Rainbow plant????

cutietootie11February 24, 2007

I happened to receive a catalog in the mail...just had a bunch of misc. products in it. One thing it had that caught my eye was something they advertise as a "rainbow plant." The picture they show is a DRAWING. It says " a kaleidoscope of constantly changing colors...no two of its giant leaves that are up to 7 inches long are ever quite the same. The dramatic hues of red, gold,green orange, and deep rich purples are unlike any you have ever seen in any other living plant." WHAT is this? The drawing kind of looks like a coleus..or colored philidendron. I have never heard of this plant before...I am intrigued, and wondered if anyone knew what it really is? My google search just came up with a "carnivorous rainbow plant" that was not what I was looking for. Thanks for any help! :-)

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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I don't know what a rainbow plant would be, but my personal feeling would be if they can't give you a scientific name, even if you don't prefer to use them, you might be getting anything at all. People who sell plants and don't at least offer the botanical names in my not particularly humble opinion are snake-oil salesmen. Well, that's not really fair--maybe they don't know, but at least they should have a photo!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 11:57PM
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The only thing that leaps to mind is maybe a croton (Codiaeum sp.). Some cultivars have leaves that size, and most cv. have leaves that are those colors.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 1:22AM
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Gotta be a croton!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 4:13AM
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I agree with greenelbows. I wouldn't buy from a source that couldn't/wouldn't give me a latin name. Common names can be so misleading. How do you research a plant if you don't know its name?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 7:47AM
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Thanks everyone. I looked up the croton plants, and it's leaves look to be tear- drop shaped, and point upwards. The drawing of the one in the magazine are heart shaped leaves that point down, with the tip at the bottom. I agree with all of you as in not buying from this place...it isn't even a plant catalog, more of a "gift catalog". They have some gardening supplies and a few bulbs and plants, but I DID find it odd that they didn't even give a PHOTO of this plant, just a drawing!
Any more ideas as to the true identity of this plant would be much appreciated, as I would love to see an actual photo and find out what it really is. :-)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 10:01PM
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I think what they are selling is probably Caladium's.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 10:38PM
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Thanks Billy Rae! I looked up Caladiums on the internet, and the pictures DO look very much like the drawing in the catalog! I assume they probably have more than one plant together to get all the different colors in one pot? Thanks though! Are these plants hard to grow and hard to find?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 4:21PM
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I see them for sale all the time at either local florists or the supermarket.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 5:57PM
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tjsangel(z5 OH)

They arent the easiest plants to grow-usually dont last very long. They need very high humidity and are fussy about light requirements. Wouldnt hurt to try I guess!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:15PM
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First, it does sound from your description that the plant for sale is a caladium.

Second, they are not to be excused for not simply saying so. It sounds like they are trying to get money for something special when it is really a common plant.

Last, if you want a caladium, research them as I do not consider them ideal plants for interiors other than sun rooms and there are many sources for them including big box stores so no need to pay a premium.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:50PM
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I have not grown these, but just looking at those thin leaves, they look difficult if not impossible to keep alive for long indoors.
All the different colored leaves that are available are really beautiful though (rainbow of colors)
I wish these plants would grow indoors, like maybe Syngoniums (very non-fussy plant) or at least grow like hostas do outdoors and then after winter, they grow back in the spring!

Billy Rae

Here is a link that might be useful: Caladium Plant Photos

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:25PM
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Some time ago, I lived in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, and had some Caladiums inside there for most of a summer and fall. I don't think they were all that thrilled to be there and I was unnecessarily alarmed when they went dormant in the winter, but I don't think they're *impossible* to keep alive inside. They did grow leaves and everything. I didn't try to overwinter them, though.

If you live in a tropical part of the country, then it wouldn't be hard to keep them outside, and it wouldn't be hard to find some through a less deceptive-seeming source. (That said, I did recall seeing Caladiums called "rainbow plant" somewhere after greattigerdane suggested the ID, so possibly it's just a stylistic choice, not a deceptive one.) If you don't live in a tropical kind of place, you might still be able to keep them indoors until the summer when you can put them outside, but if you're thinking about putting them someplace that's at all dark, cool, or dry, you might be better off with something else. They *are* tropical plants, and they're less understanding about your limitations than, say, a nice peace lily might be.

You should probably ask for a second opinion at the Aroids forum.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:33AM
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Thanks everyone! I live in Colorado, so keeping a Caladium outdoors all year would probably not work. I Did some reading on these and it seems they grow from a bulb and ARE normally grouped into an outdoors plant. While I know some outdoor plants can be indoors( I have indoor geraniums that are currently blooming! :-) ) I think I will probably skip out on this plant, as it DOES sound like it doesn't do so well indoors, especially in a dry climate like it is here. I really appreciate all of your help! Sure am glad that I didn't let my curiosity get the best of me and order some anyway, and end up with plants that are dead in a month! Thanks again! :-)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 9:57AM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

I've grown Caladiums outdoors in the summer and their leaves are amazing. They don't do as well indoors as they need full sun to develop their full colors. They also get very leggy, usually reaching for a window. Many nurseries carry them, there are countless varieties.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 3:45PM
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The "rainbow plant" in the sales catalogue is indeed a caladium. I bought three plants, and so far they are doing great indoors and look like they are getting ready to bloom. I don't need a scientific name to purchase and enjoy a plant, but it was mildly irritating having to search for the correct plant name so I could look up how to care for it. I have a picture available if anyone wants to see it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 8:20AM
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I too get catalogs in the mail...they display a 'drawing' of this plant which are Caladiums.
Nature, what color are the leaves? Is is a variety containing several bulbs? Toni

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 4:19PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

My college sweetheart grew these in the dorm when we lived in Buffalo, NY. He'd winter them over (dormant) in a dark closet & bring 'em out in Spring when he & they came back to life. I don't remember what he did w/ them in summer, but he didn't have trouble growing them indoors.

I never realized before how he must have known what he was doing to accomplish this. In cold, gray, snowy Buffalo, no less!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:59PM
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My husband ordered these things (bulbs) and just this morning had a fit because my daughter and I planted rose bushes on top of them. I swear there were no bulbs there when she dug the holes. He says he told me they were planted there, but I don't remember. Anyway, I've been cussed out today because of these stupid plants, whatever they are!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 6:34PM
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