Choosing the Best Companion Plants for a Caladium

Caladium bulbs are leafy plants with foliage that comes in green, white, salmon, red and pink varieties. The shape of their leaves can be of an arrow, heart or triangle. They are very hearty plants that last from early spring to the first frost. Unlike other types of garden plants, caladium possesses both beauty and staying power. The following provides a guide to help you select the best companion plants for your caladium.

Growing Caladium

Caladium prefers shady conditions. Plant them where there is bright indirect light, filtered sunlight or partial shade. Like other shade-loving plants, they do best when they get some morning sun and can be kept cool in the afternoon. The soil should be rich and well drained. Caladium bulbs can be dug up before the first frost, cleaned, dried and saved for the next year. They are an excellent addition to shady gardens, where foliage congregates and is in need of splashes of color.

Companions to Caladium

If you are planting ferns, consider pairing them with caladium. The brightly colored leaves will be a good contrast to the simple elegance of the green ferns. Other soft textured plants that like the shade such as hostas, hellebores and polka dot plants all do well with caladium. The vibrant caladium varieties go well with the lush, broad green leaves of hostas. Other good companions include wax begonias, pink flowered oxalis, sultana, clematis and sedum.

Caladium will add bright, yet understated color to a shady foliage garden. With ferns and hostas, caladium adds a nice contrast to the dominant green tones.

Plant Together

Because caladium comes in several varieties, one idea is to plant them together, mixing and matching their different blooms. Some of the varieties include:

  • White Christmas – with bright white leaves and dark green veins, this type will stand a lot of sun
  • White Queen – this type of caladium also will take more sun, decorated with white leaves and red veins
  • Rosebud – a tri-color leaf with a pink center, surrounded by white and edged with green
  • Sweetheart – great for a shade garden, this variety is mostly pinkish red with a green edge
  • Jackie Suthers’ – a smaller type of caladium, its leaves have white centers surrounded by dark green

These are just some of the types of caladium. They can be planted together for a multi-colored effect and interspersed with other shade loving plants.


Try planting several varieties of caladium in a mostly shady area with hostas and different types of perennial. Forget-me-nots and daffodils are two such options. Low lying flowers that match nicely with hostas such as lily-of-the-valley and lamium will do well with caladium as well. Because there are so many varieties of caladium bloom, your shady garden will burst with color while being set against a backdrop of rich green leafage.

Companion planting is a skill that takes some time and practice to master, but once you do, you will always know what goes well with every type of flower. Caladium is no exception. Being that there are so many types, they make their own best companions sometimes. However, any plant that loves mostly shaded environments and rich, well drained soil will do well with caladium foliage.