Caladium bicolor
Common Name: angel wings
Type: Bulb
Family: Araceae
Native Range: Northern South America
Zone: 9 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Heavy Shade

Culture

Best grown in moist, fertile, humusy, organically rich, acidic soils in part shade or filtered sun. Does well in bright shade. Avoid direct sun where leaves will scorch. Tubers may be left in the ground year-round in USDA Zones 8-10. In St. Louis, however, tubers should be started indoors in early spring, planted outside directly in the ground or in containers after threat of frost has past, dug up in fall immediately after foliage die back/first frost and then overwintered in a dry location (set in dry peat or wood shavings) where temperatures do not dip below 45 degrees F, in somewhat the same manner as done for tuberous begonias. Container plants may be stored indoors in the containers. When growing plants in garden soils, provide regular moisture, especially during dry summer periods, and do not allow soils to dry out. Plants also appreciate regular fertilization. St. Louis summer temperatures are ideal for caladiums: hot and humid with nighttime temperatures rarely dipping below 60 degrees F.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Caladium bicolor, commonly called caladiums or angel wings, are arum family members that are grown exclusively for their bold and colorful foliage. Calla-type flowers, if present, are usually hidden. Plants typically grow in clumps to 1-2.5' tall. Arrowhead-shaped leaves (to 1.5' long) are various shades of green mottled and blotched with pink, red, white or combinations thereof often with distinctively colored veins. Synonymous with C. x hortulanum.

Genus name comes from the Latinized Malay plant-name kaladi.

Specific epithet means of two colors.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Leaves are rather fragile and may easily be damaged by wind or hail. Slugs and snails may chew holes in the foliage.

Garden Uses

Lends a bright colors and a tropical look to beds, borders and containers. Houseplant.