Native to the banks of the Amazon in South America, Caladiums have been adorning shade gardens around the world for centuries. The unique and lush look of these plants adds a great touch of color and texture to partially shaded gardens. Growing approximately 10-16" tall, these plants are grown mostly for their foliage which grows with many different color combinations, typically including whites, pinks, reds, and greens.
Growing wonderfully in containers as well as garden beds, the uses for caladiums are numerous. While most of them prefer an area with a good amount of shade, more and more sun tolerant varieties are being developed every season. Be sure to refer to the specific requirements of your particular variety when planting.
- Planting Time: Spring
- Bloom Time: Summer to Frost
- Hardiness Zone: 9-11
- Suitable Zone: 3-11
- Light Needs: Partial - Full Shade
- Caladium bulbs are typically planted during the spring season when the danger of frost is over.
- Choose a planting location that has well-drained soil and receives only indirect sunlight (except for some newer sun tolerant varieties).
- Space bulbs approximately 6-9" apart in a garden bed or container. Planting the bulbs closer together will encourage taller growth of the stems.
- Plant the bulb with the "eye" (or growth point) up and cover with approximately 1-2" of soil.
- Thoroughly soak the area with water once the bulbs have been planted. Keep soil moist and as warm as possible. Cooler weather will delay sprouting but will not damage the bulb (unless is dips below freezing).
- Lightly fertilize every 6 weeks with a well-balanced water soluble fertilizer if desired.
- Allow plants to continue growing up until just before the first frost. This enables them to produce food for next year's growth. If planted in containers, force the bulbs into dormancy by gradually withholding water at this point.
- Gently dig up the bulbs before the first frost and leave the leaves on.
- Store the bulbs for winter in paper or other mesh bags. Place bags in a dry place which remains consistently between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Replant in spring according to the above instructions.