Caladio – Caladium x hortolanum – Caladium x hortolanum – Indoor plants – Caladio – Caladium x hortolanum – Apartment

The caladium is a very decorative plant: it is particularly appreciated for its large, colourful and particularly shaped leaves. Unfortunately, since it is a tropical plant, it is not easy to cultivate because it prefers mild temperatures and a high level of humidity . It can be used permanently to decorate the interior or inserted in the garden, in flowerbeds or borders, but only during the summer.

The Caladium x hortolanum is a perennial tuberous herbaceous plant native to South America. It has long slightly curved stems, fleshy and smooth, which lead to the apex large roundish leaves or heart-shaped, pointed, two-tone or three-colored, white, pink, red and green, ranging in size between 25 and 60 cm, shiny and thin.

There are numerous hybrid species of caladio, so we can see caladarium coloured in a variety of ways, usually with edges and veins of contrasting colours with respect to the central part of the leaf page.

The colors of the leaves are more intense if the plant is grown in a bright place A very acidic soil will cause leaves with darker and stronger colors.

Caladium x hortolanum


foglie Caladio The caladium wants, during the vegetative period, a very luminous exposition, but the direct sun must be avoided.

The Caladium x hortolanum like to position in half shade or full shade, as far away as possible from the direct rays of the sun that could ruin the leaves. They fear a lot the cold, therefore they have to be taken outside only in late spring and summer, the rest of the year they spend it in the house, in a bright and airy place.

If you want these plants can be grown as the most common tuber plants, such as dahlias for example, then they can be planted in the ground in the spring, to create an exotic and special flowerbed in a shady place.

With the arrival of the cold, the leaves will begin to dry out, so you can unearth the tuber, cut the leaves now dry, and store the plants in a dark and dry place, such as a bag of fabric filled with peat and sawdust; the bags should be kept away from the cold winter.


Famiglia, genere, specie

 Araceae, Caladium, 12 specie.

Tipo di pianta

 Pianta con foglie decorative, da serra o appartamento




 Da leggere a frequenti




 Fire 15 giorni, per piante verdii



Minimum temperature


Temperature ideal


Luogo di coltivazione

 Serra fredda with a temperature of


 Poco luminosa (esposizione ad Ovest)

Umidità ambientale

 Alta: circa 70 %.


 Vaso about the blockage


 Bark, fibre of cocco and palm, a po’ di bag


 Fino a 50 cm


 Su steeli, fino a 10


 Bianco, rosa, arancio, lilla, rosso, marrone


 Molto profumati



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caladiumDuring the vegetative period, from March to October, the plants of Caladium x hortolanum need abundant and regular watering, especially if they are grown in the ground, allowing the substratum to dry slightly between one watering and the other and checking that there are no stagnations of water dangerous for the health of these plants. During the cold months, thin the watering if the plants are grown at home. Every 20-25 days, add green plant fertiliser to the water of the watering.




Rest (no irrigation, 16°C, dark)


Frequent irrigation


Modest irrigations

 Spring, autumn


 Spring-autumn, every 15 days%.


piante caladio The plants of caladarium prefer loose, slightly acidic soils, rich in organic matter and very well drained. Use a compound consisting of peat, balanced soil and sand in equal parts.

They should be grown in small containers (maximum 8-15 cm, depending on the size of the bulb). This will allow the plant to grow faster and counteract the danger of rottenness. They are suitable for growing in mixtures for green plants but the ideal is to create the substrate ourselves.

A good mix of leaves, peat and sand is a good one, with some garden earth added if necessary. A thick drainage layer is important at the bottom. The repotting takes place every year at the end of winter, placing the bulb at a depth of about 2 cm.


È only necessary from spring to autumn: we give a liquid product for green plants every 15 days.


The tubers of this plant often produce shoots, which must be separated from the mother plant with a sharp knife, and then be grown as new plants. It is also possible to multiply the Caladium x hortolanum by seed, but, due to the great genetic variability, the plants obtained with this technique will not have the same characteristics as the mother plant.

Pests and diseases

Caladium x hortulanum pianta This plant may be affected by aphids or root rot if the ambient humidity is too high.

To combat the problem of aphids, it is advisable to intervene quickly with the use of a specific insecticide, or with the use of natural compounds based on garlic, to be boiled in water and vaporized on the affected leaves.

Species and varieties

The genus consists of a fifteen species but, seen the success as a greenhouse or apartment plant, today there are a large number of hybrids and cultivars interesting for the different sizes and colors of the foliage.

The Caladium bicolor is tall from 30 cm to 1 m and presents colourful leaves, in all shades and colour combinations. The so-called Caladium hortulanum is an interspecific hybrid very common on the market. It is smaller than the previous one (maximum 40 cm) and with rounded leaves, similar to hearts.

Also in this case the colors are many. Some interesting cultivars are: Bombshell (pink leaves with green edge), Modern Art (green, spotted with white and red), Raspberry moon (silver with red spots), Summer Breeze (silver with fuchsia ribs), Candidum (silver with green ribs), Carolyn Worthon (pink with green and white edges); Fannie Munson (old pink with green edges).


foglie caladiumThese are tropical plants and in order to grow at their best they would need almost constant temperatures and humidity during the growing season. The cold is to be avoided as it suffers as soon as the temperature drops below 13 ° C. The ideal is to keep between 20 and 25°C from April to October, maybe growing them in a heated greenhouse or in a veranda.

They can also be adapted to apartments as long as they are always warm and have a good exposure. Let’s avoid currents, especially cold ones: they can cause thermal shocks and dehydration.

Irrigation and humidity

It is a crucial point: the greatest risk is in fact the rot of the bulb. In spring and autumn we distribute water only when the substrate is dry in depth; in summer the administrations will be more frequent, keeping the roots always cool. In winter, however, it is advisable to suspend almost completely.

Important is also the moisture content, which must be around 70-80%, something that is difficult to reproduce at home. To avoid this, we can use electric humidifiers or spray the leaves several times a day with warm demineralised water.

In the summer, if we have a pond in the garden, we should remember that this plant adapts very well to the edges.

Rest period

foglie caladium In winter it is good to induce a period of rest by moving the pots in a colder (about 16°C) and darker room. Let’s suspend the irrigation almost completely. If we want we can extract the bulbs from the pot and place them in boxes full of sand.

Caladio – Caladium x hortolanum: Propagation of Caladium

caladium The caladium multiplies by division of the heads at the end of the winter. The side bulbs with at least one spray can be gently removed and placed in suitable soil. Let’s keep them in the light and warm, giving them regular fertiliser and waiting for them to reach their final size.

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