Growing Guide
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Fancy-leaved Caladium

Summer and Fall-Flowering Bulb, Annual Flower

Caladium bicolor
Araceae Family
Synonym: Caladium x hortulatum

Exotic and showy, Caladiums are grown for their colorful heart or arrow shaped leaves. The leaves are decorated with colorful shading, veins, margins, or markings.

Site Characteristics
  • part shade
  • full shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
  • requires damp soil
Prefers rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soil.

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers - In part to full shade only.
  • indoors as a houseplant
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Tropical perennial grown as an annual.

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Spread: 1 to 2 feet

Flower color: inconspicuous

Foliage color: variegated

Leaves are variegated with cream, red, white, maroon, pink, or various shades of green.

Foliage texture: medium


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright

Plants are upright and mounded.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Product of horticultural selection. Parents Native to South America.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by division or separation - Divide the tubers when planting out in the spring.

Maintenance and care:
In late winter or early spring, plant the tubers 1" deep in flats of peat and sand. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and at a temperature of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When roots appear, pot the tubers individually. Maintain them in a warm, moderately lit place until all danger of frost has passed.

After frost danger has passed, the plants may be moved outside to beds or planters. In excess shade, the plants will lose their color; in excess heat, they will burn.

In early fall, before frost danger begins, gently remove the tubers from the beds, or bring the pots indoors. With the soil around the roots intact, place the tubers in a warm (60 degrees Fahrenheit) well-ventilated place until the spring.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

More growing information: How to Grow Bulbs

Spider mites
Root knot nematodes
Tuber rot
Southern blight
Bacterial leaf spot
Fungal leaf spot
‘Aaron’: 1 ½’ tall plants with cream leaves edged with deep green.

‘Candidum’: 1 ½’ tall plants with showy white leaves veined and edged with dark green.

‘Carolyn Whorton’: 1 ½’ tall plants with red-veined pale pink leaves heavily spotted with maroon and edged with deep green.

‘Fanny Munson’: 1 ½’ tall plants with red-veined bright magenta leaves with thin dark green margins.

‘Florida Cardinal’: 1 ½’ tall plants with leaves with bright red centers, bordered by deep green to the leaf margin.

‘Florida Sweetheart’: 1 ½’ tall plants with green-edged magenta-rose leaves.

‘Frieda Hemple’: 1 ½’ tall plants with very bright red centered leaves edged with medium green.

‘Gingerland’: white-veined, green-edged gray leaves with heavy wine-colored splotching.

‘Gypsy Rose’: 1 ½’ tall plants with red-veined medium-green leaves heavily marked with pink.

‘John Peed’: red-centered leaves with wide deep-green edges.

‘June Bride’: silver-washed white leaves with green veins.

‘Little Miss Muffet’: red-veined and -splotched medium-green leaves.

‘Mrs. Arno Nehrling’: 1 ½’ tall plants with red-veined cream leaves with deep-green veining and edging.

‘Pink Beauty’: pink-centered, red-veined leaves with medium-green, pink-spotted margins.

‘Pink Symphony’: pale-pink leaves with medium-green ribs and thin margins

‘Red Flash’: red-veined green leaves with heavy white splotching and wide green edges

‘Rosebud’: pink-ribbed leaves with white-bordered pink centers and green margins.

‘White Christmas’: green-veined and -edged white leaves

‘White Queen’: red-veined, red-tinted white leaves with deep-green edges.