Caladiums are some of my favorite plants. I know by now you may have gotten tired of hearing me say favorite plants, because I seem to have too many favorite plants. Yet what can I do? I just love plants. When I blog about plants, it’s as if my heart runs free. Allow me to take a breather from the highly-technical health topics this blog abounds in and just let me rave about something that I feel so at home with– plants.
Caladiums are those graceful houseplants with tall, stately stalks bearing delicate heart-shaped leaves. The state of Florida is said to be the Caladium capital of the world and hosts an annual caladium show which attracts thousands of visitors each year. Wikipedia says there are about 100,000 varieties of caladiums. If so be, then I have a loooong way to go before completing my caladium collection.
The following are a few of my new caladium collection.
Here is the typical form of a caladium: heart-shaped leaf which is quite large, about 4×3 inches, though some could go larger. This particular kind of caladium has a lime green –colored leaf with an interesting sprinkling of white and pink candy sprinkles. So pretty upclose, though the sprinkles are not visible from a distance. Caladiums do not typically bear flowers but this one does, and the beautiful thing is that they bear peace-lily-like flowers. I don’t have a picture of the flower, though.
This is a dwarf caladium variety which has very slender stalks and minute leaves. Just around 3 inches tall, this caladium makes for a pretty table centerpiece. The minute leaves look strikingly bright because they are almost all-white except for the bright green which runs along the vein network. You know me and my never-ending love affair with green and white houseplants. For now, this tiny caladium sits prettily atop our church piano, quivering gracefully when tickled by an occasional breeze.
I’m not even sure if this one is a caladium (Update: This is not a caladium after all, see reader comment below.), yet it is also my favorite. It’s rather tall, I’ve even seen a 4-foot tall plant somewhere in my city. This caladium is very beautiful with its “green dalmation” look.
Here is a closer shot. The blending is magnificent, almost as if the leaves are finger-painted. I like to set this in the corner as it really deserves to stand out, what with its height and its color. Still another example of a green and white plant.
This particular type has red-to-irridescent pink veination set off against a dark green background. One thing I love about caladiums is that they have waterproof leaves and so water droplets form beautifully into glowing balls on top. They look amaze-balls after the rain.
Here it is up close. Stunning both from afar and . This literally glows during noontime, I don’t know why. This looks best against a white fence.
That’s my yet-small caladium collection, folks. This will grow in time. I’ll see to that.
How to care for caladium
Caladiums are very easy plants to care for.
- Light. They love partial shade best, preferably where the sun is filtered by a canopy of trees overhead. I have observed that the colors get muted under full shade and the leaves curl up and burn under full sun. So partial shade is the ideal condition.
- Temperature. Of course, as I live in tropical Philippines, I do not know about winter care, so head off somewhere if you want to know this kind of info.
- Watering is only once a day.
- How to grow. Divide the plant down to its roots when they get too many stalks in a pot, or you can plant it on the ground so they can grow very large leaves.
- Fertilizing. I never use synthetic fertilizers. From time to time, I drop in pounded egg shells, diluted urine (!), mulch made of coco peat and rich soil from my compost.
Update: A reader, Michelle Low (see comment section below) confirmed my suspicion that the above “dalmatian-look” caladium is indeed not a caladium. I am opting to not remove the photo however, as it is a beautiful sight.