Botanical name - Caladium varieties
Origin - South America
These are absolute stunners and pretty easy care plants too - whats not to love!
Bright indirect Light
I prefer to be in bright indirect light as this will maintain my colour variegation. Be really careful in the spring summer direct sun as this can easily scorch my leaves if in direct sun. But if in too dark a location my colour will fade leaving a predominately green leaf. How about popping me near a north facing window or behind a shear curtain to maintain bright light but reduce the harshness.
Keep my soil evenly moist. Check me regularly and only water when the top two inches of soil is dry. Don't leave me standing in a puddle as my roots are prone to rot. It's always best to underwater than overwater me. Alongside watering humidity is key with me so see below.
I love a humid environments so steamy bathrooms or kitchens are great. How about popping me on a pebble tray topped up with water to keep the humidity consistent all year round. You can also pop me near other plants which creates more moisture in the air and regularly mist me.
Why not pop me under a light shower once in a while to sprinkle the leaves with water reducing the dust build up and keep me hydrated.
I will go into a state of dormancy over the autumn and winter months. You will see my half in size and stop producing new leaves. Please reduce my watering in accordance. My leaves may yellow and droop and sometimes they can all completely die back just leaving the tuber. If this happens then leave the soil to completely dry out and maintain a bright but cool environment until the following spring where you can start to re-water and fertilise.
Fertilise during spring and summer months with a 'houseplant' labelled fertiliser. Do this every 4 waters and reduce this down to every 6 waters in the winter months.
Signs of difficulty
Yellowing of older leaves can be a sign of overwatering. It is usually due to too low light levels. Remember direct morning light shouldn't be a problem just avoid the harsh midday and afternoon sun in the summer months.
Crispy brown edging on the leaves indicates low humidity around the plant. Up your misting or pop on a pebble tray regularly topped up with water.
Leaves turning green and losing colour - sign of low light.
Mould on the top soil is a sign of either overwatering so the soil is staying soggy or too little light so move me to a sunnier location.