CALADIUM: Plant Care & Growing Guide
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How to Grow Caladium
Caladiums are tropical perennials that have almost unmatched foliage and are showy houseplants. They can also be grown outdoors, but unless you live in zones 9-10, you should plan to grow them as annuals or dig up the plant tubers at the end of the growing season and remove them.
Caladiums have large, arrow-shaped, and paper-thin leaves that come in a surprising variety of colors and patterns.
A mass of caladiums is an explosion of streaked whites, greens, reds, and pinks, with streaks and streaks. They can easily give you the visual impact of flowers, even if they are just foliage plants.
However, these plants have some disadvantages. They are tuberous plants that only grow from spring to fall.
They also require very high humidity, do not tolerate cold, and are toxic to animals and humans. However, when it comes to leafy plants, it is sure to surprise some.
|Common Name||Caladium, angel wings, elephant ears|
|Plant Type||Tropical perennial|
|Mature Size||12–30 in. tall, 12–24 in. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Indirect light (indoors), full to partial shade (outdoors)|
|Soil Type||Rich, well-drained potting mix|
|Soil pH||Slightly acidic|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer, fall|
|Flower Color||Green, pink, white, red|
|Hardiness Zones||9 to 10 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Central America, South America|
|Toxicity||Toxic to people and pets|
Caladium Plant Care
Caladiums are also seasonal plants in the tropics, where gardeners plant them in spring and summer when they grow in hot and humid conditions.
When grown indoors, they do best in high temperatures, strong but indirect light, and high humidity. Even in the best conditions, caladium foliage lasts for only a few months before the leaves die and the plant goes dormant.
Okay, they should.
Many gardeners use large amounts of these impressive plants as summer accents and conversation starters. When the plants die, you can save the tubers in a bag and replant them next year for another display.
Caladiums are grown for their foliage, but they do have flowers, which start out as bark or thorns. Trim each spatula as soon as it appears to ensure that all of the plant's energy is being used for its beautiful leaves.
Caladium plants prefer indirect light or moderate shade indoors. The tighter the leaves, the better they can withstand the sun. Growing them outdoors in containers gives you more control over lighting conditions.
In some climates, potted plants can be grown in full sun, with close supervision.
When growing them in a garden, give them partial shade to full shade; the strong sun burns its leaves.
Plant the caladium in rich, well-drained potting soil, such as a damp mixture of potting soil and peat.
The garden soil should be equally rich and well-drained. The ideal soil pH is slightly acidic, between 5.5 and 6.2.
When the leaves appear on the plant, water is 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 leaves reappear the next season.
Fertilize the plant weekly during the growing season with liquid fertilizer or use slow-release granules.
Temperature and humidity
The hotter the better for domestic caladium plants. Aim for 70 degrees Fahrenheit, if possible, as this is the temperature at which the tubers begin to grow. Keep the humidity as high as possible.
When planting outdoors, it is possible to transplant tubers into pots (or, better yet, simply transfer them to peat pots) after the last freezing date of the area.
Plants grown this way should be started indoors four to six weeks before transplanting.
Toxicity of Caladium
All parts of the caladium plant are poisonous to both humans and animals. Be careful when placing caladium around children or pets.
Symptoms of Poisoning
Ingestion of the leaves can cause swelling, eye pain, diarrhea, and vomiting in humans.
Pets, including dogs, cats, and horses, can experience pain and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips; excessive salivation; Difficulty swallowing, and vomiting (except horses).
There are literally too many cultivars to pay attention to - caladium cultivars are green, red, pink, white, and even orange. In many cases, cultivars are sold without a name.
Almost all cultivars are descended from C. bicolor, native to South America. Some books list these plants as C. hortulanum. Choose your variety based on your appearance. An eye-catching border or a single plant will do.
Some notable cultivars include:
- Caladium 'Creamsicle': This variety can be a vigorous grower. It features large green leaves accented with vibrant red and veined with bright white.
- Caladium 'White Christmas': Large, arrow-shaped green leaves with a heavy "dusting" of bright white make a simple and striking color combination in this variety.
- Caladium 'Miss Muffet': This dwarf variety reaches only about eight inches in height and has lime-green leaves flecked with bright pink spots.
- Caladium 'Puppy Love': This relative newcomer has pink leaves edged in green and can tolerate full sun in some climates.
Ripe caladium tubers can be divided. Make sure each new tuber section has at least one growing site. Indoors or outdoors, caladiums are a seasonal plant, with foliage in summer and a rest period in fall or winter.
Its resting period is not determined by the temperature or the light cycle, but by how long the plant grows.
Once the leaves begin to die off in the fall, keep the tubers in the same pot (keeping them dry) or remove, clean, and place them in sawdust or sand for storage.
Store tubers above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize loss of healthy samples. Plant them again at the beginning of the next growing season.
Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Plant
Source: Tropical Plant Addict
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