Caladium ‘White Christmas’ (Angel-wing White Christmas, Fancy Leaf White Caladium, White Christmas Caladium)
We were captivated with this enchanting caladium that has silvery white leaves and beautiful leaf venation.
We brought a pot of Caladium ‘White Christmas’ home in late 2014 to brighten the darker areas at our front yard garden. And, delighted to say that it is still thriving marvellously till this very day.
Though we’re in tropical Malaysia with everlasting summers, this gorgeous beauty does remind us of the Christmas day snow in temperate regions.
Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :
- Botanical Name: Caladium ‘White Christmas’.
Angel-wing White Christmas, Fancy Leaf White Caladium, White Christmas Caladium.
- Family name: Araceae.
- Etymology: The genus name, Caladium is coined for taro (edible starchy corms) on the basis of the Malay word, keladi. The cultivar epithet, White Christmas probably refers to its snowy white leaf blades, similar to Christmas day snow.
- Origin: It is native to Tropical South America and the Caribbean. Caladium ‘White Christmas’ on the other hand, is an attractive cultivar of Caladium Bicolor which is synonymous with Caladium x hortulanum.
- Plant type: An ornamental, herbaceous and perennial plant.
Features: Caladium ‘White Christmas’ is from the genus Caladium that consists of approximately 7 species of flowering plants and over 1000 named cultivars of Caladium bicolor from the original South American plant.
The cultivated Caladium species are hybrids of mixed origin that are usually grouped under the name, Caladium x hortulanum and comes in numerous variegated foliage colours.
Caladium ‘White Christmas’ is a fast-growing tropical perennial with an upright-growing habit that can reach between 30-45 cm tall and spread between 20-30 cm wide. The White Christmas Caladium is one of the most popular caladium cultivar.
It produces medium to large heart-shaped snowy white leaves and beautiful green leaf venation. The thin and papery-textured leaf blades are brilliantly marked with dark green veins throughout and speckled in green along the edges as well.
Each leaf will be borne on a long petiole that emerges from the underground tuber. The petioles are attached to the centre of leaves, a condition called peltate.
The plant produces an inconspicuous inflorescence with a white spathe covering the spadix that bears the tiny flowers.
Female flowers are grouped at the lower part whereas the male flowers are at the top. They will be followed by inedible white berries.
Culture (Care): Caladium ‘White Christmas’ grows easily with least maintenance.
Light: It prefers semi-shade though best with morning sun or bright light. Avoid direct sunlight that can scorch its foliage. It loves hot, warm and humid conditions. The ‘White Christmas’ is one of the newer sun-tolerant caladiums.
Moderate water requirement. Water regularly as it needs constantly moist soils.
Soil: Grow in humus-enriched, sandy/loamy, moisture-retentive and well-drained soil.
Others: Remove withered or sunburnt leaves to keep the plants neat and aesthetically pleasing. Feed once monthly and lightly with a balanced liquid fertiliser for optimum plant growth. The leaves turn darker and more brilliant when fertilised.
No known serious pests or diseases. However, do watch out for slugs and snails that may chew holes in the leaves. It is resistant to deer, rabbits and squirrels. Take note that contact with all parts of caladium may irritate sensitive skin and ingestion can cause swelling of the mouth and throat.
For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 10-11.
An eye-catchy perennial in hardy regions. Tubers can be dug and stored indoors in colder climes
and when the ground temperature has warmed up and frost is over in spring, you can plant them in the ground or into a pot outdoors. The hotter the air and ground temperature, the faster their growth. In non-hardy regions, they are grown as houseplants and best to be grown in pots so that you can overwinter indoors and bring them outdoors once the weather is warm. Withhold water during the winter dormant period. Provide bright light, warmth and humidity if grown indoors as a houseplant.
- Propagation: By division of the tubers, ensuring that at least one growing eye is available and planting them about 5 cm below the soil line. Can be propagated from seeds, though rarely and may not produce plants like the parent plant.
Usage: Caladium ‘White Christmas’ or Angel-wing White Christmas, popularly grown for its showy bicolour foliage will make an excellent ornamental specimen in any garden.
A colourful plant that’s most ideal to be grown in a border or bed around trees, especially when mass planted with caladiums of other variegated colours to further enhance the scenery. The White Christmas Caladium with its brilliant white leaf blades will be perfect to brighten any garden’s shady areas. Ideal to be used as ground cover for dark spots in the garden. Perfect too for container gardening in pots, baskets and raised planters. Great as an eye-catchy houseplant for indoor decor, especially in non-tropical climes or located at patio and deck, outdoors. Use these in fresh floral arrangements as the Caladium leaves will last for several days.
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Last edit: June 16, 2016