When searching for the right tropical perennial plant to grow in your garden, caladium stands among the top contenders.
But why go for caladium?
The reasons are plenty. It comes in wide varieties, requires low maintenance, and is easy to incorporate as a houseplant. Besides, each type has a striking color combination on the leaf that’s hard to ignore.
So read on to find the top caladium varieties to consider.
What Are Caladium Plants?
Caladium plants are otherwise known as angel wings or elephant ears. The tropical perennial plants stand out with their attractive heart-shaped leaves.
Most gardeners grow the showy plant for its foliage. These house plants are native to the tropical forests of central and south America.
Caladium exists in over 1000 different varieties.
Types of Caladiums
Caladium plant has two categories:
- The fancy leaf type
- Strap/lance leaf type
At a glance, the noticeable difference between the two is how the stem joins the leaf. Whereas the fancy caladium joins to the leaf at the center, the lance type does so at the edge.
However, the two types also differ in leaf size, tolerance to sun, structure, and growth rate.
Examples of Fancy Leaf Caladium
Below are some examples of fancy leaf caladiums.
Example #1: Candidum
Some gardeners also call Caladium Candidum angel wings. It stands 12 to 18 inches tall at maturity and spreads out 30 to 45 cm.
The Candidum plant displays white heart-shaped leaves punctuated with dark green veins.
You can reap its full beauty by planting it in a partial or total shade spot. Note that direct sunlight scorches its foliage.
Further, Candidum requires moist, humus-rich, and well-drained soil. Thus, you can grow it as a houseplant, in containers, or on shady borders.
Candidum is a low-maintenance plant that resists most diseases. But it’s toxic to animals if ingested and irritates the skin and eyes.
Example #2: Carolyn Whorton
The Carolyn Whorton is an attention-arresting balcony, patio, or garden beauty. That’s mainly due to its large pink leaves decorated by red veins and green margins.
At full maturity, the caladium Carolyn Whorton reaches a height and width of about 14 to 24 inches. Though it grows best in partial shade, it displays higher tolerance to sunlight than most caladium.
Furthermore, it’s adaptable to soils of different PH values that drain well. When you plant Carolyn Whorton in warm soil during springtime, it registers fast growth.
Ideally, plant it in pots or boxes. During the cold frosting season, it becomes easy to transport indoors.
Example #3: White Christmas
One of the most striking features of the caladium White Christmas plant is its attractive foliage. Unlike many plants, it displays silver-white leaves blended with dark green on the veins and edges.
This caladium ornamental plant flourishes in a full-shade environment. You can hence grow it in hanging containers and baskets on the balcony.
Nevertheless, it can survive in partial shade too. At full height, it reaches 24 inches and spreads out about 24 inches.
As a low-maintenance plant, it requires no pruning. However, you must ensure that its soil stays moist always. Otherwise, excess or inadequate water turns its leaves yellow.
Examples of Strap/Lance Leaf Caladium
Below are some examples of strap/lance leaf caladiums.
Example #1: Florida Sweetheart
The Florida sweetheart caladium stands out if you want to paint a love theme picture on your lawn.
Despite their small size, the arrow-shaped foliage has a showy pink color. Then the wavy green line margins on edge complete the arresting look.
During summer, Florida sweetheart displays unparalleled beauty. Interestingly, it only reaches a height of 12 inches and spreads to a width of 15 inches.
Grow it in full or partial shade, and it doesn’t compromise beauty.
Example #2: Gingerland
The Gingerland plant is easy to spot among the varieties. Its creamy white foliage punctuated with pink or red specks and deep green margins sells it out.
Unlike most caladium varieties, Gingerland has a high tolerance to the sun. You can grow it in either partial or complete shade, and it won’t disappoint.
From its medium height and dense characteristic, caladium Gingerland takes up less space on your patio.
Example #3: Red Frill
Many gardens plant the red frill for its attractive dense foliage. Its leaves have a deep red color and green borders but a wavy edge.
Considering it rises to 14 inches and spreads out to 16 inches, the red frill has a short height.
Owing to its slight sun tolerance, it survives in either partial or full shade. Therefore, it makes an excellent option for shady borders or hanging baskets.
Caladium perennial plants come in diverse varieties. The varied color combination in the leaves makes locating a variety that fits your garden, balcony, or patio simple.
Whether your garden is in full sun, partial or total shade, you’ll find a matching variety. If you want to have head-turning plants for your garden, consider caladium.