The Pink Caladium, scientifically known as Caladium bicolor, is a beloved indoor plant, also commonly referred to as the Heart of Jesus, Angel Wings, or Elephant Ears.
This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about caring for your Pink Caladium, from identification to common issues and everything in between.
Pink Caladium Quick Overview
|Scientific Name:||Caladium bicolor|
|Common Names:||Heart of Jesus, Angel Wings, Elephant Ears|
|Light Requirements:||Medium to bright indirect light|
|Temperature Requirements:||60-85°F (15-29°C)|
|Watering Frequency:||Keep soil consistently moist, but not soggy|
|Fertilizing Frequency:||Every 4-6 weeks during the growing season|
|Soil Requirements:||Well-draining, peat-based mix|
|Common Pests:||Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips|
|Toxicity:||Toxic to pets and humans|
Pink Caladiums are easily identified by their large, heart-shaped leaves adorned with various shades of pink, green, and white. The leaves are thin and delicate, with a papery texture.
They are often confused with the similar-looking Alocasia and Colocasia species, also known as Elephant Ears, but can be distinguished by their distinct coloration and patterns.
Pink Caladiums typically reach a modest size, with leaves spanning anywhere from 6 to 12 inches in length. The plant grows in a clumping style, with new leaves emerging from the center and radiating outward.
In ideal conditions, a Pink Caladium can grow up to 2 feet in height, but it is more common to see them around 1 to 1.5 feet tall when grown indoors.
To keep your Pink Caladium healthy and vibrant, provide medium to bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the delicate leaves. Ideal locations include east or west-facing windows, or near a south-facing window with sheer curtains.
If natural light is limited, supplemental fluorescent or LED grow lights can be used to ensure proper growth. If you are considering grow lights make sure to see our choices for the best indoor plant grow lights.
For optimal growth, maintain a temperature range of 60-85°F (15-29°C) for your Pink Caladium. Avoid exposing the plant to cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations.
During winter, keep it away from cold windows, and consider using a space heater to maintain consistent temperatures if necessary.
The Pink Caladium thrives in a high-humidity environment of 50-80%. To maintain adequate humidity, use a humidifier, or place a tray of water with pebbles beneath the pot to create a microclimate.
Signs of inadequate humidity include brown leaf tips or curling leaves, while excessive humidity can lead to fungal growth and rotting.
Water your Pink Caladium frequently enough to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. During the growing season, it may need watering every 5-7 days, but reduce watering frequency in the cooler months.
Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering may cause wilting or yellowing leaves. Check the soil moisture with your finger or a moisture meter before watering to ensure the proper balance.
Fertilize your Pink Caladium every 4-6 weeks during the growing season using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength. Over-fertilizing may cause leaf burn, while under-fertilizing can lead to slow growth and pale leaves. Refrain from fertilizing during the plant’s dormancy in the winter months.
Pink Caladiums require well-draining, peat-based soil mixtures to prevent root rot and provide adequate aeration. A combination of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite works well.
Additionally, you can add a slow-release fertilizer or organic matter, such as compost, to encourage healthy growth. For more tips on mixing soil, make sure to see our guide on soil for indoor plants.
Diseases & Pests
The Pink Caladium is susceptible to several common diseases and pests, including:
- Fungal leaf spots: Caused by excess moisture or humidity; treat by reducing humidity and using a fungicide.
- Root rot: Caused by overwatering or poor drainage; prevent by using well-draining soil and proper watering techniques.
- Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips: Remove pests with a damp cloth or treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Pink Caladiums are toxic to both humans and pets due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. Ingestion can cause irritation, swelling, and difficulty swallowing. Keep this plant out of reach of children and pets, and contact a medical professional or veterinarian if ingestion occurs.
Some common issues you may encounter with your Pink Caladium include:
- Yellowing leaves: Overwatering, underwatering, or lack of nutrients; adjust watering schedule or fertilize as needed.
- Brown leaf tips: Low humidity or over-fertilization; increase humidity or reduce fertilizer application.
- Drooping leaves: Insufficient light or extreme temperature fluctuations; move the plant to a brighter location or regulate temperatures.
The Pink Caladium makes a stunning addition to any indoor plant collection, with its eye-catching colors and patterns. By following this comprehensive care guide, you can ensure your Pink Caladium remains healthy and vibrant.
If you enjoy growing Pink Caladiums, you may also want to explore other colorful foliage indoor plants, such as the Maranta, Aglaonema, or Philodendrons.