Plant care & Tips

Why Are My Caladium Leaves Small? (How to Fix it)

Caladiums are attractive foliage plants with shapes like arrowheads grown for their aesthetics leaves. Caladium plants have beautiful color blends like white, red, and green pink.

Like every houseplant, the Caladium plant comes with its problems. And has led many plant owners to ask – why are my Caladium leaves small?

In this article, I will show you why your Caladium leaves are not growing and how you can make them bigger.

Why are my Caladium leaves small? The reason why your Caladium leaves is small and not developing could be as a result of wrong watering routines. If you overwater or underwater your plants, it can inhibit the growth of your plant. In addition to watering habits, temperature, low humidity and overexposure to sun-ray, and improper use of fertilizers can hinder the development of your Caladium plant.

The Caladium plant is sensitive even though it is relatively easy to grow. They need an optimal temperature of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit to grow well.

Therefore, to help your Caladium grow properly and have big leaves. You will need to have a detailed knowledge of how to address these problems.

You can choose from our arrays of beautiful Caladium plants from the store here.

Why Are My Caladium Leaves Small? Plus, Simple Solutions

Low Humidity

Provide a high level of humidity around Caladium plants for healthy growth. Therefore, healthy growth will translate to a big leaf. Thus, if your Caladium plants do not have the required amount of humidity, they end up having small leaves.

In addition, low humidity makes the plant transpire further and thus gets the leaves to dry out.

Solution to Low Humidity

Creating surroundings with high humidity is the easiest solution to this problem. Caladium comes from the tropics and grows in a habitat with more humidity. Therefore, making Caladium leaves bushy, you have to provide high humidity for them.

To rectify this limitation, use a humidifier all over the place to keep the moisture levels high. You can grow your plants in groups to increase humidity around them. The transpiration from the plants increases the moist content around your houseplants.

Using a pebble tray can also help to increase moisture around a plant, but this method is not as effective as the humidifier.

Get a high-quality Humidifier from here.

Low humidity - Why are my Caladium leaves small

Wrong Watering Methods

People do ask, why are my Caladium leaves small? They did know it is as a result of inappropriate watering habits.

Improper watering habits (Overwatering or Underwatering) can lead to poor growth of your Caladium plants. And if the growth of your plant is affected same goes with the leaves too.

Caladium strives best in moist soil that is neither too watered nor dry. Therefore, striking an appropriate balance of water is essential if you want the plant to grow.


Almost all houseplants get affected by overwatering. Many think keeping plants in wet soil is the best thing for them. But when done wrong may lead to root rot, which you wouldn’t want for your houseplants.

As earlier stated, overwatering makes the soil to over-logged with water. It stops the flow of air in the soils and chokes out the roots by denying them air. Prompting root rot in plants. Which further hinders the growth of your plant to have smaller leaves.

How to Solve the Problem of Overwatering?

  • If your plant is in a pot, ensure there are enough holes around for drainage.
  • Ensure you mix perlite to your potting soil for better aeration.
  • Try not to water the plants except if needed.
  • Use good Soil mix for planting Caladium.
  • Only water the soil when the top two-inch layer of the earth is dry.


One of the reasons your Caladium plants have smaller leaves is because of underwatering. Underwatering comes to play when your plant does not have the required measure of water they need for survival.

Here are some of the causes of Underwatering:

  1. When you keep your plant straight under the sun, the water evaporates from the soil and dries it.
  2. You neglect to water the plant when it should be.
  3. Less humidity around the plant makes the plant transpire to keep the air damp. Which results in the dring of the plant leading to smaller leaves.

How to Solve the Problem of Underwatering?

  • Keep the plant in a little shady environment. It helps prevent direct contact with sunlight that causes excessive evaporation of water.
  • Providing a humid place for your plant will help keep your plant hydrated.
  • Make sure your pot has holes to let out excess water after watering during dryness.
  • Check the soil regularly for dryness. You can do that by trying to push your finger into the earth. If your finger can go through, then the soil is dry.

Improper Use of Fertilizer for Caladium

A high quantity of fertilizer can cause Caladium plants to have small leaves. And can also hinder the growth of the plant.

Both the overuse and underuse of Caladium can stunt the growth of your plant. So extra care is needed when applying fertilizer.

Regardless of whether you use a lot of fertilizer, only what’s needed by the plant will be utilized. Where does the excess go?

The leftover gathers on the soil as salts and block the ability of the plant to absorb water. Along the line, it can result in smaller leaves and stunted growth. Also, a lower amount of fertilizer might not be enough for your plant – leading to malnourishment and no growth.

How to Solve the Problem of Improper Use of Fertilizer?

If your plant is experiencing the issue of overuse of fertilizers, you can solve it by prolonged watering. This action eliminates the gathered salt and prevents any further accumulation of salts.

Before doing this, make sure your plant’s pot has holes for proper drainage. And if it is in the garden, ensure the plant is in well aerated and free soil.

Preferably, Caladium is fertilized weekly during the growing season. Use Liquid fertilizers or pellets with a slow-releasing ability.

See the price of our recommended liquid fertilizers.

Best Organic Fertilizer for Caladiums

If you are a passionate believer of all thing organic, then you might want to go for organic fertilizer for you Caladium plants. Lots of natural waste can be manure for your plant, but we will talk about a few.

Banana Peel

  • Banana peel has the highest organic sources of potassium needed by your plant.
  • It maintains turgor, reduces water loss
  • Produces respiration, preventing energy losses
  • Increases plants’ protein content.
  • Help retard top diseases.
  • Increase root growth and improve drought resistance.
  • Builds cellulose and reduces lodging.

Egg Shell

An eggshell can help fight off pests like slugs, crawling insects, cutworms, snails, etc. Ensure you water your eggshell before composting so that you don’t introduce pest and disease to the Caladium which raw eggs pose.

Coffee Grounds

  • Coffee grounds add organic material to the soil, which improves water retention and aeration in the soil.
  • Adds nitrogen to the compost.
  • Improves the microorganisms that are beneficial to plant growth.
  • Keep slugs and snails away from plants.
  • Use as worm food for those who do vermicompost.
  • A cat repellent. It will keep cats from using your Caladium as a litter box.

Rice Water

  • Provides sufficient amount of (NPK) fertilizer and minerals for plants to promoting a bacterial population.
  • Boost plant growth.
  • Provide Organic method of pest control.

Why Are My Caladium Leaves Drooping?

Underwatering is one of the biggest reasons why Caladium leaves droop. Caladium plant needs consistent water supply and moist soil to grow well.

If you have noticed your Caladium leave is wilting, then it is a sign that shows your Caladium is suffering from Underwatering.

It stops your Caladium leaves from drooping or having a soft stem, avoids keeping your plant directly under the sun, and ensures good watering habits.

How to Get Big Caladium Leaves

To get big Caladium leaves, you have to provide your plants with the enabling environments to flourish. These environments and conditions allow your plant to grow well and produce big leaves that bring beauty to your home.

Examples of such conditions include;

  1. proper Fertilizing
  2. Temperature
  3. Reducing too much direct sunlight of plant
  4. High Humidity
  5. Watering technique

Final thought – Why Are My Caladium leaves Small

When your Caladium is not growing, it leads to smaller leaves. Due to one or a combination of the above issues.

Therefore, to answer the question – why are my Caladium leaves small? You need to seek ways of improving the living conditions of your plant. These conditions include proper application of fertilizer, watering habits, and high humidity levels, etc.

Final thoughts - why are my Caladium leaves small

Cheers, Happy Gardening!

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