution: Caladiums grown in the tropical areas are poisonous and are likely to cause skin irritation.

Varieties:  1) C. Apple Blossom

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