General Caladium planting and care tips
a FAQ page if you want to submit a question
Planting caladium bulbs is a breeze, these hardy plants just need a
little warm soil and some occasional watering and chow to see
vibrant colors all season long.
Caladiums like well drained soil.
If the area puddles after
a good rain, you might want to look elsewhere to plant your
bulbs. "Mound" an area for better drainage. Keep the newly planted bulbs moist - not soggy.
Shade is Good!
Where most plants don't tolerate shade very well - many caladiums love
shady areas! When your favorite flower will bloom for a week
or two, caladiums will provide wonderful
leaf color and texture all summer. White varieties like White
Christmas, Moonlight or Candidum put on an outstanding show
all season long in shady areas.
Plant the bulbs about 1½ to 2 inches deep with the knobby side up (these are
actually the "eyes" or
growing points. If you blow it and plant the wrong side up,
don't despair; you will just lose a few days while bulbs
figure out what to do). A bit of bone meal would make your caladiums
happy. Water a bit after planting. More info in bulleted tip
BIG TIP -Bulbs should be planted in the landscape in the spring
after the last frost. The USDA temperature
provides the following guidelines, however temperatures can vary
in specific locales therefore nothing substitutes for local
knowledge for exact planting dates. The
secret (and the reason they seem to be slow starters up north) -
these plants are originally from tropical rainforests - they
like it when it's warm. Generally; your bulbs will sleep until
the soil temp rises to approx 70◦, then they will get happy and
grow like crazy. If you are planting caladiums in
northern climes, start the bulbs earlier in a warm, moist (not
inside and give them a head start (see the interesting tip from
Ed Groff at the bottom of this page).
Bulb Size Tips - Planting Separations by bulb size
Yup, it's true: bigger bulbs yield more foliage - go figure!
Caladium bulbs are sold in various
size grades based on the
diameter of the bulb.
Generally the larger the bulb you purchase the better the
performance as the bulb is the source of energy reserve for the
plant, therefore the larger the bulb the larger the energy
reserve thus the opportunity for better performance. Bigger
bulbs should be planted farther apart - jumbo bulbs about
12"-18" apart, smaller bulbs, 6" to 8" apart.
If you notice several dominant "lumps" on your bulbs,
you can cut them out and get a plant that has several even
shoots (fuller habit) popping out rather than 1 or two
dominant leaves and some smaller, see our
de-eyeing page for more.
End of season
temps go below 60° and stay there (say the onset of
fall/winter), harvest the bulbs & leaves, let 'em dry for a week
or so, trim
off the tops and store the bulbs in a warmish ventilated area (60° or better) for planting next spring.
go dormant in the winter - they like to take a nap.
Height and Color
Individual conditions vary greatly in the US. Caladiums in shade
tend to have bigger leaves and want to be taller to catch
the light as opposed to caladiums in direct sunlight that
don't have to work so hard, Colors can vary according to
sunlight and feed.
Potting caladiums in assorted containers works very well -inside
of your home or office, on the patio or front porch
- use your imagination (send us some pictures)!
« Moonlight Caladiums (click to
Sun tolerant caladiums generally require more watering than
caladiums planted in shade, the length of exposure to sunlight
is the determining factor. Dark colors of leaves tend to
need more watering than light colors. All of our varieties are
grown in the full sun at our central Florida Farms. Overexposure
results in holes with brown edges in the leaves - you see these
- you may have to much sun.
Caladiums are poisonous - you would have to ingest quite a
bit to get sick and we have never heard of anyone this has
happened to - but we don't recommend the leaves being used for
Every time we get to thinking
we have all the answers -
our customers come up with some winners!
- Ed Groff from PA has some tips on
early in northern climes and extending the growing
LSU tips on caladiums - leave them in the ground over the
Classic Caladiums - Dr Allan Armitage from University of
Georgia loves Classic's Caladiums
Susan and William
Cochran of South Carolina love caladiums.
Foreground is Tenderness
L to R: Starburst | White Diamond
| White Delight | Candyland
Peeping in the lower right
corner is White Delight