Caladium vs Syngonium: Which is Better for Your Home?

Caladium vs Syngonium (podophyllum) are two different plants that come from other parts of the world and have unique characteristics.

Both Caladium and Syngonium are popular flowering plants with overlapping features and uses. However, the two plants have distinct features that set them apart, making one preferable depending on your home specification.

While they’re both low-maintenance plants, a few key differences make one a better choice than another in different situations.

For example, if you’re looking for an indoor plant that can thrive in full sun, consider growing Caladium; however, if you want something more suited to partial shade or indirect sunlight, Syngonium might be a better option. Here’s a closer look at these two houseplants.

The major difference is Caladium grows from tubers, while Syngonium grows from adventitious roots. Tubers take longer to grow into mature plants and need a moist, humid environment, as you’d find under natural forest canopies.

On the other hand, adventitious roots grow quickly; some species of Syngonium can grow leaves within four months after planting. This makes them ideal for those who don’t want to wait around long before seeing results.

Both plants are relatively low-maintenance, but if you’re looking for something that requires less attention than Caladium, consider growing Syngonium instead.

Is Caladium and Syngonium Same?

No! they are not. However, Caladium and Syngonium are wonderful houseplants that can make great additions to any home or office.

The most notable difference between these two plants lies in their growing preferences. Both Caladium and Syngonium are tropical plants that grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12.

However, while Caladium grows from tubers, Syngonium is grown from adventitious roots. These differences make it easy to distinguish between these similar-looking plants. There are other factors to consider when deciding which one will work best in your home.

For example, you’ll want to choose a variety of Caladium that fits your decorating style and complements your other houseplants. If you have an empty corner in need of some color, look for an upright variety. A trailing type like Syngonium works well on hanging baskets or planters along windowsills.

You can also try mixing up several types in one container to create a unique display that adds color throughout the year.

What is Caladium

what is Caladium
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Caladium is a tropical and subtropical ornamental plant, grown primarily as an indoor foliage plant in cooler climates. There are many species and hybrids of caladium plants with different sizes, shapes and colors of leaves.

Making them ideal houseplants that can provide color all year round. In fact, they have become one of the most popular indoor plants available today.

The first thing to know about caladiums is that there are two main types – elephant ear (Caladium bicolor) and fancy leaf (caladium x hortulanum). The elephant ear type has large heart-shaped leaves, while the fancy leaf has small, lance-shaped leaves.

The second important thing to know about caladiums is that they come in various colors, including green, red, white, yellow, and pink. You might notice that there are also different names for each color; ‘White Gem’ or ‘Ebony’ etc.

These names refer to particular cultivars within each color category. For example, ‘Green Goddess’ is a cultivar of White Gem.

One final point worth mentioning is that caladiums do not produce flowers or fruit as other plants do, but they have bulbs that can be removed and potted up separately if you want more plants later on.

What is Syngonium

What is Syngonium
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An evergreen plant with glossy and smooth green leaves, Syngoniums are native to tropical regions of South America. This plant grows rapidly, and its appearance reflects lush foliage.

Although these plants can grow from 3 to 5 feet in height, you will want to prune them when they get more than 2 feet tall. You will see lovely white bell-shaped flowers form at stem tips during late summer to early fall.

These flowers have five petals, and each flower has a brown center. The blooms attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your garden. These plants are also referred to as arrowhead vine or nephthytis. You can find them growing in U.S Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10 through 12.

You should keep an eye on your Syngonium if you live outside those zones because they may not be able to withstand cold temperatures. If you don’t live in one of those zones, choose a variety that doesn’t require winter protection.

If your plant gets too much water during hot weather, it could develop root rot. Take care not to overwater your Syngoniums during their first year so they won’t become root bound; once established, they’ll need moderate watering throughout most of the year.

The amount of sunlight your plant receives also affects how much water it needs. When choosing a location for your Syngonium, look for bright but indirect light. They’re very adaptable and will do well indoors as long as they receive plenty of light.

Caladium Vs Syngonium: What Are Their Differences?

Caladium Vs Syngonium
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When comparing Caladium vs Syngonium, it is important to understand their similarities and differences. Caladiums are flowering plants that can be used as indoor foliage or outdoor potted plants.

On the other hand, Synonyms are hardy plants that can be used indoors or outdoors in warmer climates.

Knowing these differences will help you determine which two plants best fit your needs.

A. Tubing or Vining

Syngonium grows from adventitious roots, whereas Caladium grows from tubers. Tubers take longer to mature and require a wet, humid environment. Adventitious roots grow swiftly; some Syngonium species can grow leaves after four months of sowing.

B. Appearance

The first major difference is color – caladium leaves tend to be reds, oranges, yellows or even light green. In contrast, Syngonium leaves tend to be lighter in color, including shades of cream, pink, light green or even silver!

