Caladiums are a colorful and versatile foliage plant that can be grown indoors, in outdoor containers or planted directly into the soil. Caladiums will brighten up a room or a shady garden location with their various leaf colors, sizes and shapes.
How To Plant Caladiums
Caladiums are sold either as a potted plant or bulbs. Already growing potted caladium plant will need to be transplanted soon after purchase into a larger container or directly into the soil. Place plant in a container containing good quality potting soil or prepare a n outdoor planting hole that is twice the size of the caladiums root ball and plant.
When planting caladium bulbs, pointed side goes up. For quickest growing results (and no guess-work when planting) look for bulbs that have already begun to sprout. The sprout is the forming leaf on the top side of the bulb.
Plant the caladium bulbs in a large container or directly into prepared soil. Allow 10-12 inches between plants or bulbs when planting. Many varieties of caladiums produce large leaves and need space to grow, but with this plant, it is desirable for the leaves of neighboring caladiums to intermingle with each other. One caladium plant can reach a mature height of two feet with a width to match. Some varieties have somewhat smaller mature sizes, read the plant label to determine the exact size the caladium will grow.
Location And Care
Caladiums prefer filtered sunlight and will grow well in any location that shades them from the hot afternoon sun. If the location is too shady for the caladium, new growth will be pale and lanky, instead of dark and rotund.
Keep the soil moist and be stingy with fertilize. If caladiums do not get enough water and/or are overfed with fertilize, the edges of the plant’s leaves will turn brown.
Spider mites are the only pests that attack caladiums, inspect the underside of the leaves for evidence of spider mites often and treat if needed.
It is rare for a caladium to produce a flower stalk, but if it does, cut the flower stalk back at soil level to encourage the caladium to grow more leaves.
Colorful Hearts And Arrows
The colorful leaves of the caladium either resemble a heart or an arrow, depending on the variety of the plant. The arrow shaped leaves are slightly narrower than the heart shaped leaves. Caladiums have patterned leaves that are bi-colored or tri-colored. Red, pink, green and white join together to create the foliage colors and leaf veins for color that will last all summer.