How to plant, grow and care Caladium Plants [Detailed Guide]

Growing caladium plants is easy with proper caladium care. These tropical plants are commonly grown for their multi-colored foliage, which can be green, white, red, or pink.

Caladiums can be grown in containers or grouped within flower beds and borders. There are numerous varieties of caladium found in the flamboyant leaf cultivar, as well as the banded leaf cultivar. All of this can make a dramatic statement in the landscape.

How to plant Caladium plants

Caladiums can be purchased in dormant potted plants or tubers. Its size depends on the variety. For the most part, each tuber has a large bud, which is usually surrounded by smaller ones. To make it easier for these smaller buds to grow after planting caladium bulbs, many gardeners find it helpful to remove the large bud with a knife.

How to plant Caladium plants
Caladium plant

Of course, this is up to the individual and will not adversely affect the overall growth of your caladium.

When planting caladiums, you should plant them 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) deep and 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) apart. If you are growing caladium indoors, keep them in a warm room with lots of light until outside temperatures are warm enough for transplanting.

Caladium tubers should be planted 2.5 to 5 cm deep, with the eye buds or buds facing up. Although this can sometimes be difficult to distinguish in some varieties, the ones that are planted upside down will still emerge, only more slowly.

When should I plant my Caladium

The bulbs should be planted in the landscape in the spring after the last frost. The USDA Temperature Zone Chart provides guidelines for your zone; however, temperatures can vary in specific locations and from year to year, so nothing replaces local knowledge.

In general, plant the bulbs with a soil temperature between 65 ° F and 70 ° F. If you are planting caladium in northern climates, you can light the bulbs early in a warm, humid (not soggy) location and give them a head start.

How do I plant my Caladium

Plant with the right side up: Caladium bulbs has a smooth bottom that sticks out (actually, it’s the eyes or growth points). Although they grow regardless of which direction you orient them, planting top-up will provide the shortest budding time and the happiest plant.

Planting depth: Your bulbs should be planted deep enough to be covered with 1 ½”to 2” of soil. A little bone meal would make your caladium happy.

Caladium spacing: In your garden, place 4 of each 2 Caladium, or 2 Caladium of each 1 or 1 Jumbo Caladium per square foot. By multiplying the length by the width of the planting area, you will know roughly how many bulbs to order.

For example, if you have a planting area of ​​2 feet by 10 feet, you would multiply 2 X 10 = 20 square feet and order accordingly; 4 x 20 = 80 # 2 Caladium or 2 x 20 = 40 # 1 Caladium OR 1 x 20 = 20 Jumbo Caladium. I would use a similar space in a garden container.

Varieties of Caladium 

Caladiums fall into two main categories:

  • Fancy Caladium Leaf Plants: Has large heart-shaped leaves on long petioles.
  • Striped Caladium Leaf Plants: Features short, narrow leaves with wavy edges on short petioles.

Aaron Caladium

Height and spread: 12-18 inches

This flamboyant leafy cultivar has a white center and veins, with deep green margins. It can withstand the sun to a certain extent. Also available in shades of red and pink.   

Carolyn Whorton 

Height and spread: 18-30 inches

The fantastic looking foliage of this cultivar is rosy with bright red streaks and green margins. It can tolerate a little sunlight.

Candidum 

Height and spread: 12-24 inches

Candidum is another flamboyant leafy cultivar with medium to large white leaves and green veins. This variety can tolerate more sun compared to other caladiums.

Candidum Junior   

Height and spread: 12-16 and 11-14 inches

This is a belt or lanceolate cultivar with large foliage. The elegant white leaves are patterned with dark green streaks.

Fannie Munson

Height and spread: 18-30 inches

It comes in pink tones with reddish streaks and green margins. The leaves vary between large and large.

Freida Hemple   

Height and spread: 12-24 inches

Another flamboyant leafy cultivar, it features medium to large leaves with a dark red center, light green patches, and green margins.

Florida Sweetheart

Height and spread: 6-12 inches

This striped-leaved variety has large and small leaves with a reddish-pink center with wavy green edges.

Gingerland 

Height and spread: 8-14 inches

This variety of caladium strip leaves has small to medium-sized heart-shaped creamy white leaves adorned with green margins. The foliage is beautifully drawn in pink or red spots.

Pink beauty

Height and spread: 12-24 inches

This variety has spectacular foliage with medium to large green leaves, with pink spots and red veins.

