Versatility is one of the wonderful aspects of Caladiums. They can be planted in mass or as accent plants in a flower bed. Need a bold option for a container on a shaded porch? What about low-growing plants to add the finishing touch to a tropical garden? They’re perfect for adding to your flowering hanging baskets, and they mix well with ferns, too! They do not grow very large. Most varieties grow 1-2 feet tall, making them easy to mix into the landscape. Shady gardens do not have to be without color thanks to these wonderful members of the Arum plant family.
How to Care for Caladiums
Caladiums do very well in our zone – 8b, and can thrive in more tropical areas as well. Originally from tropical regions in South America, in colder climates they must be dug up every year to protect the corms from the freezing weather. In zones 8 and higher, however, they can remain in the ground throughout the winter. They will lose their foliage in the fall and stay dormant until they pop up in the Spring.
Most varieties of Caladiums don’t just tolerate shade, they prefer it! Typically, they will thrive with 2-4 hours of sunlight. Some varieties can take more sun than others, but most will have larger, more vibrant leaves when grown in the shade, rather than the sun. Good drainage and evenly moist soil is necessary to grow healthy Caladiums. Little fertilizer is required to keep them happy. Mulching around plants is a good way to keep the soil moist and slowly provide nutrients.
How to Plant Caladium Bulbs
To plant caladium bulbs, wait until the soil has warmed to about 60-70 degrees. In North Florida, the best time to plant is typically from April through September. Plant the bulbs about 2 inches deep with the eyes of the bulbs facing up. Space plants at least 8 inches apart. If planting caladiums from already sprouted plants, simply plant the root ball at the same depth as the soil was in the pot. Once planted, just wait in anticipation for your caladiums to pop up and bring some stunning color and texture to your garden!