Caladium vs Syngonium (Differences and Similarities)

If you’re wondering if you are carrying Caladium ( Caladium bicolor) or a Syngonium ( Syngonium podophyllum) This article will provide you with instructions on how to identify these plants and figure out which one is in your house rent-free.

The primary difference is that the fact that caladium grows from a tuber. Syngonium is the opposite. Syngonium is cultivated from a variety of roots that are more tolerant of their surroundings. Comparatively to Syngonium, caladium is more vivid in its color and has distinct leaf forms.

Do Caladiums and Syngoniums the same plant?

The two Caladium and Syngonium are part of both of the Araceae Araceae family. Since they’re cousins, there’s no surprise that they’re very alike.

Caladiums (Latin Caladium bicolor) are often referred to for their role as the heartbeat of Jesus angel wings and elephant ears.

Syngonium (Latin Syngonium podophyllum) Syngonium is also known as goose’s foot, arrowhead vines, and five fingers.

Caladium vs Syngonium: Differences

In the case of very similar plants it is crucial to recognize the differences between them.

Although some of the details may appear to be insignificant but trust me when I say that they are! For a healthy plant, you must know as much that you possibly can on it.

Foliage Shapes, Colors, and Varieties

Caladium plants grow leaves from spring through fall, and then rest through winter.

This isn’t to be confused with the wilting process, since this is a normal process that many tuber plants go through.

Be assured that the leaves will reseed during the season of spring! They are packed with extremely vibrant shades.

However, Syngonium has softer colors typically presented in the form of a gradient.

According to studies, the leaves of caladium are the most diverse variety compared to other well-known Aroids like alocasia, philodendron and even Syngonium.

They are usually available in three varieties of straps: fancy, and lance.

The fancy leaves are heart-shaped and have three veins that are arranged in an inverted Y-shape.

They are easy to recognize and the size of leaves can reach 30 inches (76 centimeters). This is why caladiums tend to be planted in a single, individual.

I have the Red Flash variety in my living room, and it’s among the top sought-after of all the caladium varieties.

The intense red veins of this plant are contrasting with dark-green edges along 15 (38 centimeters) tall leaves.

Strap leaves are small spear-shaped and have only one principal vein. The petiole is located to the outside of the leaf.

The leaves are smaller, which means it is possible to plant several plants in a row and experiment with the colors.

My personal favorite I love is Florida Fantasy. The leaves are vibrant shades with white backgrounds with green edges and stunning violet veins.

Lance leaves are available in the shape of a lanceolate, which is between strap and heart shape. They are usually eight inches (20 cm) long.

The most well-known example of this is Lance Whorton variety that has red veins with crimson-red hues, green edges and a few white dots. The palette of painters on a leaf is cultivated individually or in large batches.

Syngonium leaves are lighter in appearance and do not appear in as many varieties as caladiums.

Because they don’t stop growing during the winter months, you’ll see gorgeous leaves throughout all of the year.

Juvenile leaves are more arrow-shaped however, adult plants have the shape of five lobes, hence the name of five fingers.

The shape-shifting process helps to offset the lack of color, and it’s always fascinating to observe the process of transition.

Younger leaves may be 3- 7 inches (7.5-17.5 cm) length while mature leaves can reach 9 inches (19 centimeters) long.

The leaflet in the center is surrounded by three to eleven leaflets that are elliptic, based on the age and growth rate of the plants.

They all connect to the stem by petioles which can reach up to 15 inches (38 centimeters long).

My favorites include Pink Splash Allusion that has green leaves and pink splashes, as well as tiny Glo-Glo syngoniums with white veins against green backgrounds.


Caladiums originate from tubers that are underground. Tubers are a variation of the stem of the plant that’s better suited to storage of energy by storing proteins.

This organ lets the plant take a break during colder weather and then re-emerge once temperatures are appropriate for growth. This is why plants is able to grow fully within a single season!

Syngonium is a evergreen vine plant. Like caladium, syngonium develops from the adventitious, young roots.

Young stems are greenish blue hairless and smooth as mature stems tend to become hard and brown.

Height: Sleeper vs Climber

To me, this is the most significant distinction between Syngonium and caladiums. Caladiums aren’t able to grow as high although certain cultivars can grow to the height of 20 inches (50 cm) in the height.

They typically grow around fourteen inches (35 cm) and then spread out in the width. Syngonium is a vine that means they love to climb.

If you can keep the plant in good health for long enough time, the plant will be able to climb any pole that you put on top of it.

The sky is the limit! Some people make use of poles or ladders made of plastic to support the vines, but I would prefer bamboo poles made of sphagnum moss that have bamboo cores.

