An exception to the rule that foliage houseplants are decorative all year-round, this hybrid tuberous-rooted plant dies down in autumn and remains dormant over the winter.
That characteristic, together with the fact that the plants are not easy to grow—they require high temperature and high humidity—leads to many of them being discarded after their first season.
The large, 12-16-in/30-40-cm heart-shaped leaves, which are carried on long, arching stalks, are paper thin and spectacularly marked.
The range of varieties is wide, and leaf colors vary from white with green edges and crimson veins, as in ‘White Queen’ shown here, through rose pink with green margins, to spotted and marbled red, pink, white, orange, and green.
Arum like flowers may be produced, but they are insignificant compared with the foliage. The plant is also known as elephants ear.
ORIGIN Tropical; South America; West Indies.
HEIGHT To 2ft/60cm.
POTTING MIX Peat-moss based.
REPOTTING In spring, add plenty of pot shards to guarantee good drainage.
PROPAGATION When repotting, you can break off small tubers from the parent and pot them separately, at the same depth as they are thick, to produce new plants.
KEEPING PLANTS Allow the potting mix to dry tut completely when the foliage dies down. Keep it dry until spring, when repotting takes place.
CALADIUM X HORTULANUM Araceae Angel Wings PLANT CARE
- Bright light but no direct sunlight.
- Warm conditions: at least 70°F/21°C, but 80°F/27°C is better.
- Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season and mist the foliage daily.
- Set the plant on a tray of moist pebbles to raise the humidity.
- Apply half- strength liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks during the period of active growth.
ALSO RECOMMENDED TIPS AND GUIDE
Keep the humidity high by misting the foliage and standing the pot on a tray of damp pebbles.
Keep the tuber virtually dry during the winter and restart it into growth in warm conditions (about 75°F/24°C) in spring.
Direct sunlight will scorch the delicate foliage.
Paper-thin leaves are available in a spectacular choice of colors, and need to be protected from cold and drafts at all times.
Also know this fact for CALADIUM X HORTULANUM Araceae Angel Wings plant
Caladium x hortulanum ‘Pink Beauty’ has green leaves with red ribs and pink marbling in the center. The leaves of‘Carolyn Morton’ are bright pink with red ribs and broad dark green edges.
The bushy ‘Frieda Hempel’ has bright red leaves, red ribs, and dark green margins.
Caladium leaves have a magnificent coloration which differs from variety to variety and within the leaves on a single plant.
And the paradoxically fragile translucency of the leaves increases their attractiveness. In addition, their shape and huge size are reminiscent of an elephant’s ears.