Caladium varieties and information here.

General Caladium Information

Caladiums (Caladium hortulanum) are tropical plants that originated in the Amazon basin in South America.  Caladiums are grown from tubers; however, in the industry we commonly refer to these tubers as bulbs.  Caladiums have many uses in the horticultural industry.  They are widely used in landscapes and home gardens in the south where growing conditions are very favorable.  In northern climates, caladiums can be planted outside after the last frost in the spring.  Here they will accent the annuals and perennials found in northern gardens until early fall.

Caladiums also are extensively sold as potted plants in the florist trade.  Traditionally potted caladiums are sold as Easter and Mother’s Day crops.  However, with improvements being made in bulb storage, potted caladiums may be used nearly year round.  Though not used extensively at this time, cut caladium leaves have great potential for floral arrangements.

In addition to landscape/garden use and as potted plants, caladiums are finding their way into the interiorscapes as well.  The interiorscape market is always looking for color, and caladiums with their wide array of colors fill this need.

Commercial flower growers and bedding plant growers should not have any difficulty in growing caladiums provided they are familiar with the characteristics and cultural requirements of the plants.  The following information should be of interest to growers who plan to integrate caladiums into their growing schedule.

Please Note:  Mention of pesticides, growth regulators etc. are by way of illustration only not an endorsement.  The label is the law therefore growers must follow label directions with all regulated materials.  Furthermore, different cultivars respond differently to treatments therefore try a small percentage of your crop before applying a treatment to the entire crop.  Mention of one product does not preclude the use or benefit of other similar products.  Remember read the label and follow it.

Bulb Sizes:                 
Caladium bulbs are sold in various size grades based on the diameter of the bulb.  The bulbs are categorized into the following traditional sizes:

  • No. 4:  to Ύ” (2.0 cm)

  • No. 3:  Ύ to 1” (2.0 – 2.5 cm)

  • No. 2:  1” to 1 ½” (2.5 – 4.0 cm)

  • No. 1:  1 ½” to 2 ½” (4.0 – 6.5 cm)

  • Jumbo:  2 ½” to 3 ½” (6.5 – 9.0 cm)

  • Mammoth:  3 ½” to 4 ½” (9.0 – 11.5 cm)

  • Super Mammoth:    4 ½” Up (> 11.5 cm)

Recently a market has been developing for No. 3 (seed stock size) bulbs.  This size is suitable for 4 ½” pots and under.  The size of the No. 3 bulbs is less than 1 inch.

Bulb Morphology:  A majority of Caladium bulbs are produced in the muck soils of Lake Placid, FL.  In 2000 Classic Caladiums, LLC began a significant effort to produce bulbs in sandy soils and now commands more than 18% market share.  As a way of anchoring themselves into the soil, caladiums have contractile roots, which actually pull the bulb into the soil as it grows.  Muck soils are naturally softer and more spongy therefore bulbs can expand in all directions (spherically) as they grow whereas sandy soils do not readily compact therefore bulbs produced in sandy soils have a flatter base.  As can be imagined, a box of No. 1 muck grown bulbs will be fuller (spherical) than a box of No. 1 sand produced bulbs because of their flattened base.  Studies have shown that the comparative performance of these two bulbs is similar and that such things as clonal selection, plant nutrition prior to harvest and bulb processing procedures and facilities play a much more significant role in the ultimate performance of the bulb.  Classic bulbs perform more than competitively.

Bulb Storage:            
Caladiums are tropical plants, and bulbs must be stored at temperatures above 60°F (16°C) with a relative humidity in the neighborhood of 75%.  Also, there needs to be good air exchange to prevent build-up of gases.  Caladiums are particularly sensitive to the presence of ethylene gas.  When storing caladiums, unpack them immediately upon arrival and store them in open trays with proper air circulation.  Exposing bulbs to cold temperatures will cause them to sprout slowly and erratically and cold may stunt the crop.

Caladium Types:
There are two distinct types of Caladiums, based on leaf morphology, though some growers refer to a third (Dwarf ) group: Fancy Leaf and Strap Leaf varieties.  Fancy Leaf Caladiums have broad heart-shaped or arrowhead-shaped leaves and generally grow taller than Strap Leaf and Dwarf varieties.  The petiole (stem) attachment is within the leaf blade.  Strap Leaf Caladiums have a petiole (stem) attachment at the edge of the leaf blade and generally have pointed, more narrow, heart shaped leaves producing a compact plant with more leaves than fancy leaved cultivars.  Strap varieties are ideal for pot production and hanging baskets.  Dwarf Caladiums comprise both fancy (Candidum Jr.) and strap (Gingerland and Miss Muffet) leaf varieties and are intermediate in size and compact in habit making them ideal for pot plant and hanging basket production.

Minimum Quantities:
Boxing for wholesale orders has been standardized in the industry accordingly:   

Bulb Size














Super Mammoth


Caladium Bulb producers have minimum order quantities which tend to be 5 or more boxes.


Shipping Information:            The standard industry box dimensions are 11” (20 cm) H X 18” (45 cm) W X 14” (35 cm) D or 0.5 cubic feet or 0.15 cubic meters.  Boxes on average weigh 30 lbs or 13.5 Kg, however individual boxes must be weighted to get exact weight at time of shipping.  Prices tend to be FOB.


Classic Caladiums, LLC Commercial Operations
1315 S.R. 64 West ~ Avon Park, FL ~ 33825
Toll Free: 888-912-0020    Ph: (863)-453-0014    Fax: (863) 453-0015

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