Pink jewel

Height and spread: 6-12 inches

It is a cultivar with strip leaves that show a pink center, green margins, and white stripes between the veins. This variety can tolerate a certain amount of sun.

Can Caladiums be indoor plants

Can Caladiums be indoor plants? Young tubers and bulbs must be lifted in a fall before any chance of frost can eliminate them. Caladium tubers are sensitive to ice and die if exposed to cold. As such, they must be taken indoors in northern climates and generally die off in winter, even in warmer regions. This is all very good, as the tubers from which the foliage grows need a rejuvenating break.

Can Caladiums be indoor plants
Can Caladiums be indoor plants

Many gardeners try Caladiums as houseplants. There are some special instructions on indoor Caladium care to keep the plants healthy and preserve the tubers. Plants that grow in regions that experience cold winters can be planted in containers to facilitate movement when low temperatures threaten.

However, growing Caladium as a houseplant has its challenges, as the plant requires a lot of humidity and heated home interiors are generally quite arid.

Indoor caladium plants require an area of ​​medium-light with protection from the midday sun, which burns the leaves. A north or east window is usually the best exposure. Humidity is crucial to houseplant care with Caladium, as the tubers are native to the rainforests of South America and produce seasonal foliage during the hot, rainy season.

Evaporation will moisten the ambient air and provide the necessary moisture for Caladium. Keep your plant away from vents that will blow dry air and drafty windows or doors. While your plant is still in its leafy glory, you will need to keep it watered and happy. You should only fertilize the plant when it is actively growing, from spring to late summer.

In autumn and winter, no special foods are needed. Water the soil when it is dry to the touch. Keep the plant in an area with temperatures of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 C). When the leaves start to die, let them linger until they are completely spent and then cut them off.

Then you can lift the tubers, let them dry and store them in the peat in a breathable bag or leave them on the ground and suspend watering. In the spring, plant the stored tubers or start watering them in pots.

Move the container to slightly brighter light, taking care to protect the new shoots from the crackling rays. Once the container is fully germinated, gradually reintroduce outdoors until fall and repeat the process again.

Where do Caladiums grow best

Most varieties of caladium can be grown in the sun or in the shade. If you are planting in a sunny location, it is important that they still have some shade during the hottest part of the day.

Like most plants, caladiums grow best in fertile, well-drained soils. The graceful leaf types have large heart-shaped leaves, grow best in semi-shade, and can reach a height of 12 to 30 inches depending on the plant and growing conditions.

Spear or striped leaf types have narrow, elongated leaves with wavy margins. Spear types tend to produce more leaves than quirky leafy cultivars. Use them as standout border plants, hanging baskets, planters, and patio planters.

Caladiums need protection from strong, intense sun for best growth and color. Some newer cultivars tolerate full sun for a few hours a day, but all prefer dappled or moderate shade with protection from the afternoon sun.

In the south, caladiums need protection from the strong, intense afternoon sun for best growth and color.

A good rule of thumb for determining when to plant caladiums is to place them at the same time the okra seed is planted in the garden. Do not plant tubers or plants until the soil temperature reaches 21 ° C.

Caladiums are useful as potted plants or flower beds, and their decorative foliage has a definite and permanent place in flower arrangements. Planting tubers in cold soil causes slow growth or rotting of tubers.

If you receive a good caladium in a vase as a gift, keep it healthy and strong by spraying it frequently when it adjusts to the new environment. Remember, the plant likely came from a humid, climate-controlled greenhouse.

The air in your home tends to be drier, but if you keep the plant well sprayed, it should adjust quickly. You can have Caladiums at home year-round as houseplants. Start the tubers in small pots and gradually move them to larger pots.

“Stepping on” plants slowly is much wiser than simply placing a single tuber in a large pot. This generally encourages overgrowth of the root and undergrowth of the leaves.

How do you take care of potted Caladium Plants

How do you take care of potted Caladium Plants
take care of potted Caladium Plants
  • Start by choosing a pot large enough for the tuber. When you see the plant stick to the root, move it to a slightly larger pot.
  • Placing indoor plants can be a bit tricky. Remember that too much sun will make the color dull. With very little sun, you can get more vibrant colors, but growth can be hampered.
  • When growing a Caladium pot indoors, you need to pay attention to watering. It is especially important to keep the soil slightly moist, but not soggy.
  • If you started your Caladium pot indoors, harden a bit before transplanting. Start by placing them in the indirect sun on nice days. Leave them outside for a few hours at a time.
  • Be sure to protect them from the wind, cold, or strong sunlight. Increase the time plants spend outdoors little by little, every day. After a few weeks, they should be ready to be transplanted to an outside bed.
  • Liquid or water-soluble fertilizer is best, and carefully follow the directions on the package. Do not over-fertilize potted plants and pots, as this can easily damage the root and tubers.

