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Caladium · Wiki

Botanical Name: Caladium

The paper-thin, heart-shaped leaves of this tropical native are spectacularly decorated, enough to rival even the showiest flowering plant.

Masses of magnificent leaves grow above tall, slender stems. Leaf patterns and colors can vary widely, from white with green veins and borders, to a blush of rose pink, to spotted and marbled red, pink, green, and white. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from; one of the most popular is "White Queen".

Although you can buy the plants at garden centers and floral shops, growing a Caladium bulb, also known as a tuber, is simple. Buy tubers in the spring and you'll have gorgeous leaves unfurling within weeks.

There are hundreds of Caladium hybrids to chose from:
White Christmas has striking white foliage with green veins, blending beautifully among your green foliage plants.
Florida Cardinal is a stand-out with vivid red leaves.
Pink Beauty is a perennial favorite among gardeners.
Rosebud adds instant beauty to a container garden.
Thai Beauty is one a stunning variety.

Grow Caladiums in the Summer. These South American beauties love the warmth and long daylight hours. plant the tubers in 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) pots, covering with just 1 inch (2.5 cm) of potting mix. Give them a a healthy watering and keep them in a warm spot with indirect light. You can expect those colorful leaves to unfurl within a few weeks.

This tuberous-rooted hybrid dies down in fall and remains dormant through the Winter. In the fall, allow the pots to dry out, and cut off all of the withered leaves; then store the pots between 65-70°F (18-21°C), in a dark place. Re-pot the tubers in fresh potting mix in spring and continue with care. Tubers usually can be grown for 2 years before their quality diminishes.


Care Tips

Origin: South America

Height: Up to 2 ft (60 cm)

Light: Bright light, but keep out of direct sun because it will cause leaf burn.

Water: Keep potting mix constantly moist throughout the growing season as these plants can drink a lot.

Humidity: Requires moist air; set the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. You can use a room humidifier for best results.

Temperature: Warm, between 70-85°F (21-29°C)

Soil: Peat moss-based potting mix

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring and summer with a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer diluted in half.

Propagation: Division; when re-potting you can break off small tubers and pot them separately. Put each tuber in a 4-inch pot about 1-inch deep.
Posted By Gremelin Posted on June 24th, 2018 · Updated on September 2nd, 2020
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