White queen caladium indoors looks stunning. It has one of the most exotic-looking leaves in the plant kingdom, being paper-thin with red-colored veins running through them. This guide includes tips regarding caring for and propagating this plant.
Read here and take advantage of this professional guide to grow the most healthy caladium by yourself.
- What Is White Queen Caladium?
- White Queen Caladium Care
What Is White Queen Caladium?
White Queen caladium is a plant with large-sized heart-shaped leaves that are pure transparent white. These leaves have deep red and pink veins running through them and green edges. It is a perennial flowering plant that keeps thriving year after year.
White Queen Caladium Care
The ideal plant care for White Queen Caladium comprises partially shaded bright light and temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t worry; all the essential details are covered, what you must do is simply keep reading below.
– Light Requirements
We get that it can be challenging to figure out the ideal lighting for this plant. It needs partially shaded but bright conditions for about six to eight hours daily. Direct exposure to rays of sunlight will lead to sun scorching and burnt brown leaves. On the other hand, the pretty red variegations on its white leaves will not correctly form under low light and completely shaded conditions.
Outside the house, select a tree or a large plant to keep this plant under. The leaves overhead will partially shade the light like in nature. Any other spot within your yard which provides partial shade or a shade garden will be safe enough for this plant.
You need a room illuminated by lots of bright sunshine for an indoor plant. You don’t necessarily have to keep the plant immediately next to the windows because any corner of such a room will do.
Be careful of a southern-facing window, for it receives intense direct light all day. The eastern and the western-facing windows receive direct light only for a few hours. You may use sheer curtains to block the light.
– Water Requirements
Your potted plant needs regular watering in a balanced amount. Before each watering, you must ensure that the first two inches of the soil have dried up. A straightforward approach is to push your fingers through these two inches to feel if they have dried; you may also use a skewer stick instead if you don’t want to do that.
Keep in mind that depending on the time of the year, the soil will dry up either faster or drier. You will go from watering once weekly in summers to once per month in the winters. Use water only at room temperature, even during summers. This plant poorly tolerates cold water.
It is okay to water your plant with tap water once or twice. Our experts strongly suggest against making this a habit. Tap water contains salts and minerals that accumulate in the soil and plant leaves and harm them. Instead, use either rainwater or distilled water daily.
– Soil Requirements
To grow a fancy leaf caladium, you need a rich loamy soil. Whether gardening soil or special caladium potting mix, add a significant quantity of organic matter. This can be either in the form of hummus, peat, or compost.
Organic matter is important because it retains moisture in the soil. Hence the soil will have water as needed by the tubers. Organic matter also breaks down in the soil as a continual source of nutrients because it keeps the soil’s pH within a slightly acidic range between 6.0 to 6.6.
Adding stuff to the soil is essential to create air spaces and water channels. For caladiums, the best drainage is provided by pine bark. You can complement it further using inorganic rocks such as vermiculite and perlite. The latter is very important because the tubers need good air circulation as well.
– Temperature Requirements
More than 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature range for a caladium three bulb. This plant likes warm temperatures throughout the year. This is easy enough to maintain during the spring and summer months. You must consider moving it indoors if it has been potted during wintertime.
You must take care of some things even when growing this plant indoors. Refrain from putting it directly under or very near a source of cold drafts of air. Keep it near a window closed at night, especially if the nights are cooler. Consequently, also keep the plant away from a radiator because more than 90 degrees will burn its leaves.
For outdoors plants planted in soil, cover them properly so that they can survive winters; moreover, you can use plastic sheets or pieces of cardboard to cover the whole plant. Using something transparent is recommended so that the plant keeps receiving sunlight. Otherwise, the frost will cause the plant to drop leaves, which begin to die.
– Humidity Requirements
60 to 80 percent is the ideal humidity for the fancy leaf plant. Below 50 percent, the leaves of this plant begin to exhibit signs of dehydration. The already paper-thin leaves become dry to the touch, brown or curling at the edges.