How to Handle Potted Caladium in Dormancy

  • As the weather cools down, your plants begin to lose their leaves. This means that it is time to rest during the winter. You should not dig up the tubers or remove the leaves. Instead, gradually decrease the amount of water you give them. When the leaves wilt and fall, stop watering them completely.
  • You can leave the tubers in place in their pots or place them in mesh bags or in a dry medium, as described above. Make sure to store your tubers at temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Another alternative to potted Caladiums or those brought in for winter is to keep them alive for the winter in your window garden. If you do this, let them sit for a month and then put them in the pot or turn them into a pot and place them in the sun so they can start to grow again.

Do Caladium multiply?

The caladiums multiply as they grow, so a bulb may have formed ten (richer the soil, the better the bulbs). The best thing to do is to loosen the soil from the sides and dig to catch the bulbs with your hands. Shake off all the dust and let the Caladium dry in the shade.

Take a shot of fungicide if you like, and store it in paper bags until next season. Enjoy the winter flowers and look forward to summer again! Some say that Caladiums will multiply, but in temperate zones, they are treated as annuals.

Also, they go dormant in the fall. Then you can try digging the shoots and storing them for the winter.

Is Caladium poisonous to dogs

Caladium plant can be very toxic to your dog. In fact, it can even be fatal if not treated right away. If your dog eats any part of the caladium plant, the first symptom you’ll see will also be the deadliest; an inflamed airway leading to an inability to breathe.

To help with this problem, you can rinse the mouths of your dogs and cats with cold water on a towel. Clean any plant residue from your dog and cat’s face and rinse the eyes, but don’t induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by your vet.

The liquid inside the leaves and stem also irritate the dog’s skin and also the thorns. This can cause skin pain, itching, and redness.

Caladium poisoning is caused by the caladium plant, which contains an insoluble calcium oxalate acid. Calcium oxalate has crystals that penetrate your dog’s skin and mouth tissues, causing injury to the dog’s mouth. The immediate signs of caladium poisoning are scratching your face and mouth, vomiting, foaming, and drooling.

Swelling of the mouth, tongue, and upper respiratory tract can cause breathing problems and difficulty swallowing. This can quickly be lethal to your dog if you don’t get immediate medical help.

Your dog may also experience a toxic skin and eye reaction from the fluid or oils within the leaves and stem, in addition to injuries caused by the thorns.

Are Caladium poisonous to cats

Green, heart-shaped leaves tinged with pinkish red are the hallmark of this beautiful but poisonous plant. It contains insoluble calcium oxalates that are toxic to cats.

If your cat chews on the caladium plant, it can cause extreme irritation and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and throat, as the calcium crystals damage soft tissues. Excessive salivation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing may also occur; Contact your vet if you notice any of the above symptoms.

When to plant Caladium bulbs

Planting caladium bulbs requires little effort. They can be planted directly in the garden in the spring or started indoors four to six weeks before the average frost date.

Soil temperature is an important consideration, as planting outdoors too early can cause tubers to rot. These plants grow in moist, well-drained soil and are generally happiest in partial shade. When you plant caladiums, you should plant them 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) deep and 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) apart.

If you are growing caladium indoors, keep them in a warm room with lots of light until outside temperatures are warm enough for transplanting.

Caladium tubers should be planted 2.5 to 5 cm deep, with the eye buds or buds facing up. Although this can sometimes be difficult to distinguish in some varieties, the ones that are planted upside down will still emerge, only more slowly.

Do Caladiums like full sun?

Do Caladiums like full sun

No. Caladiums that get a lot of sun quickly show signs of stress, as the tips of the leaves begin to burn or turn brown. If nothing is done, the browning continues until the leaves are destroyed.

Most caladiums are best suited for partially shaded and shady areas and will burn if exposed to too much sun. Additional water can help, but it cannot completely cancel out the effects of overexposure. If a plant begins to show signs of burning, move it to a shadier location as soon as possible and water it well.

Monitor the plant for several days to make sure the leaves have returned to health and have stopped burning.

