How To Care For a Caladium

An image of a caladium leaf.
Caladiums have beautiful heart-shaped leaves that are pink, white, or red on the inside; they grow rapidly and are beautiful indoors or in a garden. Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images

Caladiums have beautiful heart-shaped leaves that are pink, white or red on the inside and green around the edges. They also grow subtle white flowers. Caladiums grow rapidly and are beautiful indoors as well as in a garden.

You can buy caladiums as potted plants or as dormant tubers.


  • Cut larger tubers into several pieces with a few eye buds in each. If you cut out the largest, center bud, you'll get more leaves [source: The Gardener's Network].
  • Plant the tubers outside in spring. You can plant them indoors in planters four to six weeks before the last frost is expected. If you plant them indoors, they will need transplanting. However you plant them, always plant tubers with the eyes face-up.
  • Place your indoor caladiums where they'll get lots of light.
  • Grow caladiums in acidic soil that's moist and well drained.
  • Water your caladium often, but don't over water it.
  • Spray your indoor caladium to imitate the moist air of a greenhouse [source: Plant Care].
  • Fertilize your outdoor caladiums once a month. Your indoor caladiums only need a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. [source: The Gardener's Network]
  • Add mulch to help maintain moisture [source: Phipps].
  • Place your caladiums in a partially shaded location. Although they grow larger in full sun, the caladium's coloring is best in partial shade.

Because they're perennials, you'll have to move your caladiums inside in the fall after their foliage yellows and begins to wilt. Here's how to care for caladiums during the winter.

  1. Let the caladiums dry out for a few weeks after digging them up.
  2. Store the tubers in spaghnum moss or dry soil, in a dry, dark space that's at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius).
  3. Replant them in springtime.[source: The Gardener's Network]

If you'd like to replant your caladiums indoors, it's advisable to let them rest for at least a month before replanting [source: Plant Care].

The caladium plant may be poisonous so keep it away from pets and children. Contact with cadmium sap may irritate your skin [source: Plant Care].