The second difference is size – although both are large tropical plants, Syngonium will typically grow larger than Caladium.

You may need to plant more Syngonium than Caladium if you want them to look similar in size! Otherwise, they’re fairly identical overall; they like lots of sunlight and well-drained soil with consistent watering once they’ve been planted.

C. Growth Habit

While caladiums tend to be bushy plants, Syngonium is columnar. So the easiest way to distinguish a caladium from a Syngonium is to look at how they grow. If it’s upright or even arched, and if you can imagine pushing on its sides without your hands touching each other, it’s likely a Syngonium.

A caladium will have a more rounded shape with leaves that overlap. Both types of plants produce flowers in pink, red, orange and white shades—but those colors may not appear until late summer or fall. You can read How long does it take for Caladium bulbs to grow.

D. Propagation: Division or Stem Cuttings

Caladiums and Syngoniums can be propagated either by division or from stem cuttings. Both propagate relatively easily, although Syngonium needs more care than caladiums. Caladium grows from tubers, while Syngonium grows from adventitious roots.

For example, where Caladium will often take root without any treatment (misting with water is said to help), Syngonium stem cuttings may require treatment for best results. If you’re new to gardening, it’s probably better to start with caladiums.

They are somewhat hardier plants less prone to disease than Syngonium cousins. If you have a green thumb and want something that’ll challenge your skills, try growing any of these two plants!

E. Taxonomy

Both plants are placed in their own family and order. Caladium bicolor belongs to the Araceae family, while Syngonium belongs to the Araceae family. But, the difference is that they belong to different genera.

Similarities Between Syngonium vs Caladium

Caladium and Syngonium are wonderful houseplants that can make great additions to your plant collection. However, Caladium vs Syngonium is also similar in many ways. Here’s an overview of the most important similarities between these two plants.

a. Habitat

The natural habitat of both plants is tropical, meaning they will not fare well in areas that receive below freezing temperatures for an extended period.

While neither plant likes to be kept outdoors all year round, it’s possible to keep a caladium outdoors during the summer months as long as you bring it indoors during fall and winter.

For synonyms, bring them indoors before nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). If you don’t have room inside your home or office, consider building a makeshift shelter outside using large pots or boxes covered with plastic sheeting.

b. Soil Conditions and Lighting Requirements

These plants like to stay damp (but not soggy) and do not allow let their soil to dry out for long periods. It’s also best to keep them in a humid room because they will wilt when exposed to less than 70% humidity.

In terms of lighting, plant experts recommend an eastern or western window that gets filtered light and at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. This exposure should allow your Caladium and Syngonium to grow up to 10 inches tall.

You can use a standard potting mix for tropical houseplants as far as soil is concerned. You can supplement it with extra peat moss or perlite to add some moisture retention capabilities.

However, these two ingredients are optional if your Caladium and Syngonium live in warm conditions.

c. Pests & Diseases

The biggest problem with caladiums vs Syngonium is that they are both highly susceptible to infestation by slugs. If you choose to grow these plants in your garden, be sure to dedicate a section of your garden just for them, so you can be careful about what you fertilize their soil with.

Also, consider using slug bait or laying down copper tape around your plants’ roots. Both will keep pests away from your plant’s leaves.

Remember: There are no 100% effective ways to keep all insects away from your plants; all you can do is try to prevent as many problems as possible!

d. Water Requirements

Caladium and Syngonium are both tropical plants that require similar water amounts. They can take a considerable amount of moisture but have a higher tolerance for drier soil conditions.

This means you can water your plants more often, but if you keep them too wet for too long, it may cause root rot to develop.

Overwatering is one of their biggest problems. The best way to tell whether or not your plant is getting enough water is by checking its leaves: dry leaves indicate that it’s time to water; dark green leaves mean it’s not necessary yet.

If you have trouble with either plant because of improper watering, remember: overwatering causes root rot and underwatering causes leaf drops!

Which One is Easier to Grow? Caladium or Syngonium?

It can be hard to tell which is easier to grow if you’re starting with indoor plants. Both are tropical plants, meaning they like warm, humid climates (much like your home), but they have different growing habits, requiring extra care.

The best way to determine which plant will be easier for you is to look at their differences and decide which ones you’re more likely to follow through.

Another factor to consider is spacing – If you have a small amount of space in your home for greenery, you might want to try caladiums instead of synonyms. They require less maintenance than many other houseplants while yet producing lovely foliage.

Caladiums are also more tolerant of low light than other Syngonium, another advantage of choosing them.

When to Use, Where to Plant

Caladiums (Caladium bicolor) grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11, while synonyms are found in USDA zones 8 to 10.

