Caladium / Xanthosoma lindenii Plant Care Guide

Step into the lush, vibrant world of the tropics with the Xanthosoma lindenii magnificum, a plant that is as exotic as its name suggests. Also known as Caladium, this Colombian native is a showstopper in the realm of houseplants, boasting large, arrowhead-shaped leaves adorned with striking white veins. 

It’s not just a pretty face, though. This plant is a testament to nature’s resilience and adaptability, thriving in a variety of indoor conditions and demanding relatively easy care. 

If you’re seeking a dramatic, eye-catching addition to your indoor garden, the Caladium is your answer. 

Caladium (Xanthosoma lindenii) Plant Care Guide

Caladium / Xanthosoma lindenii Plant in a white pot

Light

Part of the reason this makes such a great indoor plant is because of its light requirement. Caladium loves light and can thrive in both artificial light and natural light. 

To help your plant grow, ensure it is placed in a well-lit spot, but be careful to avoid direct light or sun. Too much direct light can create patches on its leaves. 

If you’re using sunlight from a window, filter it with a sheer curtain or move the plant during the harsh rays of the direct afternoon sun.

Think bright indirect light to really see this plant thrive. 

Water and Humidity

Though water requirements can vary depending on soil, light, and pot size, this plant typically needs less water than others. Instead, look for certain signs to tell you when it is time to water this plant.

An excellent way to know when it needs water is to check the first two inches of topsoil; if it is dry, you need to water it. 

A droopy appearance in the leaves is another hint that your plant needs water; a well-watered caladium will stand upright. 

Caladium is susceptible to root rot, so take care not to overwater. Too much water can lead to fungal infections. 

You should be good if you use the two signs above to know when it needs water. 

Tip: This plant’s water usage decreases in the winter, so keep that in mind when watering. 

Though this plant might not need much water, it requires a high humidity level. Most houses have medium to low humidity, but there are methods to increase humidity for your plant. 

You’ll know when the air is too dry because you will see the leaves of the Caladium get brown and crunchy. 

There are many ways to raise humidity. You can purchase a small humidifier for your plants, group other plants around, or grow them in a large terrarium. 

Xanthosoma lindenii leaves closeup

Tip: Misting can help, but it isn’t a long-term solution to increase humidity and only provides a short-term boost. Make sure leaves are completely dry between misting sessions to avoid fungal infections.

Temperature

This plant can withstand temperatures ranging from 65 to 75°F. However, Caladium does not like the cold and will stop growing if temperatures fall below 70°F, even if it can technically stand lower. 

As with other houseplants, it’s important to remember that extreme changes in temperature or drafts can create health issues for your plant. 

Soil and Fertilizer

Aroid potting mix is the best kind of soil for Caladium. You can either buy this potting soil straight off the shelves or make it yourself. 

Adding perlite or vermiculite can give the soil the necessary drainage and aeration. 

If you want this plant to grow the best it can, fertilize it in the spring and summer. These are the plant’s natural growing seasons, and fertilizing them will give it an extra boost. 

Fertilizing during the plant’s dormancy period can result in the fertilizer sitting on the plant for too long and causing burns. Use a general-purpose fertilizer designed for house plants, and follow the instructions on the package. 

Too much fertilizer can cause roots to burn and leaves to die. By following fertilizer instructions and only using it in the spring and summer, you can avoid this problem. 

Pruning

Pruning isn’t really needed for this plant, but there is no harm in clipping off old or dying leaves. While this plant is large (grows up to 1.5 m tall ¹ ), it doesn’t grow up, so you don’t need to worry about outgrowing its space. 

Tip: No matter the reason you’re removing leaves from the Caladium, make sure to cut at the soil line. 

Most common pests

This plant is tough and doesn’t have many pests. Using the methods that keep your other indoor plants safe should suffice. 

If you get creepy plant eaters like aphids or thrips, quickly isolate your plant to avoid them spreading and clean it with insecticidal soaps or neem oil.

FAQ: Common Questions

When do I re-pot?

This is a slow-growing plant that won’t need to be repotted often. Once you notice roots sticking out or it seems to be outgrowing its current home, you can switch to bigger and better. 

Follow the same soil protocol, but increase your watering for 24 hours before repotting to avoid transplant shock. 

Tip: If you can, wait until spring to move this plant to a bigger pot since that is the beginning of its growing season.

Is Caladium toxic?

Caladium is slightly toxic when ingested, so keep it out of reach of children and pets. Because of this, it should be used for ornamental use only. 

How do I propagate this plant?

This plant propagates by dividing tubers. A tuber is part of the plant with one central bud with multiple branching buds.

To use this method, you must remove the plant from the soil. Start by using your hands or a spade to loosen the dirt around the plant, then lift it out and remove the extra dirt from the plant’s roots.

You can then select the tuber you want to propagate and replant, then, with a knife, remove it from the rest of the plant. 

Are there Other names for the Xanthosoma lindenii?

This plant can go by xanthosoma lindeniicaladium lindenii, and phyllotaenium lindenii since botanists have changed their classification numerous times. 

Besides its multiple scientific names, it can also be known as Angel wing, White vein arrow leaf, Indian kale, and Spoonflower.

Website | + posts

Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.