The caladiums, also called angel wings or elephant’s ears, are a large group of tuberous-rooted plants from northern South America with strikingly colored, paper-thin, heart- shaped leaves, which rise on long, fleshy stalks directly from the base. The color of the leaves varies considerably between the different hybrids and they can be up to 18 in. (45 cm) long. They look particularly striking when they are grouped together or mixed with other foliage plants.
Suggested hybrids: C.b. ‘Carolyn Whorton,’ which has pink leaves with green-black marbling and red ribs; C.b. ‘Gingerland,’ whose gray leaves have white ribs, maroon spots, and dark green edges; C.b. ‘Miss Muffet,’ a dwarf type with white-ribbed, sage-green leaves with soft red centers; and C.b. ‘White Queen,’ which bears white leaves with crimson veins and green edges.
Size: Height up to 2 ft. (60 cm), leaves to 18 in. (46 cm) long.
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Warm; at least 65-75°F (18-23°C).
Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist through spring and summer. Reduce watering to a minimum over the rest period, only to prevent the potting soil from driving out severely.
Feeding: Give a half-strength liquid fertilizer every two weeks during spring and summer.
Propagation: As the plant emerges from its rest period, small tubers can be detached from the parent plant and potted up.
Special needs: To thrive, caladiums need a five month rest period from when the leaves die down in fall until the following spring.