You should keep Caladium outdoors year-round if possible since they prefer full sun or partial shade with moist soil conditions—perfect for areas where temperatures remain below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, it’s best to bring your Syngonium indoors during the winter months; these plants require a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area where outdoor conditions aren’t suitable for keeping either plant outside, consider using them as houseplants instead.

Both species thrive under indoor lighting. Caladiums have larger leaves than syngoniums, making them better suited for display on their own. However, both plants will make beautiful additions to any room when paired together.

Frequently Asked Questions on Caladium vs Syngonium

How do I Make My Syngonium Bushy?

Many gardeners have questions about getting their plants bushy when growing a Syngonium.

We will cover everything you need to know about growing a bushy Syngonium! We’ll discuss watering schedules, sunlight requirements, pruning and more. So let’s jump right in.

Watering Schedules

Watering your plant will help keep it bushy because you can avoid transplant shock and ensure that it stays healthy. Water at least once per week is ideal, but if conditions are dry outside, you may want to increase that schedule.

Your soil must remain moist but not wet! Avoid over-watering, which can cause root rot and kill your plant.

Sunlight Requirements

Providing the right amount of light can make your Syngonium grow more foliage. Syngonium prefers shade or partial shade, especially in hotter climates. However, they also do well indoors under artificial light sources such as fluorescent lights.

If you’re growing them outdoors in a container, place them in an area where they receive morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled sunlight throughout the day.

If you have multiple plants, be sure to separate them by at least 6 feet so that each one gets adequate sunlight.


Pruning should only be done when necessary (i.e., for health reasons). Never prune more than 25% of Syngonium’s leaves in any given year unless instructed otherwise by a professional.

Does Syngonium Need Moss Stick?

Yes! Syngonium needs a moss stick or moss pole because the plant has aerial roots that grow upwards toward any available sunlight or cling to any supporting structure. Therefore, you can train the roots of Syngonium using a moss pole (moss stick).

However, you must provide your plant with enough moisture. If your potting soil is fairly light in texture, you may have to water it often. On the other hand, if it has a heavy texture and retains moisture well, you can water it once a week.

How do I Make My Syngonium Pink?

Syngonium can thrive in an area with full or partial shade. This is because Syngonium has plant pigments called anthocyanins responsible for the pink coloration. To make it pinker, move Syngonium to where it receives indirect light.

When a plant receives less light, it produces more chlorophyll to receive more light.

What Is Another Name for Syngonium?

Syngonium is a tropical plant belonging to the family “Araceae”. It has various names, which includes is Arrowhead Vine, Elephant Ear Plants, Fishbone Plant, Lady Fingers, Goosefoot Plant, Etc.,

Is the Arrowhead the Same as Syngonium?

Yes, it is! The arrowhead (Syngonium podophyllum) and Syngonium are the same plants. The arrowhead belongs to a family of plants called Araceae (the family includes elephant ears, philodendrons, etc.).

It is a tropical rainforest plant native to Central and South America. The name Arrowhead Plant is derived from the spade-like shape of its leaves.

Sometimes people confuse them for Caladium since they are similar in appearance. You may even see an arrowhead labelled as Caladium when sold in nurseries or garden centers.

Is Caladium and Alocasia the Same?

No, they are not the same. Although Caladium and Alocasia are closely related when comparing Caladium vs alocasia, caladiums and alocasias aren’t the same. The easiest way to differentiate them is by leaf shape; caladium leaves have three broad lobes, while alocasia leaves are more narrow.

Beyond that, there are significant differences in their growth habits and preferred growing conditions. Both plants are part of the arum family (Araceae), including philodendrons.

While there are many varieties within both plant families, both caladiums and alocasias fall into the classifications of giant elephant ear-type plants that can reach several feet in height when mature.

Alocasia Vs Syngonium

When comparing Alocasia vs Syngonium, it is important to understand their similarities and differences. Alocasias are a type of flowering plant that can be used as both indoor foliage and outdoor potted plants.

On the other hand, Syngonium is a hardy plant used indoors or outdoors in warmer climates.

Alocasia is an epiphytic plant that grows in tropical rain forests and swamps, while Syngonium is a flowering houseplant. They belong to different genera; both plants are commonly grown for their decorative foliage.

Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin coined the name ‘alocasia’ in 1763 from Alo, which means food in Hawaiian, referring to its edible roots. Alocasia species can be propagated by dividing rhizomes or tubers, while Syngonium is propagated by cutting.

Final word on Caladium vs Syngonium

When comparing Caladium vs Syngonium, you need to understand that Caladium and Syngonium are popular flowering plants that add beauty to our homes. However, the two plants have distinct features that set them apart.

They belong to the same family but of different genera. Caladium can grow from the tuber, and Syngonium is propagated through adventitious roots.

Consider growing Caladium if you want an indoor plant that can thrive in full sun; however, Syngonium may be a better option if you want something that can thrive in partial shade or indirect sunlight.

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