They’re eco-friendly and recyclable alternatives that don’t take up a lot of space.

Propagation: Cutting or Division

The resting time for Caladium starts in the autumn. The leaves drop and all you have left is the tuber.

This is the ideal moment to split mature tubers into sections, and have minimum one bulb in each section.

Clean them and store them in sand or sawdust storage at temperatures that are above 55deg F (13deg C).

The tubers are now in good condition to plant during the coming seasons, so you will have many Caladium plants!

Syngoniums are also easier to propagate. I prefer to do it this way: Find an undeveloped growth shoot that has only one or two leaves on it.

A few inches beneath the leaf ought to be a bump known as nodes. Cutting a quarter inch below the nodes is acceptable.

Put your newly planted plant into a compost mix container and then keep warm. You now have at minimum 2 Syngonium plants!


Syngonium and Caladiums are derived from subtropical and tropical rainforests of Central as well as South America, so humid areas with well-drained soils are particularly suitable for them.

Because caladiums originate from tubers or a bulb, it makes them more prone to temperatures that are low.

They need a temperature that is at least 70 degrees F (21deg C) for tubers to begin growing and Syngonium shoots may grow at a less temperature.

The world is growing. Caladiums and Syngoniums Which one is more simple?

Each plant has its own needs. To ensure that it grows healthy it must have certain conditions fulfilled.

I will stress the importance of water, soil as well as exposure to sun, since you, the gardener, have the ability to directly influence these elements.

Soil and Water

Caladium doesn’t need much care. It is important to ensure that the soil is always moist since it’s a tuber plant.

Be sure not to overwater your soil, which can make it wet. Larger plants may require watering three or more times per week, based on the location.

When it comes to the frequency of watering your syngonium It is recommended for you to ensure that the ground stays damp. The plant should be watered 2-3 every week will suffice.

If you reside in an area that is dry I suggest putting pebbles that have been soaked in water beneath the pot.

In this way, the water will gradually disappear into soil. But, Syngonium is more sensitive to drought than the caladiums.

Browning around the edges, typically on larger leaves is a typical indication of a water shortage.

It is important to note that both caladium as well as Syngonium plants that are grown in small containers need more water since they do not have enough soil to hold the moisture.

They have similar soil requirements. Caladiums prefer well-drained, somewhat acidic soil.

I suggest a mix of perlite and compost in the proportion of 80/20. It is possible to add orchid bark for drainage!

Sunlight Exposure

The Caladiums can be sensitive to sunlight exposure. They aren’t able to stand exposure to direct sunlight and can be seen displaying it through brown spots in their leaf.

The leaves of these plants are translucent They are usually smaller than Syngonium leaves, therefore it is essential to properly take care of them.

Make sure they are shaded and in direct sunlight (away away from the windows). Syngonium is extremely adaptable in lighting exposure.

They don’t need a lot of sunlight and can be planted in shade, which makes them perfect for indoor gardening.

If you plan to place it in an area that receives little light, I suggest you choose one with more green leaves, such as Mini Allusion. The more green they are more concentrated sunlight absorption is.

Different varieties like Glo-Glo feature lots of white leaves, which means they can be put in more indirect lighting. Avoid exposing the plants to sunlight direct since they can burn their delicate leaves.

The similarities between Caladium and Syngonium

Despite their distinct characteristics both syngonium and caladium share many characteristics that they share.

Both come in tropical forest, which is why they both prefer moist areas. I prefer to keep their pots close to one as they both require similar amounts of sunlight.

When you are watering, I prefer to water mature plants simultaneously. Younger plants get a little small amount of attention.

Being part of within the Araceaefamily They have common diseases and pests which means they have the same cures!

Finally, both are classified in the category of monoflowering plants. Each petiole will produce one flower, however most modern varieties don’t produce flowers.

If they are, expert gardeners prefer to remove them immediately. So, the majority of the nutrients and energy go directly into the leaves.

Final words

Syngonium and Caladium plants are evergreens that will decorate your house with vibrant leaves. I suggest them to novice and experienced gardeners alike.

It is important to understand the differences between them, even if they appear identical at first glance.

The Caladium alloy is more sensitive to exposure to sunlight, water, and temperature, whereas Syngonium is more tolerant.

The sensitivity comes as a consequence of the Caladium plant that grows from tubers. Syngonium is roots and prefers to grow in the form of vines. A Moss pole is recommended to ensure that it can climb safely.

Although they have different characteristics however, they are part of one family, which is plants that are arid. I prefer to keep them together in the same space in indirect light. In this way, they will each receive the attention and respect that they truly merit!

(Source: ResearchGate)



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)