Caladium Vs Syngonium (5 Things to Know)

Which is the best plant to have? Caladium vs Syngonium? Are you wondering which one to have? If you remain glued to this article until the end, you can decide it yourself.

As both the plant look pretty similar, it might be not very clear for you to choose one in Caladium vs Syngonium if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.  

Caladium and Syngonium are easy plants to have for gardeners indoors. They are even low-maintenance plants to grow, which makes it easy for gardening beginners as well. Due to various similarities in these plants, it is often mistaken to be the same plant. Caladium and Syngonium are identical but not the same. They have quite some differences to help us identify. So, learning about the similarities that makes them look similar and the differences that set them apart can help you decide in Caladium vs Syngonium while choosing a plant among them.

So, let’s get started.

Caladium Vs Syngonium

1) What is Caladium?

Caladium bicolor, commonly called Caladium, is a plant that is a genus of flowering plants and is of the family Araceae. They are also called elephant ear, the heart of Jesus, and angel wings due to the shape of their leaves. Caladium is natively found in South America and Central America and is naturalized in parts of Africa, India and different tropical islands.  

The genus Caladium consists of seven species, among which Caladium bicolor is the one. They grow in forest areas that are wide open and also on the river banks. This plant is usually 15 to 35 inches (40 to 90 cm) tall, and the leaves are long and broad with 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm). 

Caladium plant looks attractive with their big, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves display an eye-catchy colour combination of white, pink, red and green colours. These plants thrive in hot, humid weather, due to which they are not usually found during the dry season. They grow properly in partial or even in full shade. In spite of caladiums flowering rarely, their beautiful foliage promises colourful and aesthetic looks wherever they get planted. They light up your area with their looks, be it beneath the trees, perennial borders, between shrubs or even in containers.

Caladium Florida Moonlight Caladium Vs Syngonium
Caladium Florida Moonlight via Amazon.com

2) What is Syngonium?

Syngonium podophyllum, commonly called Syngonium, is a genus of flowering plants that also falls under the family Araceae. They are found natively in the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico, central and south America and also in the West Indies. Syngoniums are also called Arrowhead Plant, Arrowhead Vine or Goosefoot. They are woody vines that grow in trees and are 10 to 20 m tall or even more. The plant’s leaves change their shape relative to its growth stage. The adult leaves are often more lobed than the early leaves seen on small house plants.  

Syngoniums spread out and extend in all directions, as one of its common names, Arrowhead vines, suggests. They are easy-growing plants that need a minimal amount of your effort. These houseplants are usually less tolerant to light, due to which they can grow anywhere in your home. Their leaves can be seen displaying various patterning and colours.

Plant collectors dream of having this plant with them to enhance their character and personality. People with little or no plant care experience can also easily have this houseplant with them. They survive for a long time, even without fertilizers and other chemicals. They can be planted almost anywhere with very little light.

Pink Syngonium Podophyllum Arrowhead Plant Caladium Vs Syngonium
Pink Syngonium Podophyllum Arrowhead Plant via Amazon.com

>> Related Post: Syngonium Pink Splash – 9 Absolutely Easy Tips To Care and Grow (#2 Will Take You By Surprise)

3) Differences

Syngonium grows from adventitious roots, whereas Caladium grows from a tuber. Caladium depicts more vibrance than Syngonium in terms of colour. Caladium also has numerous distinctive leaf shapes. The other differences in Caladium vs Syngonium are mentioned below.  

  • Taxonomy

Although both Syngonium and Caladium come from the same family, they differ in terms of their genus and species. These two falls under the same family called Araceae. But the Caladium is from a Caladium Vent genus, whereas the Syngonium is from a genus named Syngonium Schott.

Some of the popular cultivars of Caladium are Creamsicle, White Christmas, Miss Muffet and Puppy Love.

  • Habitat

Caladiums are sensitive to low temperatures. So, they need a temperature of at least 21° C (70° F) to grow. Syngoniums are not that sensitive to low temperatures, due to which they can thrive even at a lower temperature.

  • Appearance and Structure

Syngonium is often called an arrowhead plant due to the presence of arrow-shaped leaves, while Caladium possesses leaves with different shapes and sizes. Caladiums have bright and vibrant leaves that stand out immediately in the eyes of the person looking at the plant.

  • Tubing or Vining

Caladiums grow from tubers, while Syngoniums grow out of adventitious roots. Caladiums do not grow very tall, but on the other hand, Syngoniums are comparatively taller as it grows from vines.

  • Propagation: Cutting or Division

Caladiums can be propagated by dividing their mature tuber into different sections and storing the units at temperatures above 13° C (55° F), and planting them in the next growing season. Syngoniums propagate easily just by cutting an inch below the nodes that contain some leaves and planting them.

  • Soil Conditions and Lighting Requirements

Caladiums grow best in moist soil with a slightly acidic pH level. These plants grow well if watered no less than thrice a week. Syngoniums also grow well in moist soil, but you should maintain their pH level at neutral to acidic. Watering the plant twice or thrice each week does the job for Syngoniums as well.

Caladiums prefer indirect light indoors, whereas outdoors, they grow best in partial to full shade. They are sensitive to bright light and shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight.

Syngoniums grows well in partial shade but is also pretty adaptable to changes in light. They do not ask for much light and can grow anywhere in your house.

  • Toxicity

Caladiums are toxic to both pets and people. The symptoms include swelling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and eye pain in humans and excessive drooling, swelling, signs of distress, trouble swallowing, and vomiting in the case of pets.

Syngoniums are only toxic to pets. The symptoms of poisoning include reduced appetite, signs of pain, vomiting, pawing at the mouth, and irritation.

4) Similarities

There are various similarities if we talk about Caladium vs Syngonium, due to which they are often confused to be the same.

  • Origin

Both Syngoniums and Caladiums originated from tropical forests so that they grow well in humid regions. The plants do well with adequate lighting, optimum temperature and maintained soil conditions. They can also be grown together easily without one plant affecting the other one.

  • Water Requirements

Both of the plants thrive in moist conditions, which makes them similar in terms of water requirements. These plants may require frequent watering at an early stage. As they mature, optimum watering is sufficient to form them to grow well. You can also grow both of the plants in the same spot to reduce your watering hassle.

  • Diseases and Pests

As Syngoniums, as well as Caladiums, belong to the same family, they get infested by pretty much the same diseases and pests. This similarity can help you reduce your efforts in researching diseases and pests infesting these plants.

  • Flowering

Modern varieties of both Syngoniums and Caladiums lack flowering. But even if it flowers, the petioles produce only one flower in both plants. So, they are also called mono-flowering plants.

5) Which One is Easier to Grow? Caladium Vs Syngonium?

As you have known about both the Syngoniums and the Caladiums now, you might want to know the one that’s easy to grow and take care of among them. Well, let us answer it for you.

Both the plants are very easy to grow and take care in overall. But Caladiums can be a little trickier to maintain as they are more sensitive to lighting conditions. The leaves of Caladium plants also get burnt easily if exposed to direct sunlight.


Conclusion

Syngoniums and Caladiums are evergreen plants that can brighten up your home with their colourful leaves. I always recommend them to They are the best plants to have for beginners and master gardeners. They are from the same family and possess many similarities with each other that makes the talk of Caladium vs Syngonium pretty relevant. But, despite all their similarities, they have pretty significant differences in their characteristics. These differences make them unique.

Now, it is up to you to decide which one is the best for you and matches your personality. Caladiums are more sensitive to sunlight exposure, temperature and water, whereas Syngoniums are less sensitive to all of those. If you’re fond of having colourful plants in your garden, these might be the best match for you.

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