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Home » Caladium – Heart Of Jesus Plant

Caladium – Heart Of Jesus Plant

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

The Caladium (common names: the heart of Jesus, angel wings, and elephant ear) is a tuber plant grown for its attractive papery thin, and bi-colored leaves.

The only downside of seeing the foliage produce its lovely color is that it soon dies off until the next year.

Caladium - Heart Of Jesus Plant


The plant genus (caladium) is not short of varieties, which consists of over 1000. Most are hybrids from the C. bicolor and sold with by the name of C. x hortulanum (hybrids). Many other common names are used for these hybrids including the rosebud, frieda hemple, lord derby, and a fair few others.

These are low-growing foliage plants that only grow up to 25in (60cm) tall, with large leaves growing up to 18 inches (45 cm) long.

How it looks: The arrow or heart-shaped decorative leaves are very thin and have a papery texture. These leaves grow up from the tuber buried in the soil on quite thin stems. Some of the eye-catching color mixtures are impressive, such as the lord derby that displays green and pink leaves with green veins, and the candidum with white leaves displaying prominent green veins.

Growing caladium indoors: The caladium is a tuber plant so the foliage only lasts from late spring until the beginning of fall, but they are well worth having around for the summer displaying their attractive colors.

Tubers can be placed in moist potting soil (about 2 -3 inches deep) at the beginning of spring with temperatures of no lower than 75ºF (23ºC). Once shoots appear begin taking care of the plant as advised below.

Growing Tip! If you would like to encourage tubers to begin growing quicker then place the pots on a heating mat.

After the growing period: After the yellowing leaves have started to wilt; remove the tubers from the pots and allow the tuber to dry out “anywhere in the house that’s warm enough”. Remove any excess stems; they’re now ready for planting in potting soil and stored away until next spring returns.

Displaying: The heart of Jesus plant is best placed in a window box or container and they make a great plant for growing around garden borders. They look much better in a row than one single plant, although it’s up to what the individual grower prefers and wants to do. These also make great balcony and patio plants, if the temperature is warm enough.


Origin:South America.
Names:Heart of Jesus, angel wings, elephant ear, fancy leafed caladium (common). Caladium bicolor or Caladium hortulanum and others. (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx):Height 25in (60cm).
Poisonous for pets:Toxic to cats and dogs.

Caladium Care

Temperature:Above 70ºF (21ºC) is the best temperature to provide, and no lower than 60ºF (15ºC).
Light:In their natural habitat, the heart of Jesus plant grows in shaded areas. Indoors that can be artificially provided with a fairly bright room, without direct sunlight. Direct sun will scorch and damage the leaves.
Watering:After the tubers show signs of growth (small shoots) water frequently – and keep the soil moist.
Soil:A nutrient-rich and well-draining potting soil is required.
Fertilizer:I would feed every week with a diluted liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
Re-Potting:These are taken out of the pot when the foliage dies down during fall and then re-potted (as mentioned above).
Humidity:In its natural habitat, this plant is likely to grow with higher humidity levels than we have in our homes, but the average levels within a home should be fine.
Propagation:Tubers can be divided before planting in spring. When dividing a tuber make sure at least one growing eye is available, so a stem can begin to grow.

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9 months ago

Why are the leaves on my Caladium bicolor turning tan colored and dying? The same thing happened last year. I just purchased it a local greenhouse and planted it in patio container. Please help me keep it alive.

Angie Overstreet
Angie Overstreet
7 months ago

This plant is turning brown and wilting. What do I do to make this plant survive and be beautiful?

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