Caladium: Greenhouse Plants
T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
Tropical S America and W Indies
Most of the plants available are hybrids of Caladium bi-color and are admired for their thin delicately coloured leaves marbled, splashed and veined with red, pink, white, cream and greens giving them their common name of Angel-Wings. A tropical house is needed to grow these exotic plants, providing them with the shady damp humid conditions they would have enjoyed in their natural habitat at the fringe of a Guatemalan or Brazilian rain forest. The plants grow from a tuberous rhizome which should be started into growth in March. Fill a tray with moist peat and plant the tubers so that their tips are just above the surface. They should be watered in well but subsequently very carefully while the roots are growing. When the leaves have begun to unfurl they can be lifted out gently and potted into peatyeither singly or several together to make a good potful. Throughout the summer they should be kept warm, moist, shaded and liquid fed every week.
By the autumn they will begin to look the worse for wear which is a signal to gradually reduce watering and prepare for the dormant stage. When the plants have died right back to the tuber they should be left in their pots in a warm place and kept dry but not bone dry for long periods; it is a good idea to water them occasionally. Either being too cold, too wet or too dry will result in your finding a rotten or shrivelled tuber when March comes around again. Propagation is by division at planting time.