These hardy plants just need a little warm soil and some occasional watering and fertilizer to provide 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 - 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.
Sun tolerant caladium tips.
Some caladiums tolerate full sun (6-8 hours of sun); see reference on each variety in the description. Caladiums planted in full sun generally require more watering,
the length of exposure to sunlight is the determining factor. All of our varieties are grown in full sun on our central Florida farms. Overexposure
results in holes with brown edges in leaves between the main veins.
As a general rule, caladiums grown in the sun show more color than
they would in the shade. Watering caladiums early in the am or late in the pm helps eliminate sun burn.
When should I plant my bulbs?
should be planted in the landscape in the spring after the last
frost. The updated USDA temperature
chart (on our retail site) provides guidelines for your zone, however
temperatures can vary in specific locales and from year to year
therefore nothing substitutes for local knowledge. Generally,
plant your bulbs with the soil temperatures warm to 65°F-70°F. If
you are planting caladiums in northern climes, you can start the
bulbs earlier in a warm, moist (not soggy) place inside and give
them a head start .
How do I plant my bulbs?
Plant right side up. Caladium bulbs have a rather smooth bottom side and knobby (these are actually the eyes or growing points) top side. Though they will grow no
matter which way you orient them, planting with the top side up will provide you with the shortest sprouting time and the happiest plant.
Your bulbs should be planted deep
enough to cover them with 1 ½” to2” of soil. A bit of bone
meal would make your caladiums happy. Water after planting.
Mulching helps preserve soil moisture and provides some weed
In your landscape, evenly space 4 each #2 bulbs, or 2 each #1 bulbs
or 1 each Jumbo
bulb per square foot By multiplying the length
by the width of your planting area you will know approximately how
many bulbs to order. For instance, if you have a 2ft. by 10
ft. planting area you should multiply 2 X 10 = 20 sq ft and order
accordingly; 4X 20 = 80 #2 bulbs or 2 X 20 = 40 #1 bulbs OR 1 X 20
= 20 Jumbo bulbs. You would use
similar spacing in a
Caladiums like a little bone meal or
6-6-6 once a month or so - more for cladiums in full sun.
in early am/late pm seems to make 'em happy - you don't need to soak
the ground. Again, caladiums in sun, want more water, too.
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
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, see spacing details just above.
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
When the temps go below 60° and stay there (say the onset of fall/winter), harvest the bulbs & leaves.
Caladium bulbs go dormant in the winter - they like to take a nap.
In the Deep South (south of the I-10 corridor) usually heavy mulching (3”-6”) will allow the bulbs to survive the winter. In the North (north of the I-10 corridor)
dig up the bulbs and leaves, let ‘em dry for a week or so, trim off the tops and store the bulbs in a warm (60°F+) ventilated area for planting next spring.
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.