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Caladium praetermissum "Hilo Beauty" 
 
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Description

This plant always used to be referred to as an Alocasia, but there was always some doubt as to whether this was correct.  It always looked more like a Colocasia or Caladium to me, and recently experts have reclassified this as Caladium praetermissum which is a species of its own.  

It is most commonly referred to as Caladium ‘Hilo Beauty’.  

It is a small growing plant which seldom reaches 1m in hight.  The stalks are bluish-black, and the leaves are medium-green, beautifully marked with a camouflage like pattern of dark and light greens and yellows.

An extremely attractive elephant ear for the afternoon shade garden, it is a fast grower.  It is reasonably cold tolerant, although not really frost tolerant.  A great house plant, it will eventually form a clump around 50cm in diameter.

Caladiums require continual warmth and humidity.  The soil should be rich but well drained, and the plant appreciates frequent watering (daily), especially as if grows larger.  Note however, that when the plant is young and small, too much water (particularly if the weather is cold) will rot the tuber, so be careful not to overdo it.  They generally go dormant, or at least slow down growth, in the cooler months, coming back bigger and better as the weather starts to warm up again.

At a glance:

Suitable for Zones:             9 - 12 (see my Zone Hardiness Map page)

Sun requirements:             Full Sun to deep shade (up to 80% shade)

Moisture requirements:     Moderate to high, well drained soil

Size when fully grown:        50cm to 1 metre (1-3 feet), similar spread wide

Not frost tolerant

Suitable as an indoor and container plant 

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