Caladium bicolor

Latin Name: Caladium bicolor
Common Name: Caladiums, angels wings, elephant ears.
Mature Height (ft): Up to 18"
Mature Width: 6-18"

Mature Shape

Large leaf unfurls from a single herbaceous stem.
Mulch: Organic, preferably a composted mulch.

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Caladium corms are tropical plants grown for their summer foliage, however they do send up an arum type flower (a member of the Araceae family). Foliage comes in many different variegation patterns in red, pink and white. There are a over a thousand cultivars, most from the Caladium bicolor species. Plant bulbs after May 1st, only about 3 inch deep. Caladiums like it hot and moist. Complete shade works OK, or morning sun only.There are a few sun tolerant cultivars available. For larger leaves. Keep the bed or pot well moist (not soggy) and rich, especially during bulb germination. Caladiums are native to tropical and subtropical areas of Central and South America.

Use in Garden

High water-use shade zones in rich soil. Shady, moist areas where the foliage can add the color. Container gardening. Combine with other high water-use tropical plants or bulbs like alocasias, colocasias, and gingers for the tropicalismo look.


Replenish caladium beds yearly with a 2-3 inch layer of compost. After the first frost, dig up bulbs and store in a cool, dry place above freezing. Do not plant prior to May 1st, even June 1st is OK. They require a soil temperature above 50 degrees, preferably above 55 degrees. The warmer the soil, the more rapidly the first shoots will emerge. I've had mixed success in digging and storing inside through the years.