Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Fancy-Leafed Caladium, Angel Wings, Heart of Jesus
Caladium bicolor

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Caladium (ka-LAY-dee-um) (Info)
Species: bicolor (BY-kul-ur) (Info)

Synonym:Cyrtospadix bicolor
Synonym:Caladium x hortulanum

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive eliasastro On Oct 23, 2008, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

In my opinion, one of the most beautiful foliage plants!
I enjoy them very much!
Last winter i didn' t uproot them and the tubers rot.
This year i got new tubers and they look beautiful!
They can stand very hot temperatures at shade or little sun.
The leaves are very toxic and should not be touched.

Positive Jamespayne On Jun 26, 2004, Jamespayne from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I live 15 miles from Lake Placid Florida, "The Caladium Capital of the World"!! Yes, they thrive in my landscape but only in shady areas, and they like to stay moist. During drought periods they will wilt in the heat of mid-day, but after a little sprinkle of water they come back good as new! I like these plants because they can be used in pots or left in the ground through Winter. They always come back larger each Spring, and all of the different varieties to choose from, it makes it hard to make up your mind on what colors to purchase. Place caldiums around a tree and create a beautiful "ring" that bursts forth in many colors! My favorite is the red "Heart of Jesus" variety.

Positive slazik On Oct 23, 2003, slazik from Lahore
Pakistan wrote:

Caladium leaves are large, arrow shaped, long-stalked, colored in bands and blotches of red, rose, pink, white, silver, bronze, and green.

Start tubers in March or in the early spring. Pot in a mix of equal parts coarse sand, leaf mold, and ground bark or peat moss. Use 5-inch pot for 2-1/2 inch tubers, 7-inch pot for one larger or two smaller tubers. Soil temperature should be 70 Fahrenheit. Water thoroughly, keep soil moist, not wet and away from sun. Soil temperature over 85 produce more green colour and less brialliant colour. Gradually withhold water when the leaves start to die down. In winter Caladium bulbs can be stored at a temperature between 50 and 60. Keep warm, moist, away from sun.

Positive IslandJim On Jun 9, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Caladiums are the best smmer "color" here in northern zone 10. I leave them in the ground all year, and while they eventially die back in February, they come roaring back in March--both bigger leaves and more numerous plants. If you live in or near the area, you might want to catch the 13th annual caladium festival in Lake Placid, FL, this August. A Google search will fetch the details.

Positive lupinelover On Jul 2, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Tubers can be broken into fairly small pieces to quickly multiply the number of plants.

Tubers must be dried and stored in cool, very dry conditions during winter. They can also be grown in pots indoors; a dormant period is self-induced from time to time.

Plants in active growth can be grown in pots partially submerged in water for bigger and more abundant foliage.

Flowers are fairly insiginifant, and saving seed will result in young plants significantly different from the parent. This can lead to exciting new variations.

Neutral Terry On Mar 12, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tuberous perennials are native to South America. Caladiums are grown for their beautiful variegated foliage, which may be lance, heart, or arrow-shaped. Colors range from green and white, green and red, white with red blotches or green veins and some have lavender spots; named cultivars are widely available.

Plant when soil warms and night temperatures are above 55 degrees. For earliest foliage, place each tuber in a plastic pot with good garden soil. Water well and place in warm, well-lit location. Remove from pot and plant outdoors when weather warms sufficiently. Tubers can be dug up and stored in colder climates.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Green Valley, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Anaheim, California
Merced, California
North Highlands, California
San Bernardino, California
Bartow, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
North Port, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Venice, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Conyers, Georgia
Warner Robins, Georgia
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Madison, Mississippi
Poughkeepsie, New York
Rochester, New York
Mc Donald, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Muscoda, Wisconsin

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