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White Christmas Caladium — Basic Plant Care Guide

White Christmas Caladium — Basic Plant Care Guide

The White Christmas Caladium, with its luminous, large white leaves enhanced by contrasting dark green veins, forms an unforgettable sight. 

The plant does exceptionally well when planted indoors as well as outdoors. If you are looking for a plant to upgrade your living space or show off other plants, the White Christmas Caladium is for you. 

The White Christmas Caladium hails from the Caladium Angel Wings family. It is vastly grown in several parts of the USA and other countries, including Peru and Mexico. 

The Caladium family is a hybrid species of mixed origin. With a fast growth rate, the plant reaches approximately 22 inches (56 centimeters). 

Many houseplant gardeners plant the outstanding White Christmas Caladium because its unique leaves remind of the celebratory Christmas days. 

Often planted in patios, balconies, and hanging baskets, it is fairly easy to grow and manage. 

With this simple care guide, things are about to become even easier for you.

 

 

White Christmas Caladium

Grow the White Christmas Caladium in deep shade to bright, dappled sunlight and water it every other day in neutral to slightly acidic soils mixed with organic compost. Monthly feeding with a high-quality slow-release fertilizer and moderate to high humidity, more than 60% will help it grow healthy. The ideal temperature is between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 21 degrees Celsius).

 

Soil

The wonderful Caladiums do well in just about any soil. The White Christmas Caladium develops pretty well due to its quick-adaptive nature, whether the soil is acidic, neutral, or alkaline

However, for the plant to reach its maximum potential, growing it in slightly acidic soils (5.5 to 6.5 pH) is a good idea.

To enhance its growth further, use loamy, well-draining soils with organic material. You can add worm castings, peat moss, or wheat straw. 

Some gardeners mix regular garden soil with moisture-retaining products, such as mulch and sawdust. 

The White Christmas Caladium plant thrives in evenly moist soils but not wet soils. Therefore, please remember to water the soil only when necessary. 

If your soil is adequately fertile with all the right ingredients, you can skip adding mineral supplements.

 

Water

Most houseplant gardeners who have worked with Caladiums know that these delightful plants love water. 

The White Christmas Caladium plant naturally grows in tropical to subtropical regions, and so, it likes being watered often.

Ideally, water your White Christmas Caladium plant every two days, especially if growing in a sunny spot. 

For the areas with intense heat, I suggest watering every day. However, in the cities that receive greater than one inch of rainfall every one to 1.5 weeks, adding water after three days also works.

The watering frequency for any plant, including the White Christmas Caladium, primarily depends on its environment. 

In higher temperatures, the plant typically loses more water; thus, its watering schedule has to be set accordingly.

You may also use the White Christmas Caladium plant’s soil as an indicator. Add some water, about one to two inches, when the plant’s soil’s top layer is dry.

On the other hand, if it seems sufficiently moist, withhold the water till slightly dry again.

The goal is not to over-or underwater the White Christmas Caladium plant as both have serious consequences, such as root rot and yellow leaves

Moreover, I recommend using room-temperature, chlorine-free water.

 

Light

Most varieties of the Caladiums prefer deep shade to bright, dappled sunlight

Similar is the case with the White Christmas Caladium plant, which maintains its fast growth rate in full shade to filtered sunlight

The ideal light conditions also depend on the plant type; some thrive only in deep shade while others perform well under indirect sun rays. 

The White Christmas Caladium plant should ideally be placed in front of an east or north-facing window; both offer excellent sunlight conditions in most houses. 

Alternatively, you can grow the White Christmas plant in artificial growing lights.

If planted outdoors, put it under a large tree’s canopy or in a greenhouse, if you have one. The other options include placing the White Christmas Caladium plant on a balcony and a partially covered terrace or garden.

The White Christmas Caladium plant’s leaves are its most prominent feature; they have earned it its widespread popularity and admiration. 

Growing the plant in dim or excessive sunlight affects the leaves the most. They lose their characteristic colors and shape and may even drop.

Therefore, to minimize the possibility of such mishaps, grow the White Christmas Caladium plant in dappled sunlight only.

 

Temperature

The White Christmas Caladium plant likes warm, cozy environments. 

The moderate temperatures help it flourish and improve its productivity. It also saves them against leaf frost, a common problem in Caladiums, and several other issues.

Plant the White Christmas Caladium plant only when the soil’s temperature is greater than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius); ideally between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 21 degrees Celsius). 

Throughout the growth period, maintain a temperature range of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius) day and night. 

For temperate areas, outdoor climates work fine. In contrast, the house gardeners living in cold regions should bring their White Christmas Caladium inside when the temperature scale drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

You may take it outside again when it is warmer. Furthermore, protect the plant from direct drafts of cold and hot winds.

 

Humidity

As discussed earlier, the White Christmas Caladium plant loves water in all forms, as gaseous vapor as well as in its natural, liquid form. 

Maintaining adequate levels of humidity is necessary for the White Christmas plant to thrive fully. 

Please grow the White Christmas Caladium plant in moisture levels exceeding 50%. If your area is noticeably dry, you may even have to maintain levels greater than 60%. 

Humid states, such as Florida, are excellent for growing the White Christmas Caladium. 

But if you cannot naturally produce these levels, do not fret as there are several ways you can imitate the plant’s natural environment. 

House gardeners may install humidifiers in their White Christmas Caladium’s room or mist it every other day; both options work considerably well.

 

Fertilizer

The White Christmas Caladium is not a heavy feeder despite its fast growth rate. 

The plant does reasonably well with monthly to bi-monthly feeding, provided the fertilizer contains all the essential ingredients. 

Feed the White Christmas Caladium plant with a premium-quality, balanced NPK fertilizer in the spring season or late summer. 

