How to Grow Caladium - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Herbaceous Category   /   2023

Caladium, or Caladium bicolor, is a beautiful, easy-to-grow plant that is perfect for adding a splash of color to any garden or indoor space. Though they are typically grown as annuals, they can be overwintered indoors in cooler climates. With their large, heart-shaped leaves in a variety of colors, caladium make a stunning addition to any space.

How to Grow Caladium - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Caladium plant? Unless you're growing them indoors, plant caladiums after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed. They're not fussy about soil as long as it's well-drained, so amended clay or sandy soil is fine. Set the tubers an inch or two deep, spacing them 8 to 12 inches apart, and water them regularly until they sprout, which takes about two weeks.

Plant Size

How big can it be? If you are looking for a plant to fill a small space in your garden, look no further than the caladium plant. Caladiums only grow to be about 30-60 cm in height and width, making them the perfect size for border plants or for filling in gaps between larger plants.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? Because they are tropical plants, they require warmth and humidity to grow and thrive. They are not frost-hardy, so they cannot be planted outdoors until all danger of frost has passed. They can be planted in pots and brought outdoors when the weather is warm and humid enough. They will not tolerate direct sunlight, so they should be planted in a shady spot. They will need to be watered regularly, but not too much, as they are susceptible to root rot.

Caladium Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Herbaceous
Family Araceae
Origin West Indies, Tropical South America

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The reason they don't last that long is because they are tropical plants. They like warm, humid climates and will go dormant in the winter. So, if you live in a place with a normal winter, you can expect them to last 1-2 years. If you provide good care, they may last a few seasons.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? The plant loves the heat, so in the summer the temperature should be 59-75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, in winter, the temperature should not be lower than 55.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If the plant's roots are wintered, the temperature should be 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit.


What about the humidity? Common ly known as Elephant's Ear or Angel Wings, the caladium is a tropical plant that is often grown as an annual in cooler climates. It is a tuberous plant with large, heart-shaped leaves that come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They are often used as ornamental plants or as houseplants. The caladium prefers a humid environment and will do best if the soil is kept moist. However, they will tolerate periods of drought and will go dormant if the soil becomes too dry. They dislike having water sprayed on their leaves, so it is best to water them from below.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? The best light for a Caladium is bright scattered light. This can be achieved by placing the plant near a west or east window. Avoid direct sunlight as it will scorch the leaves.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Caladium? Because it is a native of South and Central America, it is used to growing in slightly acidic light fertile soil. The ideal soil mix for Caladium is equal parts of sand, humus, peat and turf. You can grow Caladium in pure peat. However, because Caladium is a tropical plant, it requires good drainage.

Watering Time

How much I must water Caladium? known As "Angel Wings", "Heart of Jesus", and "Elephant Ears", Caladium are tropical plants that are grown for their beautiful, colorful leaves. They are native to South and Central America, and thrive in warm, humid climates. They are typically grown as annuals, and will die back in cooler weather. Caladiums need moist, well-drained soil, and should be watered regularly. They prefer partial to full shade, and will not tolerate full sun. In the summer, they should be watered 3-4 times per week, and the soil should be kept moist, but not too wet. When growth slows and new leaves stop appearing, watering can be reduced to once per week. In winter, the rhizomes should be kept in moderately moist soil, and watered every 2 weeks or so.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. While the plants are actively growing, from early May until late September, apply a liquid fertilizer every two weeks at half the recommended concentration.


How to reproduce Caladium? The best way to propagate a Caladium is from tubers in late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins. Each tuber should have at least one good leaf bud. Tubers can be divided into smaller pieces, making sure that each piece has at least one leaf bud. Plant the tubers in a well-drained, peaty potting mix and water sparingly until new growth begins. Germination temperature should be about 21°C (70°F). Once the new leaves appear, gradually increase watering. If you live in a warm climate, you can also propagate Caladium from seed. Sow the seeds in a well-drained, peaty potting mix and cover with a very thin layer of potting mix. Keep the seedlings moist but not soggy and at a temperature of 21-24°C (70-75°F). Seed germination usually takes two to three weeks.


Why Caladium won't bloom? The flowers of the Caladium plant are not very showy or colorful, and they don't have a lot of value. The leaves of the plant are much more striking, and they are what growers focus on.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Caladium? Since this plant is thermophilic, in our latitudes it is grown as an annual. Every year in March it should take out the old tubers from the pot and plant about 3 tubers in a pot 18 cm in diameter. Keep the pot at very low humidity and 71,6-75,2 ° F (put on the radiator) until the seedlings appear. Tubers quickly rot at the beginning of growth, if they are heavily moisturized.

Caring The Caladium

How to care the plant? While the plant is resting in autumn, the leaves will die and watering should be reduced. Be sure to cut off the dying leaves in a timely manner. In winter, the tubers should be kept in old soil or sand at a temperature of at least 55.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant loves heat and moisture and is tolerant of shade. It does not tolerate drafts and does not like water falling on the leaves. The leaves are very thin and should not be wiped.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Caladium plant? While it is quite unpretentious, it is very capricious in terms of lighting and temperature. The plant does not tolerate direct sunlight, it is better to place it in a bright diffused light. The leaves of the plant are very sensitive to changes in temperature and drafts. If the leaves of the plant are brown and dry, it means that the air in the room is too hot and dry. The leaves of the plant can also twist in too hot and dry air. If the leaves of the plant are withered and discolored, it means that the plant does not have enough light.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Caladium poisonous? Unless you are certain that the plant is not toxic, it is best to keep it out of reach of small children and pets who might put the leaves in their mouth. All members of the Araceae family contain oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation if chewed. In severe cases, they can cause difficulty breathing and swelling of the throat.