Their unique, striking, detailed, and highly diverse foliage will lure you in. Their delicate and sometimes almost sheer leaves will scare you away. In fact, we didn't carry Caladium sp. for a long time at Green Lady Gardens for that reason! If you shop here, you know we don't like to carry plants that we can't teach you about. That would completely defeat one of our three foundational pillars, education. (The others are ethics and experience. Check out our homepage to read more.) But one day they were just too tempting. We grabbed a few, did some research, gained hands on experience, and realized they aren't hard at all! Now we can't stop restocking them. They lure and they scare, but in the end they will be one of your most prized and rewarding plants.
Knowing proper care and what to expect with your Caladium sp. is key because they will go dormant each year. But don't be scared. We made this handy little slideshow to walk you through the process.
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Bright indirect indoors and part sun - shade outdoors. Too much direct sun = brown leaves. Too little light = dull and colorless leaves.
Around 50% is ideal though average household humidity tends to be ok. Increase humidity with a humidifier or pebble tray if leaf edges crisp.
Keep evenly moist but not soggy. (See Alocasia slideshow for tips on obtaining a balance.) Water when the top soil is dry to the touch. Overwatering= yellow leaves, new growth falls off. Underwatering= leaves wilt, curl, and/or yellow. Consistent underwatering will cause dormancy.
Soil and Potting
Moist, rich, well- draining soil. A mix that includes peat moss or coco coir works great.
Does not require a lot of fertilizer but fertilizer will aid in bulb production the following spring. Fertilize once a month during the fall and spring. Too much fertilizer = burned leaves.
60-65°F at night, 70-75° during the day.
Dormancy is inevitable. When temps. drop below 60° and leaves wilt, stop watering. Store the plant at 55 – 65° for at least 4 – 5 months. When temps reach 60 – 65° at night/70 – 75° during the day, resume watering. Keep soil evenly moist. (cont.) Tubers may also be removed from pots or gardens once there are no leaves and the soil has fully dried. Store in dry newspaper, sawdust, peat moss, etc. Replant tubers about 2” deep. Follow time, temp., and water instructions on previous slide. You can germinate indoors 6 weeks before planting outside. Germination takes 2 – 12 weeks.