Home > Search For Plants! > Current Page

Caladium Humboldtii

Mini White, Dwarf Caladium

Table of Contents

Description

Caladium Humboldtii is one of the few Caladium species kept as a houseplant. Most Caladium cultivars are Caladium Bicolor. Caladiums are perennial foliage plants that rarely flower and are known for their colorful heart-shaped leaves. They are grown indoors and outdoors and will go dormant for the winter. To grow the healthiest Caladium possible, this post will show you how to take care of Caladium Humboldtii, including its sunlight, water, and soil requirements.

You can identify Caladium Humboldtii by its small size compared to other Caladiums. In addition, it has distinctive white patterning and wing-shaped leaves.

The species name “Humboldtii” was named after Alexander von Humboldt. He was a German naturalist and explorer who documented plant species in Latin America. His research formed the basis of the field of biogeography.

Caladium Humboldtii can be found for prices ranging from $50 to $100. Unfortunately, it may also be difficult to find this plant in general. At the time of writing, there is only one available for sale on Etsy.

Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Care Instructions

Care Level

Caladiums are relatively easy to take care of with the right knowledge. The main reason they can be difficult is their need for very high humidity. The humidity that they require is extremely difficult to maintain in a home.

care_icon

Temperature

Caladiums are lovers of heat. In fact, if the temperature is below 70 degrees they will not produce tubers.

temp_icon

Toxicity

Caladiums are toxic to both animals and humans and should not be ingested in any amount.

Toc=xicity_icon

Water

Water your Caladiums when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Caladiums like to be watered often, especially if not kept in very humid environments. However, you can slow your watering during the winter months and stop completely when they go dormant. This process should last through the fall, winter, and early spring.

water-Icon

Fertilizer

Caladiums are nitrogen sensitive and do not appreciate normal houseplant fertilizers that tend to be high in nitrogen. Caladiums also dislike liquid fertilizers as they can be easily burnt. An NPK ratio of 14-14-14 or 8-8-8 is ideal for a slow-release fertilizer. 

fertilizer_icon

Sunlight

Caladiums can easily be burnt by direct sunlight. If kept outside, make sure that they are in the shade. If kept inside, keep them in a northern or eastern facing window as midday sun will scorch their leaves.

sunlight_icon

Propogation

Caladiums propagate through division. Caladiums produce tubers just like Alocasia and Colocasia do, but they will only grow them went the temperature is above 70 degrees. A great time to check for these tubers is when you are repotting your plant. You can simply remove them and repot them, or split those tubers into pieces that each have at least one growth point, then allow the pieces to dry out for a few days to let them callous over before planting them. Growth points look like the “eyes” you find on potatoes. You can also leave the plant alone and the tubers will just eventually grow into a baby plant in the same pot and divide them then.

Prop_icon

Humidity

Give Caladiums the highest amount of humidity that is possible. As usual, we do not recommend pebble trays or misting as this has been proven to do nothing to raise humidity. The only true ways to raise humidity are to keep the plant in a bathroom where the shower is run daily, keep it outside in a hot tropical environment (Florida, Hawaii, etc.), or to use a humidifier. We find that these grow the best in terrariums and greenhouse with high humidity and heat.

humidity_icon

Soil

A well-draining soil is necessary to avoid root rot. Most commercial growers grow caladiums in a medium consisting completely of peat or coir. While this does seem to do the trick, household plants will most likely not have the same humidity as a plant grown in a greenhouse, so if you cannot provide a terrarium or greenhouse we recommend making a mix of equal parts coir, perlite, and potting mix. Caladiums prefer soil pH between 6 and 6.5.

Read more about making your own potting medium here!

soil_icon

Botany

Native Habitat: Caladium Humboldtii is native to Brazil and Adjacent Venezuela.  This region is considered a humid equatorial climate with a long dry season.  This long dry season may be partially responsible for the required dormancy of the Caladium Humboldtii.

Lifecycle/Habit: Caladium Humboldtii are herbaceous shrubs that grow from tuberous rhizomes.  They are also monocots, indicating that they first grow with a single seed leaf.  Caladium Humboldtii are erect and self-heading.

General: Caladium Humboldtii is a perennial with a mandatory dormant period. Once a year, their foliage will die back and go dormant. Unlike Alocasia, this usually cannot be avoided even indoors. Caladiums need this dormant period to grow their colorful foliage in the spring. Keeping them indoors can extend their active growing time but cannot stop a dormant period from occurring. However, you can keep your Caladium for the next season if you leave it alone and only water it once a month until the spring.

Botanical Description

Roots: Caladium Humboldtii have fibrous root systems with no modifications.

Stems: Caladium Humboldtii have herbaceous, green, round stems.  Under the earth, these stems are modified to become tuberous rhizomes, the primary means of propagation.

Leaves: Caladium Humboldtii leaves are small, thin, and leathery with entire leaf margin. They are sagittate with 2 oval-shaped lobes at the leaf base. The leaf stalk is brownish and either erect or slightly curved. Stalks may be covered in soft, short hairs or rough. Leaves are light to dark green with white patterning between the center vein and the margins of the leaf.

Flowers: Caladium Humboldtii flowers are whitish and unisexual.  They resemble calla lily flowers. The inflorescence consists of a green, rod-like spadix and white, petal-like spathe that surrounds the spadix like a hood.

Supplies We Recommend

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food
This plant food is ideal for caladiums as it slow release and has a 14-14-14 ratio that is recommended by professional growers.

Let’s talk about Caladium potting medium:

Pro Coco Coir Brick
This coco brick can be used with a 70:30 ratio to perlite. Don’t forget to add fertilizer as this coco doesn’t contain any fertilizer. Commercial soil bags usually do contain some slow release fertilizer or some sort of compost. This mix contains none, so you must add it yourself. This is actually a really good thing, because most houseplant soil mixes contain a fertilizer that is too high in nitrogen for caladiums. 

Horticultural Grade Premium Perlite
This should be mixed with the coir. 70% coir and 30% perlite should do the trick.

If you’re using our soil regimen/mixture, you don’t need to add anything except fertilizer to the base we recommended. Add the fertilzier recommended above.

Where to Buy!

Coming soon! We vet our shops to ensure that you get the quality plant you deserve. Please check back soon!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments