Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Angelic elephantine aroids

Forgive me for revisiting aroids so soon  but I just have to add a small success story. A few weeks back I visited our local Lowes (for UK customers this is a large multiple DIY & garden centre) and to my astonishment saw  several plants of Caladium at bargain prices. These are commonly know as angel's wings or confusingly as elephant's ears, a name also applied to Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma and Bergenia. (Who said common names are simple?)

Having tried unsuccessfully to grow these in the past, I just couldn't resist trying again. The larger  plant ($9.99 about £5) and paler pink of the two cultivars was planted in our big yard under the shade of the eaves and the smaller (a mere $4.99 about £2.50) was  added to a planter in our back yard. A month later both are thriving and enjoying the late autumn warmth. If anything the smaller plant has doubled in size and overtaken the original larger one. I wonder how they will fare when the chilly winter nights arrive?

Caladiums are natives of Brazil and parts of South America but are commercially grown in a small area of Florida near Kissimee. These are tender tuberous perennials and in cool climates need to be grown in a constantly warm greenhouse. If you see them for sale, be prepared to coddle and speak nicely to them!
Commercial production - internet picture


  1. Wow, the last photo looks spectacular! Glad to hear it's doing well for you as I also find this difficult to grow here. Cross fingers it continues to do well where you planted it and just go dormant and come back stronger next spring.