How to Care for Caladium Plants?
Welcome to the Caladium Plant Care Guide. Caladiums (Caladium schomburgkii) are a beautiful sybaritic tropical plant that adds color and style to gardens and spaces both indoors and outdoors. The leaves of caladium plants are big and heart-shaped. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, from bright reds and pinks to cool greens and whites. These plants are native to South America. They are also called angel wings or elephant ears.
Caladiums are simple plants that are easy to care for, so they are great for beginner gardeners. These low-maintenance, all-season plants are ideal for patio pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets. So, let’s learn in detail about how to grow caladium plants, along with their care guide tips.
How Do I Grow a Caladium Plant?
Caladiums are perennials. They emerge in four months, grow for two months, and then fade back to the tuber deep underground for a dormant period. They bloom for six months before dormancy. To grow caladium plants, you need to know about the climate and when to plant them. Learn about how to grow the caladium plant.
1. Climate of the Caladium Plant:
Caladiums enjoy humidity and summer heat (18–32 °F or more). Caladiums like indirect, bright light. Direct sunshine damages leaves, while full shade dulls them.
2. When to Plant the Caladium Plant:
Caladiums are propagated through underground bulbs known as corms. Corms contain nutrients and energy. Caladiums should be planted 1-2 inches deep in well-drained soil.
Before planting caladium tubers and plants indoors or outdoors, ensure air temperatures are at least 60°F (15.6°C) and soil temperatures are no lower than 65°F (18°C). Cool temperatures can significantly inhibit development and delay attractiveness if planted too early. Keep them indoors as a houseplant until it's warm enough.
Remember, caladiums tend to fall dormant after growing new leaves, even if they are grown inside. This is a regular aspect of the tuberous (fleshy) plant's life cycle. Reduce watering when old leaves drop in the fall. To encourage new growth in the spring, gradually begin watering, use a little organic houseplant fertilizer, and keep the caladium in a warm spot.
How do I care for the caladium plant?
Caladiums are low-maintenance plants that require warmth and high humidity both indoors and outdoors. They require little attention if you provide them with enough light and humidity. However, caladiums are only spectacular for roughly six months of the year, from budding to hibernation (dormancy).
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Tips for caring for the Caladium Plant?
If you want to learn how to care for a caladium, read on for some helpful tips. This guide will cover watering your caladium, its light, temperature, and humidity needs, and other care it may need to grow. Tips to care for the Caladium plant are:
1. Sunlight needs for the Caladium plant:
How much sunlight does the caladium plant need? Caladiums grow well in bright to medium-bright indirect light, but they can survive morning direct sun (from an eastern or northern window) but should avoid severe afternoon sunlight.
2. Temperature requirements for the Caladium plant:
Caladiums are sensitive to temperature. They enjoy temperatures between 18 and 32°C. But avoid cool breezes and/or rapid temperature fluctuations. Since caladiums remain dormant in winter, keep them above 15°C. In the spring, higher temperatures of 23°C or higher help to "wake up" plant Caladium.
3. Soil requirements for the Caladium plant:
Use a potting mix that drains well or yard soil that has been mixed with organic matter. To stop root rot, it's important to have well-drained soil.
4. Watering Guide for the Caladium Plant:
How often should you water the caladium plant? Water your Caladium plant thoroughly, letting it soak into its pot until the top 25% of the soil is dry. Excess water in the pot will rot the roots. Remember to water carefully when your caladium plant appears dormant in late fall through winter to prevent dryness.
5. Humidity requirement for the Caladium plant:
Caladiums love humid environments. Misting the leaves often or putting the plant on a tray of wet pebbles for humid conditions. An adjacent humidifier can also be beneficial.
6. Fertilization requirements for the Caladium plant:
How often should you fertilize the caladium plant? Apply a liquid houseplant fertilizer. Feed once a month at ½ strength. Make sure the soil of the caladium plant is wet before feeding. Never feed dry plants. Avoid winter fertilizer and overfeeding during the milder months of the growing season.
7. Toxicity of the Caladium plant:
Caladium plants are toxic to both people and pets. It may cause oral and gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed.
8. Other Challenges and Troubleshooting for the Caladium Plant:
To promote the growth and health of your Caladium plants, avoid putting them outside in excessively arid conditions or abruptly when temperatures drop. Instead, ensure proper drainage and let the top 1 inch of soil dry before watering.
If your caladiums were recently potted and are not yet in their natural dormancy phase, the petioles may droop and arch, especially if the mix or soil is fully dry. Instead, aim for a uniformly wet potting mixture.
Overwatering or overdrying may cause yellowing leaves, even when caladium tubers are not undergoing dormancy. To protect caladium tubers, follow the step-by-step instructions in the above care guidance.
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Caladium plants are tropical plants with big, heart- or arrow-shaped leaves. They will contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of your living space. The foliage is the major attraction of this plant. It can grow best in pots or raised beds if your soil is thick mud. With the proper care, your Caladium plants can flourish and add beauty to your space, regardless of whether you choose to grow them in an indoor or outdoor setting.