Caladium 'Burning Heart'
Common Name: elephant's ear 
Type: Bulb
Family: Araceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Bloom Description: White spathe and white spadix
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Leaf: Colorful

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°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°F.

'Burning Heart' is tolerant of some full sun. Morning sun is best and hot, afternoon sun should still be avoided.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Caladium is a genus of around 14 species of tuberous, herbaceous perennials native to Central America and northern South America where they typically grow along stream banks and in forest openings. Most hybrid cultivars used in horticulture

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

'Burning Heart' is a hybrid caladium selection that features bronzy-red foliage and a vigorous, upright growth habit. Mature clumps will reach up to 18" tall with an equal spread. The heart-shaped leaves are speckled with flecks of pink and can reach up to 12" long and 7" wide. Flowers are rarely produced but are of the typical aroid-type with a white spathe surrounding a white, spike-like spadix. This plant is protected by patent number PP27071.

Problems

Leaves are rather fragile and may easily be damaged by wind or hail. Slugs and snails may chew holes in the foliage.

Uses

Can lend a bright color and tropical look to beds, borders and containers. Houseplant.