Sun-tolerant varieties can withstand more than 2 to 3 hours of direct sunlight a day, but can still benefit from at least a little shade in the afternoon, especially in hotter areas.

The small Caladium “Miss Muffet”, a dwarf variety, has arrowhead-shaped whitish-green leaves with dark red freckles. Caladium “Iceberg” with striking arrowhead-shaped leaves, highlighted by white and green spirals.

Is Caladium an annual or a perennial?

Caladium is tropical perennials with colorful heart-shaped leaves native to the tropical forests of South and Central America, which have pronounced dry and wet seasons. Caladium is ornamental plants with tubercle leaves.

In the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9-11, caladium tubers are left in the ground for the winter to regrow in the spring. Caladiums are grown in other USDA areas across the country, where they are treated as annuals.

Caladiums are suitable for growing in coastal environments with moderate temperatures. Some master gardeners believe that Caladiums can overwinter successfully in zone 8, while others believe that the cut is in zone 9a.

Can you leave Caladium bulbs in the ground over winter?

If you want to leave the caladium bulbs, you can simply leave the caladium tubers in the ground if the bed where the caladium is planted remains relatively intact and drains well. Keep the area covered with mulch this winter to protect the tubers if it is exceptionally cold. Since the ground here does not freeze, they will survive and return next year.

If the bed tends to get wet during winter, the tubers can rot in cold, damp soil. In that case, it would be better to dig them up and store them. A few years ago, heavy rains in December apparently rotted many tubers that had been left on the ground.

Many gardeners in the New Orleans area noticed the following spring that Caladium who had returned safely for years were not returning.

Why is my Caladium dying?

If caladium plants are not receiving a constant supply of water, their leaves will wilt. After a period of time without water, they will go numb and their leaves will fall off. The ideal conditions are a soil that is moist to the touch and well drained.

Never allow caladiums to remain in puddles, as the tubers will rot. To retain soil moisture outdoors, apply 5 to 7 cm of mulch around the plant.

How do you water Caladiums?

Water your caladium frequently, but don’t overdo it. Humidity is crucial to houseplant care with Caladium, as the tubers are native to the rainforests of South America and produce seasonal foliage during the hot, rainy season.

When the leaves appear on the plant, water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist. Never let the plant dry out. Stop watering the plant when the leaves begin to die. Resume watering when the license reappears next season.

Humidity in a heated home can be kept high by spraying and placing a saucer filled with rocks and water under the container. Evaporation will moisten the ambient air and provide the necessary moisture for Caladium.

Keep your plant away from vents that will blow dry air and drafty windows or doors. While your plant is still in its leafy glory, you will need to keep it watered and happy. You should only fertilize the plant when it is actively growing, from spring to late summer.

In autumn and winter, no special foods are needed. Water the soil when it is dry to the touch.

Are Caladiums poisonous to humans?

Yes, the Caladium plant is poisonous to humans, but the problems caused by it are generally mild. Caladiums are part of the Araceae family and therefore contain insoluble calcium oxalates, just like Dieffenbachia. Calcium oxalate crystals have a needle-like composition that can cause small tears in the soft tissues inside the mouth, throat, gastrointestinal tract, and outer skin.

The toxicity levels of the caladium plant are quite mild and it would be necessary to ingest large amounts to affect an adult. Unpleasant symptoms are more likely in children who would be more sensitive to the effects of calcium oxalate.

Caladium poisoning, in any case, is generally mild, although in very rare cases, ingestion of the plant can lead to a swelling of the throat, which in turn can lead to difficulty breathing.

Generally, the side effects of eating this plant include irritation of the lips, tongue, and mouth, while the side effects of handling the plant can include contact dermatitis, redness, and swelling of the skin.

Can Caladiums take afternoon sun?

Caladium is a warm climate plant suitable for year-round cultivation only in Climate Zone H-2 at sunset. In colder climates, dig the tubers in the fall and save them for the winter. Several caladiums are tolerant to the sun, for example,

Carolyn Wharton, a rose, Postman Joyner, a red; and Aaron, and White Queen, White Caladiums. Sun-tolerant caladiums can be planted in full sun, keeping in mind that more water may be needed. A dwarf caladium, Red Ruffles, and a spear-bladed caladium, Ginger land, are sun-loving caladiums. All caladiums are lovers of shade or filtered sun.

Can you grow Caladiums from seeds?