Order a hygrometer and use it to see what the humidity in your house is. If it falls below 50 percent, there are several measures you can take to improve it. One method is to mist the plant using clean water from a spray bottle. Misting is best done in the early morning and at least twice weekly.
The second option is to place a pebble tray under the clay pot. You will have to change the water in it every week. At no point should the pot come in contact directly with water. Inside the house, you can put your humidifier to use. It will, of course, maintain the same levels of humidity, but you should be prepared for the mounting electricity bills.
– Fertilizing Requirements
White queen caladiums are very heavy feeders. They need to be fertilized regularly from early spring till early fall period. What you need is a commercial fertilizer that is rich in phosphorous to grow prosperous tubers. Nonetheless, pick one with an NPK ratio of 5:10:10 as it has five percent nitrogen and 10 percent phosphorus and potassium.
For a caladium grown in a yard, apply one tablespoon per square foot of soil. In a pot, you need to apply only a teaspoon instead. Reapply the fertilizer every four to six weeks. Before feeding, make sure you dilute the commercial formulation to one-third of its concentration.
Because this plant has very thin, almost paper-like leaves, it is easily susceptible to fertilizer burns. When applying a feed, direct it towards the soil, so your leaves are spared. Watering the soil deeply is another trick we always employ to protect from chemical burns. As a supplement, you can use a fistful of compost and mix it within the top of the soil.
Because the thickness of caladium plant stems is not more than a finger, a secateur will do the job well. Ensure it is sterilized and sharp enough to cut through the stem easily. Each stem and branch should be cut right above a leaf bud. This is where new growth will accelerate.
Another equally important thing is the angle at which you cut the stem. Make an angle of 45 degrees so that the top of the cut slants away from the leaf node. Select a leaf node pointing in a direction towards which you want the new branch to grow. Cutting right above this leaf node will help you control the shape of your plant.
Cut off any branch or leaf that looks weak or diseased, whether it is very pale and yellow or even has traces of fertilizer burn. Similarly, suppose the air circulation around the plant is affected because of too many stems and leaves.
In that case, you need to prune these off to create space for airflow. Moreover, pruning is most beneficial during springtime. Only prune off approximately one-third or less of the plant during one season.
Instead of buying another angel wings plant, it is best to propagate more plants yourself. Trust us; this method is much better, cost-effective, and fun. Let’s discuss the two ways you can reproduce this plant in detail.
Propagating through seeds is a pretty straightforward process. You must start seed propagation in a tray at first. Fill the tray with a growth medium like compost or moss. Sprinkle water on the tray so that this growth medium becomes moist.
Place the caladium bicolor seeds in this medium one by one in the medium. These seeds are light to germinate. That is why you must not push these seeds too deep in.
It is essential to cover the tray with something transparent like a sheet or a glass tray cover, as this is a DIY method to improve humidity as needed for germination. Remember to keep your tray someplace bright for about a month. Every few days, pick the covering up to let air in and water if the medium has dried.
Be patient, because, after one month, your new caladium plants will have germinated. Carefully pick each up and transplant it into a pot of its own. For the first few weeks, take care of these plantlets with extra care.
White Queen, also known as Carolyn Whorton caladiums, are easily susceptible to root rot. They might also occasionally suffer from pest infestations like spider mites and mealybugs. Find out the best methods of solving these problems in this section.
– Root Rot
The caladium white Christmas plant is easily prone to overwatering. This plant will get overwatered if water does not drain adequately from the soil or the pot. This plant gets watered if you overwater it without letting the soil dry.
If the roots stay in water for prolonged periods, they get soggy. They also become weak and develop fungal root rot. Rot soon travels all through the plant and produces yellow-brown spots of rot. The leaves begin to droop and smell like rotten vegetables.
For root rot, you need to remove the plant out of its current pot. Then you need to wrap it in a newspaper, so all its water flows out. Cut off the most rotten parts of the plant, then use a liquid copper spray all over the plant. Lastly, report it in brand new and fresh soil that has been sterilized.