Please ensure that the feed contains macro- as well as microelements, such as nitrogen and calcium., respectively. 

Each element has a significant role to play; for instance, nitrogen is the main component of photosynthesis, while calcium helps the plant build its cell walls.

I recommend skipping fertilizer during the dormant seasons of fall and winter. 

Overfertilizing is a frequent mistake many gardeners make; therefore, I suggest adding feed only during the plant’s active growth season.

 

Repotting

The White Christmas Caladium plant does not need frequent repotting. Its manageable size and growth rate both give you plenty of time till it needs to be repotted.

I repot my White Christmas Caladium plant every two to three years in a slightly larger pot.

While repotting is necessary, refreshing the soil’s constituents is of utmost importance. You may add some of the used soil; however, the plant’s soil should mostly contain a new potting mix with organic material.

Other indicators of repotting include roots circling the pot, cracked pots, and a relatively slow growth rate despite a correct care routine. 

However, please wear gloves and protective clothing as the Caladiums tend to cause allergies in humans and animals (occasionally).

 

Pruning

The White Christmas Caladium plant looks wonderful after a thorough pruning session as it gives the plant an entirely new look. 

Cutting off a few diseased and abnormal-looking vines also significantly lowers the probability of spreading infectious diseases.

The White Christmas Caladium does not grow to an enormous size. 

However, if some vines have outgrown the pot and are bringing down the plant’s overall look, you may cut them carefully, preventing damage to the other healthy vines.

I strongly advise using disinfected pruning shears before using them on any plant. You may use mild alcohol for cleaning purposes.

 

Propagation

To grow a healthy White Christmas Caladium, you will need a mature plant, an appropriate potting mix, knife, water, planting pot, and a reusable plastic bag.

  • Start by gently taking the mother White Christmas Caladium plant out of its pot. Please remember not to harshly pull the plant as you may damage its roots. 
  • Once out, shake the plant slowly so that the excess mud falls off its roots and you can see them clearly. You may use a fungicide at this point.
  • Next, take your knife and separate a stem from the plant, which looks the healthiest. It should ideally have a few roots growing.
  • Fill the reusable plastic bag with the soil mix containing organic compost, such as worm castings or peat moss.
  • Now make a hole in the soil mix and take the stem and place it in the hole. Fit the roots in the bag, ensuring they are evenly spaced out. 
  • Put this bag in the planting pot.
  • When the stem seems upright, add some more soil mix. Add a little water and sawdust (for extra moisture).
  • Place the pot in deep shade till you see some roots growing. Also, please skip adding fertilizer for the first two weeks.

Once the plant grows out some roots, produces little foliage, and takes an upright position, you may treat it as a mature White Christmas Caladium plant.

 

Blooms

The White Christmas produces flowers in the summer season, which are inconspicuous and have a calla-like appearance. 

They often shy away from the sun and hide under the leaves in deep shade. The blooms, unlike the foliage, do not survive unfavorable conditions.

 

Growth

The White Christmas Caladium plant has a moderately fast to fast growth rate, mainly depending on its environment. Although it grows in all zones, it flourishes fully in USDA hardiness zones 8, 9, 10, and 11. 

The plant grows actively in spring and summers, provided it is planted in warm soils (higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius). 

Please plant the White Christmas Caladium with a spacing of 10 to 16 inches (25 to 40.6 centimeters) when growing it in masses. 

Additionally, the plant can attain a height of 22 inches (56 centimeters) and a spread of 22 inches as well.

However, please note not all plants reach the same height and width. The plants’ growth values are mostly dependent on their surroundings, care, and type.

 

Common Problems for White Christmas Caladium

 

Stunted Growth

The White Christmas Caladium plant may suffer from several conditions that lead to stunted growth. 

These conditions include inappropriate light settings, incorrect temperature, and infrequent watering. The plant may grow slowly, erratically, or not at all. 

If faced with stunted growth, try to pinpoint the problem and fix it promptly. Moreover, place the plant in its desired location with filtered sunlight and practice regular watering.

 

Sunburn

While this problem is generally uncommon in plants, it is a major issue in White Christmas Caladiums. The plant has beautiful white-colored leaves, which are pretty quick to react to excessive sunlight. 

Especially the varieties grown in deep shade, when suddenly exposed to full sun, develop sunburn in the form of brown blotches on leaves.

Please gradually increase the plant’s sun exposure levels to avoid sunburn.

 

Leaf Spots

The White Christmas may develop leaf spots when a pathogen, the Xanthomonas, infects it. It mostly attacks the plant from other infested plants.

To prevent infection, sufficiently space out the plants and maintain good hygiene.

 

Tips for Growing White Christmas Caladium

  • Plant in warm soils only.
  • Grow in deep shade to filtered sunlight.
  • Keep an eye for snails and slugs.
  • Keep the tubers stored in a dry, dark place until ready for plantation.
  • Maintain a regular watering schedule.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about White Christmas Caladium

 

Which fertilizer is best for the White Christmas Caladium?

Balanced liquid fertilizers with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10 are excellent for the White Christmas Caladium plants.

 

How do I know my White Christmas Caladium is growing normally?

A healthy White Christmas Caladium will have an upright overall structure with vibrant and moist leaves. It will also have a moderately fast growth rate and rarely acquire any infections.

 

Is misting my White Christmas Caladium enough?

Misting the White Christmas Caladium is not an alternate for watering. Please practice regular watering with occasional misting.

 

Conclusion

The White Christmas Caladium is a gorgeous plant with highly attractive leaves. It is great for growing in masses and as bedding plants.

It enjoys dappled sunlight, moderate moisture, and organic soils.

Bring one home today to brighten your home.