Yes, You can grow caladium from tubers or seeds. Plant the seeds after the danger of frost have passed, spreading them on the ground and leaving them uncovered. Caladium seeds need light to germinate. Then, spread the seeds on the ground and sprinkle some water on them.

Caladium can grow from seed and can be germinated in one to three months. The temperature should fall between 75 to 84°F (24 to 29°C). Light the Caladium indoors at the end of winter. Transplant outdoors in late spring/early summer; the minimum temperature must not drop below 15°C (60°F).

Why are my Caladium leaves turning brown

  • White and pink varieties that were grown on cloudy days in early spring and are suddenly exposed to high light intensity can show brown spots on the leaves.
  • Low humidity also causes the leaves of Caladium plants to turn brown and grow.
  • Nutrient imbalances can cause blemishes in the leaves. A pH above 7.0 is also known to cause brown spots.

Why is my Caladium leaves turning yellow

  • A plant that does not receive moist air begins to yellow and wilt. Caladium thrive where the temperature is between 21 and 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Low nitrogen availability for the Caladium plant can also cause yellowing problems.
  • High water availability is also the reason for the yellowing of your caladium plant.

How long does it take for caladium bulbs to grow?

The Caladium can take between two and 12 weeks to germinate. Since they love warm climates, the warmer the soil and air temperature when you plant, the faster they will grow. You should wait until overnight temperatures consistently stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit before planting your caladium bulbs.

You will also want to make sure there is no possibility of a late frost. If the caladium bulbs experience low temperatures below 65 degrees, the germination process can not only be delayed but can also be reversed to start over, which means that the caladium will take longer to grow.

Dig a hole deep enough so that the bulbs are about 2 inches below the soil surface. For pre-spacing, plant 8 inches apart for small tubers and 12 inches apart for large tubers. Put the knotted side up when placing the Caladium on the floor.

Do Caladiums like coffee grounds?

Yes. Caladiums plant is included in the category of plant lovers of the acid. Coffee ground is very acidic so it should be reserved for acidic plants like Caladiums. They send us fresh coffee grounds and it was thought for suppressing weeds too, there were some allelopathic properties.

If the soil is already high in nitrogen content, the extra boost from the coffee beans can prevent fruit and flower growth.

What is the best fertilizer for Caladiums?

Why is my Caladium dying
best fertilizer for Caladiums

Caladiums are excellent potassium and phosphorus feeders and should have enough moisture and fertilizer in the summer to produce good tubers for the next growing season. Apply 1 tablespoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer per square foot every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.

For single plants, use a full tablespoon; for container-grown plants, use a shallow teaspoon per pot. Do not let the fertilizer come in contact with the leaves. Water well after fertilization to avoid burning the fertilizer. Caladiums are not drought tolerant and must be watered regularly.

Can you trim Caladiums

Yes. You can trim caladium plants every 2-3 weeks, removing damaged or dead leaves in the process. Make sure to dispose of all discarded foliage at a safe distance. Caladium plants respond well to regular fertilization. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer to feed the plants once a month.

Harvest the leaves to include in-home flower arrangements, cutting the stem in line with the ground. Trim damaged, darkened, or dead leaves by cutting the ground line. Just cut off all the foliage after digging the shoot for winter storage.

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Conclusion

I hope this article answers a lot of questions on Caladium Plant. It should help you to plant, grow, and care for Caladium Plant.

  • How to plant Caladium plants
  • When should I plant my Caladium
  • How do I plant my Caladium
  • Varieties of Caladium
  • Can Caladiums be indoor plants
  • Where do Caladiums grow best
  • How do you take care of potted Caladium Plants
  • How to Handle Potted Caladium in Dormancy
  • Do Caladium multiply?
  • Is Caladium poisonous to dogs
  • Are Caladium poisonous to cats
  • When to plant Caladium bulbs
  • Do Caladiums like full sun?
  • Is Caladium an annual or a perennial?
  • Can you leave Caladium bulbs in the ground over winter?
  • Why is my Caladium dying?
  • How do you water Caladiums?
  • Are Caladiums poisonous to humans?
  • Can Caladiums take afternoon sun?
  • Can you grow Caladiums from seeds?
  • Why are my Caladium leaves turning brown
  • Why is my Caladium leaves turning yellow
  • How long does it take for caladium bulbs to grow?
  • Do Caladiums like coffee grounds?
  • What is the best fertilizer for Caladiums?
  • Can you trim Caladiums?