– Spider mites
Spider mites are a particular nuisance to the elephant ears caladium plant. These reddish-brown tick-like pests make lots of tiny holes in your plant. They feed off the nutrients passing through the veins of the leaves and cause severe malnutrition.
Look around the leaf nodes if your plant begins to exhibit brown spots and leaf yellowing. You will find a lot of mites clustered there. Using a pressurized water jet directed at these colonies, eliminate as many mites as possible. Use a toothbrush afterward to scrub off those that have been left behind.
Now it’s time to get rid of the eggs and the larvae. The natural approach is applying a few drops of 100 percent authentic neem oil on a cotton roll. Clean your plant thoroughly using this cotton roll. Otherwise, you can also order an insecticidal spray and use it instead.
Mealybugs are small white pests that feed on the plant’s food. They mostly like to hide under the leaves and stem sheaths, but you can also spot them moving around slowly. During the initial phases of a mealybug infestation, the affected plant might not show any signs or symptoms. Later on, it does begin to exhibit chlorosis and leaf fall.
The first step is to isolate this plant far away from other houseplants. Mealybugs are famous for jumping from one plant to the next. Then move the pot under a sink or a hose of water. Wash the plant with water mixed with a bar of insecticidal soap. This step will help relieve the majority of the infestation.
The second step is to create a neem oil foliar spray for the eggs and larvae. This foliar spray is made from one gallon of water, one tablespoon of neem oil, and one teaspoon of liquid dishwater soap.
Use some of this water in a spray bottle for three to five weeks to douse the whole plant. You may also apply neem oil directly on the plant weekly, but we have found the foliar spray method easier.
– Fertilizer Burns
Fertilization can turn harmful if it is not carried out properly. If a person fertilizes too frequently, uses a large volume of chemical fertilizer, or does not dilute the formula before use, they can face this problem. If you pour fertilizer directly on the stem and leaves, this too will cause pretty bad burns.
Overfertilizing produces an accumulation of salts in the soil and on the leaves. These salts draw water from the roots and foliage, leading to severe dehydration. The affected plant leaves will turn yellow and dry and might even begin to drop. Flowering is impaired as well, unfortunately.
If your plant has suffered from this problem, deep water the plant to get rid of the salts from the soil. Use water approximately triple the volume of the pot. Sadly, the leaves that have turned yellow will have to be pruned off. You must fertilize the plant only when required with a diluted fertilizer and ensure only the soil is fed.
– Can White Queen Caladium Get Propagated Through Tubers?
Yes, this is a plant that grows underground using tubers. You can take out these white queen caladium bulbs and use them for further propagating this plant.
First and foremost, before taking the queen plant out of its pot, you must water the soil abundantly so that, when you take the plant out, digging the soil becomes easier. Carefully and in a steady way, be sure that you do not pull the roots too hard as they will not propagate if they get damaged.
Wash the roots thoroughly and take a close look at the tubers. Separate each tuber with its stems and roots and wash it clean. Inspect the tubers to see if they are damaged anywhere. Remove any diseased or damaged buds from their surface.
Moreover, what you must do is prepare a well-draining soil mix and fill pots with it. Then take each of the caladium bulbs and bury it two inches deep into it. The distance between these tubers should be eight to 12 inches minimum.
Lastly, keep your pots in a hot, partially bright, and warm spot. In a few weeks, you will see them growing fantastically. Now, you must be mindful and water it only when the soil begins to feel dry when you touch it. What you must do is be patient and notice how the plant will sprout and start growing. You would have to then follow the guide to care so that it thrives.
You have read about the caladium white Queen, and it is time for a summary.
- Keep your plant apart from direct sunlight and only give partial light.
- A moisture meter will help determine how dry the topsoil is.
- This is a plant that likes high humidity and temperatures on the warmer side.
- Caladium grows underground by tubers, and you can use these for propagation too.
- The plant might go through an issue of root rot when it has been overwatered.
White Queen is no doubt the most striking caladium ever. With such little time and effort needed to grow it, what stops you from getting one right away?