Caladiums are tropical perennials that have almost unparalleled foliage and make showy houseplants.
Caladiums have large, arrow-shaped, and paper-thin leaves that come in a striking array of colors and patterns. A mass of caladium is an explosion of whites, greens, reds, and pinks that are mottled, veined, and striped. They can easily give you the visual impact of flowers while only being foliage plants.
They are tuberous plants that grow foliage only from spring to autumn. They also require very high humidity, have absolutely no cold-tolerance.
These plants like bright, indirect light when grown indoors. They prefer full to part shade when grown outdoors. When grown indoors, they do best with lots of heat, bright but indirect light, and plenty of humidity. Even under the best conditions, caladium foliage lasts only a few months before the leaves start to die back and the plant goes dormant again. This is okay—they're supposed to do that. The narrower the leaves, the greater the sun it can withstand. Growing them outdoors in containers gives you more control over light conditions.
When leaves appear on the plant, water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist. Never let the plant dry out. Stop watering the plant when the leaves start to die back. Resume watering when the leave reappear next season.
The warmer the better for caladium houseplants. Aim for 70 degrees Fahrenheit, if possible, as that is the temperature at which tubers begin to grow. Keep the humidity as high as is practical. When planting outdoors, you can transplant potted tubers (or, better yet, simply transfer them in peat pots) after the last frost date for your area. Plants grown this way should be started indoors four to six weeks prior to transplanting.
These plants can be toxic to cats and dogs if eaten.
Caladium Dragon Heart
A single Caladium Red Dragon in 15cm plastic nursery pot.