Caladiums are recognized and used by garden designers for their unique patterns and lively colors. They grow fast and brighten shady areas in the landscape or container plantings. Native to the Amazon River basin, the original commercial caladium varieties came to the Americas through European greenhouses. Cultivars separate into two main categories. The large heart-shaped leaves are characteristic of the fancy-leaf cultivars, and lance-leafed cultivars have more narrow elongated leaves.
Toxic to pets if ingested.
Great For Spaces That…
Great for spaces with partial shade patios
Great for spaces with higher ceilings
Great for space with a range of low to high indirect light
Great for space with room for a grouping of plants
Great for spaces with medium indirect light
Caladium Care Guide
Bright, indirect light in interiors and shade to part shade outside. If using in exterior spaces, plant in shade to part shade (early morning light) in warm soil after the last spring frost date in your plant zone.
Water when they arrive. Keep soil evenly moist but not saturated.
Prefers high humidity to thrive well and last throughout the spring and summer months.
This plant thrives in warm, humid landscapes or decorative patio containers during the growing season. If this plant is not in your planting zone, the bulbs can be dug up and stored and replanted the following year.
Outside: Keep in shade on a patio where nights are above 50°F. Use as an annual in shade to part sun in the landscape.
Apply 1 Tablespoon of 5-10-10 per square foot each month during the growing season to keep their foliage healthy and tubers healthy.
If growing in a planter container, use a rich potting soil and keep well watered to soggy.
Prune away any discolored leaves down to the base of the stem when grooming the plant.
To propagate your caladium:
Divide the tubers in the fall in colder climates where the caladium isn't hardy.
After the foliage has turned yellow and dried when the weather temperatures cool, dig the tubers carefully (avoid puncturing a tuber). Gently brush off the soil but never wash them with water as this can cause fungus issues later in storage. Divide them and lay them out in a single layer to air dry for several days and knock off any remaining soil afterward. Remove all the dead leaves at this point.
Sprinkle the tubers with a fungicide such as sulfur plant fungicide dust to prevent disease and rot.
Store them in a dry mixture of peat moss, coco coir, and perlite or completely dry pet bedding. Put this mixture in a dry paper box and layer the bulbs loosely apart.
Place the box on a shelf in a dark location of your home. Leave them where humidity is low, and the temperature is around 60°F.
Take a look at them monthly to ensure that they are not moist and moldy. If you detect either, throw the bulb out before they infect the others.
After dormancy, select the most healthy-looking tubers to replant. To boost more foliage, look for the large central bud on each tuber. Use a sterilized knife and carefully remove this and lift them out of the tuber. This removal will promote more foliage to grow from the smaller buds.
Follow the directions on planting and water in well! Enjoy your new crop of Caladiums or share with your besties!
If you're in a hardy USDA growing zone of 9 or above, you can leave the bulbs in the ground over the winter. In the spring (May in most locations after the last frost), carefully dig them up, divide the tubers and replant in several areas in the landscape or decorative patio containers.