15 Types of Caladium Plants
If you’re looking for tropical perennial foliage plants, Caladiums are a sight to behold. With heart-shaped colorful leaves that dazzle in shades of green, pink, red and yellow or white, these plants can rival any flowering plant.
There are two main types of Caladium plant — fancy-leaf and strap-leaf Caladium. The difference between the two lies in the height and shape of the leaves.
Fancy-leaf Caladiums are taller with larger leaves, while strap-leaf Caladiums are more compact and with smaller leaves.
Today, I’m going to cover 15 popular and unique-looking Caladium varieties that will hopefully convince you to grow these plants in your garden or your home.
A spectacular strap-leaf Caladium, the Gingerland features medium-sized leaves on short petioles.
The pattern on the leaves features a deep shade of green on the leaf margins with a creamy white leaf center dotted with splotches of red or pink.
With a height and spread of 8-14 inches, the plant has a compact size, which makes it an excellent houseplant, but also a border plant, where it’s possible to grow it outdoors.
To keep this plant happy, plant in well-draining potting mix and keep the soil evenly moist.
Another ‘dwarf’ Caladium type, the Florida Sweetheart, boasts broad leaves with a pink-red center ruffled, green edges.
The veins on the leaves are red and traceable to even the smallest ones, creating an interesting interplay of color and texture.
A strap-leaf variety, the Florida Sweetheart has a height and spread of 6-12 inches. Strap-leaf Caladiums are extremely manageable in terms of size, making them a prime candidate for a tropical houseplant.
Very similar in appearance to the Florida Sweetheart, the Pink Gem features heart-shaped leaves with green margins, a pink leaf center, and a white streak between the outer margins and the center of the leaf.
It stands at 6-12 inches and it is one of the varieties of Caladiums that tolerate a bit of sun exposure, unlike most other varieties that thrive in shade or semi-shade.
It still needs a well-draining potting mix, quite a bit of humidity and warm temperatures to stay in top shape.
A Caladium type with large leaves and a tall growth pattern, the Fannie Munson is a veritable explosion of pink.
The leaf margins feature a faded band of green, while most of the leaf is light pink with darker pink veins.
As for its height, expect this Caladium to grow up to 30 inches tall. Leaves are also sizable, so if small-leaf Caladium varieties aren’t your jam, the Fannie Munson can prove to be an excellent alternative.
Another sun-tolerant Caladium variety, the Carolyn Whorton features large leaves with a green margin, bright red veins and splotches of pink and red in the leaf center.
The plant’s height ranges between 18-30 inches and although it enjoys filtered light or shady locations, it has been cultivated to be more sun tolerant than your average Caladium plant.
The Miss Muffet Caladium can be grown indoors or out, depending on the climate in your region. The plant is a compact variety with a height and spread of only 10-14 inches.
The small, heart-shaped leaves are lime-green with maroon freckles dotted all over the leaf center. Its leaves feature red veins that add a touch of depth to the leaf structure.
With a height and spread of around 15 inches, the Pink Symphony Caladium certainly lives up to its name — its leaves are almost entirely light pink, except for the leaf margins that are green and the veins on the leaves, which are also green.
This is a very elegant plant with thin, rosy stalks and small to medium-sized leaves, so it can add a touch of elegance to any room.
And if that room gets bright, indirect light, all the better: the Pink Symphony doesn’t mind a bit of light exposure.
Splash of Wine
Another patterned Caladium plant with interesting leaf coloration, the Splash of Wine, has light creamy-green splashed with cranberry-red splotches that look like old wine stains on the leaves.
It’s a small-growing Caladium that features a height of no more than 12-14 inches. The dense foliage, compact growth and beautiful coloration make this Caladium one to remember.
If hues of red or pink are not something you’d enjoy on the foliage of your Caladium, the good news is that there are Caladium varieties that are a bit more toned down in the color department.
The White Christmas variety, for example, is a bicolor, fancy-leaf Caladium with creamy-white leaves that feature thin green margins and deep green veins.
Young leaves actually start out lime-green and the color fades into a creamy white as the leaves mature.
This isn’t a Caladium that tolerates sun exposure, so find a shady spot or a spot with filtered light. The height and spread you can expect the White Christmas to reach is between 12-24 inches.
For a sun-tolerant alternative, check out the ‘Candidum’ variety that has a better sun tolerance, and it resembles the White Christmas in its color combination.
If simplicity is what you’re looking for in a foliage plant, you must check out the Freckles Caladium variety, because it does not disappoint.
The leaves on this plant are heart-shaped and feature small, almost rectangular patches of color in cream and red-orange.
It’s lovely both as a container plant but it can also be grown as a border plant or in flower beds. And another plus for this Caladium — it’s full sun tolerant!
On some Caladiums, the red-pink colors are much more pronounced than the greens or creamy-white colors.
The Scarlet Flame is one such Caladium, which features red-pink leaves heavily patterned with splotches of yellow or pink. Leaf margins are green.
It’s another small-growing Caladium that doesn’t grow taller than 12 inches or so, which is good news if you want to keep this cultivar indoors and you don’t want to worry about repotting it too often.
Repotting it only every 2 years works just fine for this variety that thrives in a humid environment and warm temperatures.
The Burning Heart Caladium is a fancy-leaf Caladium type that stands out with its large, all-red leaves that only feature a few splotches of pink or orange spots.
It’s not a Caladium that everyone might like, but it’s certainly one that’s memorable for its intense red foliage. Burning Heart Caladium grows to about 20 inches tall and wide.
Similar to the White Christmas Caladium in that it’s a bicolor type, the Snow Drift cultivar features creamy-white leaves with green veins.
Not all veins are painted green as opposed to the White Christmas cultivar on which even the smallest veins are green. On the leaves of the Snow Drift only the major veins are green, smaller veins are white.
The leaves of the Snow Drift are also more ruffled. In terms of height and spread, this Caladium will stay at around 12-14 inches.
If you enjoy the color scheme of the Snow Drift, but you want a bit of added color, check out the Strawberry Star Caladium that also features discreet splashes of strawberry red colors. It’s a rare variety, but one that will enchant with its beauty.
A taller Caladium variety that reaches around 24 inches, the Raspberry Moon is a shade or semi-shade loving plant with light green to yellow leaves patterned with raspberry pink or red blotches.
The plant looks wonderfully in containers or as border plants, planted outdoors. Remember that Caladiums are not cold or frost tolerant, so if you’re keeping this plant outdoors, take it inside in the fall.
For Caladiums planted in the garden, you need to dig out the tubers and place them in cold storage over the winter months.
In spring when there is no risk of frost or sudden changes in temperatures, you can plant them outside.
Whether you’re looking for a border plant or an elegant splash of color to add to your home decor, the Lemon Blush Caladium can meet both requirements.
Standing at 18-24 inches tall, the plant features wide chartreuse borders and an unmistakable pink-red center and red-rose center leaf veins that create a playful foliage plant.
Don’t overwater your Lemon Blush or its roots will start to rot, leading to the quick and irreversible demise of the plant. Always assess the moisture level of the soil before you reach for the watering can.
The Caladium varieties I listed in this article are only a small sample of the types of Caladiums available.
Depending on their height, leaf pattern, and coloration, there’s an abundance of combinations and cultivars that you can choose from.
From the more subdued colors to the real eccentric ones, there’s a Caladium for every taste and need.
Although they’re not the easiest tropical plants to grow on the account of their high humidity requirements, they’re well worth the effort!