07
May
2012

Caladium Review

caladiumOur Caladium crop will make you stand out, because these plants steal the show. They are tropicals with very exotic-looking foliage, adding a hot splash of color to any shady spot, whether outdoors or indoors. Closely related to elephant ears (Alocasias and Colocasias), Caladiums are much, much smaller—generally about 24 to 36 inches tall—and a lot more colorful.

These plants are generally organized by their variegated shades:
  • Reds: ‘Fannie Munson’, ‘Freida Hemple’, ‘John Peed’,
    ‘Postman Joyner’, ‘Rose Glow’
  • Pinks: ‘Carolyn Whorton’, ‘Pink Beauty’, ‘Pink Gem’
  • Whites: ‘Candidum Senior’, ‘Candidum’, ‘Moonlight’,
    ‘White Christmas’, ‘White Queen’ 

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‘Postman Joyner’

The top-selling reds are ‘Postman Joyner’ and ‘Freida Hemple’. 'Postman Joyner' can take more sun that the others. ‘Freida’ has smaller leaves and the leaves cluster tighter. ‘Rose Glow’ is complex: leaves are red surrounded by white frosting with strong green edges.

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‘Candidum Senior’

Among whites, consider ‘Candidum Senior’, which boasts very, very strong white in the leaves. ‘Moonlight’ is another good choice, with more green along the edges. ‘White Queen’ adds red veining to the white mix.

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‘Pink Beauty’

Our best pink is ‘Pink Beauty’, which features a soft rose color surrounded by green edges.

The Strap Leaf varieties (‘Miss Muffet’, ‘Red Ruffles’ and ‘Sweetheart’) are short Caladiums, generally about 12 inches or lower. They produce a lot of leaves, so they are tailor-made groundcovers or front-row plantings.

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‘Miss Muffett’

‘Miss Muffett’, in particular, is distinctive because of its red polka dots scattered over green leaves.

Many people know them as houseplants but Caladiums are surprisingly effective in the landscape. They are particularly useful when dealing with the darker areas underneath trees or tall canyons created by urban buildings. Caladiums prefer shade, so they are perfect as lobby plants or for brightening up entrance gardens where the bed is right up against the wall.

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Plus, these are fantastic windowbox plants. Many homes have a north face that just doesn’t get much sun, and Caladiums are a great way to fill in with bright, tall color that shows up from a distance.

Protection against full sun is necessary because these plants burn easily. If the leaves develop a brownish tinge, then you need to pull them back out of the light.

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