Caladiums 101: Growing Caladiums in Your Garden and at Home

Caladiums 101: Growing Caladiums in Your Garden and at Home

We’re crazy for caladiums here. They’re mega popular for a reason—their striking foliage comes in shades of green, pink, white, and red, with speckles and unique veining. While they lose their heart shaped leaves in the dormant season, they grow back each spring. We love a symbol of new beginnings.

Caladium care

They are native to South America, particularly Brazil and neighboring countries, and belong to the Araceae family. Caladiums are generally grown as ornamental plants, both indoors and outdoors, and they prefer a warm, humid climate with filtered sunlight. Once you have your hands on a caladium, you’ll be able to tell just how delicate the foliage is. It will definitely burn in direct sunlight! 

They are commonly used in gardens, landscaping, and as houseplants, adding a touch of color and vibrancy to any space.

Caladiums are typically grown from tubers, which are dormant bulbs that can be planted in the spring when the soil is warm. They require moist, well-drained soil and regular watering to thrive. They can also benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season.

Transitioning from summer to fall

As caladiums are tropical plants, they are sensitive to cold temperatures and cannot tolerate frost. As the weather begins to cool down in the fall, caladiums will start to go into a period of dormancy. During this time, the leaves of the plant will begin to yellow and die back, and the plant will stop growing. Be sure to stop watering and fertilizing once the leaves die off. You can begin watering again once new growth pops up. 

If you live in a colder climate, you will need to dig up your caladiums before the first frost and store them indoors for the winter. To do this, carefully dig up the tubers and remove any excess soil. Cut off any remaining foliage, leaving only a few inches of stem attached to the tuber. Allow the tubers to dry in a cool, dry place for a few days before storing them in a container filled with peat moss or vermiculite. Store the container in a cool, dry place, like a basement or garage, until spring.

If you’re in a warm climate, or if your plant is potted, it will still die back in the dormant season and grow new foliage the following spring. Don’t be alarmed! Give them some fertilizer once the days lengthen and get warmer, and you’ll have a happy caladium in no time.

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