If you are really into tropical plants that can immediately give you some jungle vibes, look no further. The Caladium Lindenii is the one plant you’ve been looking for! It has big arrow-shaped leaves that catch the eye, is relatively easy to care for, and is highly unique.
|Scientific Name||Caladium lindenii (André) Madison|
|Synonym||Xanthosoma Lindenii, Caladium Lindenii, Caladium Lindenii ‘Magnificum’|
|Light||Bright, indirect sunlight|
|Watering||Water when the top half of the soil is dry.|
|Humidity||At least 50%, 60-70% is the ideal one.|
|Soil Type||Aroid mix, orchid mix, coconut coir, and perlite|
|Fertilizing||A balanced feed once a month in spring and summer|
|Repotting||Every 2 years|
|Mature Size||60-90 cm in total height|
All About Xanthosoma Lindenii
Native to the Colombian jungles, the Xanthosoma is considered a member of the Aracae family. It can catch your attention instantly and take you back to the jungle with its large, arrow-shaped green leaves and white veins.
Along with its stunning foliage, it produces small flowers that resemble the calla lilies (a small spadix with a white petiole around it).
It is a geophyte (a plant with rhizomes below the soil) and was believed to carry many medicinal properties.
Lighting & Placement
Xanthosoma Lindenii thrives in bright, indirect light. You can keep it close to the east-facing window.
Make sure that the sun light doesn’t hit the leaves directly because it can scorch them.
If you decide to grow this beauty outdoors, a shaded spot would be ideal since it best mimics the plant’s natural habitat.
You will have to do most of the watering during the spring and the summer since the Xanthosoma becomes dormant during the winter.
A general rule is to water it when the two top inches are about to dry. You may notice during the summer that the leaves are drooping a bit more often than usual. This is a sign that the plant needs some additional water.
Because you run the risk of root rot, don’t overdo it. Just ensure the soil stays moist, and you will be more than okay!
Soil & Potting
When I first got my own Lindenii, I used a commercial aroid mix and perlite. The plant was doing relatively okay for a while but didn’t seem lush. The leaves were also drooping frequently. I decided to add some orchid mix and some pine bark; to my surprise, my Xanthosoma loved the new soil mix change!
Just like the Monsteras and the Anthuriums, some acidity in the soil can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to use it to your plant’s advantage.
For your Xanthosoma, I can try:
- 2 parts of coconut coir
- 2 parts of any aroid mix you like
- 1 part of the orchid mix
- 1 part of pine bark
- 1 part of perlite
They all provide fantastic water retention, fair drainage, and good aeration around the plant’s roots.
Don’t forget that it also likes to feel tight inside the pot. Don’t get carried away and select a wide one. Take it gradually and watch how the plant grows and develops naturally.
Temperature & Humidity Needs
Caladium Lindenii have an amazing ability to withstand hot weather. However, they are not fans at all of the cold. They hate it. You will notice that the plant will be at its best during the hot summer months. At the first sign of cold air, it will start to droop. It might also stop its ongoing growth if the temperature is below 70ºF (21ºC).
Lindenii loves humidity very much. The ideal levels of humidity are around 60-80%. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can try to group the plant with other plants. You can also place it on a tray by adding pebbles and some water.
FURTHER READING: How To Increase Humidity for Houseplants (Complete Guide)
Since the plant goes dormant during the winter, you should only try to fertilize your Xanthosoma in spring and summer.
An all-purpose fertilizer (NPK 20-20-20 or NPK 9-9-9) will do wonders. Follow the instructions before use and fertilize your plant once every 20-25 days till the early days of October.
Growth rate & repotting needs
You could do some mild pruning on the Xanthosoma. You can cut off any old leaves that turn old and yellow. Besides that, there won’t be much for you to do.
The Lindenii grows steadily during the spring and the summer, and because of its wide leaves, it can trick you into thinking that it has grown more.
You can always check at the bottom of the pot and see if any roots are coming right out. If that is the case, you will need to repot the plant in a wider pot (1-3 cm bigger than the one you’ve got now).
FURTHER READING: Understanding Root Bound Plants: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions
Remember, they like their pot to feel tight! If you don’t see any roots coming out of the pot bottom, hold back a little bit. Wait until the roots come out of the old pot, then repot.
Like all of our plants, you may encounter some problems with the Xanthosoma Lindenii. Overall, it is quite a sturdy plant.
The most common disease you may come across with the Lindenii is root rot. Root rot produces a foul smell in the soil and the leaves droop. You may also notice some black dots on the leaves.
You can treat root rot by removing all the infected roots using a sterilized pair of scissors. Replant the Xanthosoma in fresh soil and keep an eye on your watering.
As hardy as it is, keep an eye out for mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and thrips.
They like to absorb the sap from the lush Xanthosoma leaves. Whiteflies may also appear in some cases.
For me, my most common pest enemy has been spider mites! They seem to love my Lindenii so much. I have found it quite effective to shower my plant every time I water it. The water helps keep the leaves clean; with some pressure, you can flush out any mealybugs. Neem oil has been helpful, too, since it gives a bitter taste to the leaves and discourages pests from biting them.
I haven’t detected any aphids or thrips on Xanthosoma yet. Still, if you come across them, it is best to use an insecticidal soap instead since it is more powerful.
Xanthosoma Lindenii Propagation
You can propagate a Xanthosoma Lindenii through division. If you’ve never done this again, don’t worry!
- First, remove the plant from the pot and use your hands to remove the soil around the roots.
- You will notice some big buds once the soil is removed (they look like tiny balls).
- The big buds have some smaller buds next to them. Use your knife to cut a bud (preferably a big one with an attaching small bud next to it)
- Let the bud dry out for 2-3 days before you plant it in the soil. This step will do wonders for the future growth of your new plant!
Don’t forget to enjoy this process, even if it is somewhat scary- it is really amazing to see a Xanthosoma Lindenii grow from the start. Enjoy your new plant!