Caladiums are tropical bulb plants grown widely throughout Florida in shady areas, baskets, planters and as a commercial crop. The plants are grown for their striking foliage that comes in a variety of patterns, shapes and colors. Each leaf is shaped like a heart and can measure from 6 inches to 2 feet in length depending on the variety. Caladiums thrive in hot, humid locations such as Florida, where summertime temperatures rarely dip below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Florida Sweetheart caladium is a sun-tolerant variety. The color tends to be pink with some green, but intensity also depends on the region of the state and the soil conditions. Leaves are lance- and heart-shaped in appearance. A cross between 'Candidum Junior' and 'Red Frill,' it was developed in 1979 by Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Bradenton, Florida.
The plant will easily produce 35 to 40 leaves per tuber. Height and spread of the Florida Sweetheart caladium is usually small and compact at only 11 inches. The small size also makes the plant ideal for container growth.
The White Queen caladium is a popular caladium choice in Florida, according to the Florida University IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. The plant is pure white with deep veins of pink and green for a striking appearance. Height is normally around 18 inches.
The White Queen is grown in both gardens and containers; it can be grown in full sun but keep the soil consistently moist during stretches of intense heat. The White Queen caladium is commonly sold as a potted houseplant across the United States.
The Florida Cardinal caladium has leaves that have a soft pink, heart-shaped middle outlined in green. Each of the leaves measures 6 to 14 inches in length and is lance-shaped. The plant tends to grow in a mounding habit that reaches two feet in height and diameter with ease. It can withstand full sun. Keep soil moist, especially during the hot Florida summers.
The Florida Calypso caladium offers green foliage with bright red vein patterns that have rose and white blotches. Each tuber produces up to 22 leaves. Gardeners are often encouraged to only purchase the Florida Calypso caladium after they have garnered caladium growing experience because the variety is far more fickle and difficult to make flourish then others. The Florida Calypso is commonly grown in containers. The plant can be grown in shade or full sun but for the most ideal foliage color, the plant should be in partial shade.