Bearing similar features with Green Velvet Arecasia and Arrowhead Plant, Heart of Jesus is one of the most exclusive houseplants. That is why it is a catchy figure in both indoor and outdoor decoration. Taken the prophet’s name, the plant has well-known names such as elephant ears and angel wings. Also, its botanical name is Caladium. Besides, it is native to South America. Specifically, having its hybrid and cultivars been produced, plant growing fad of this species has reached far-flung corners of the world. What is more, such plants are suitable for being gifts on celebration days. Namely, the Heart of Jesus could be a part of Christmas decoration in many houses.
1) General information For Heart of Jesus Plant
Heart of Jesus generally has variegated red, pink, green broad cordate foliage, looking-upward thin stems, and a robust bulb at the root part. This plant displays its beauty with magnificent leaves rather than its flowers. As for its flowering, it blooms green at the beginning of the summer in nature. However, it barely blossoms under indoor conditions. In terms of the lifecycle, it is a perennial plant. Provided well-cared, Heart of Jesus may reach up to 35 inches (90 cm). Also, the length of leaves looking like bleeding heart change between 8-20 inches (20-50 cm). Just like Chinese Evergreen, it is a detriment to pets(dogs & cats) in case of ingestion.
2) Heart of Jesus (Caladium) Plant Care
Sunlight: Intense sunlight harms to Heart of Jesus. However, partial shady spots getting diffused sunlight thrive it better. Especially, it is necessary to rotate it every other day to prevent amorphic growth.
Watering: Such plants need regular watering in their growing seasons. Also, the potting soil should absorb the water evenly. In winter, the development of the plant slows down due to dormancy. Usually, few leaves could fall. Such times, it needs less water. However, stagnant water and overwatering are two great watering problems.
Humidity: Moderate humidity in the air will suffice for Heart of Jesus. But yet, High humidity is quite effective in its growth. So there are a few means of producing humidity. They are digital humidifiers, wet pebble trays, and water sprays.
Temperature: The optimal temperature range for Heart of Jesus is 59°F – 70°F (15°C – 21°C). Below 32°F (0°C) is particularly deadly for this plant. According to the USDA plant hardiness map, 9-12 zones have livable conditions for such plants.
Soil Type: The potting soil with organic material rich provides healthy growth. Also, well-draining and well-ventilated soils are crucial for not drowning the roots.
Fertilizer: Rather than granular fertilizers, Heart of Jesus should be monthly fed with balanced water-soluble ones.
Propagation: In particular this houseplant, the division seems the most efficient way. However, be careful while doing the plant work because of its toxicity.
Repotting: As usual, once three years in spring will be in place. Before repotting, water the soil the day before because the transplant shock could happen. Apart from this, the second pot should bigger than the current one. For example, if you use a tipsy pot, so then change it with a cement ballon planter.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
Losing its variegation: It stems from the lack of light in general. This tender plant loses all magics in full shady spaces. In the end, it becomes just green.
Yellowish foliage: It is a clear sign of overwatering. In such cases, too much water drowns the roots. For that reason, drowned roots cannot transmit the necessary water. And leaves gradually go pale.
Pest infestation: One of the serious plant problems is pest infestation. In such cases, an early treatment saves the plant.
Suggestions for problems: To keep variegated foliage, open spacious places with overhead lighting are crucial. Also, cleaning leaves with a damp cloth opens the dusted porous. So the plant takes the necessary amount of light thoroughly. Yellowish leaves are one of the unhealthy situations for many houseplants. First of all, check the roots if they are dead or alive. If alive and the potting soil conditions are inappropriate, change its soil and keep its regular watering. Pest-infested plants are another serious problem for houseplants. There are a few combating methods to keep away these little creatures. They are bug repellents, pesticides, neem oils, alcohol-based wipes, respectively.