Caladium ( Red, Wine ) - 4 bulbs
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Caladiums are tropical plants growing from tubers, most known for their colourful foliage, and used as a house plant or summer bedding plant.
Growing caladiums is easy with proper caladium care. These tropical-like plants are commonly grown for their multi-coloured foliage, which may be green, white, red, or pink. Caladiums can be grown in containers or clumped together within beds and borders. There are numerous varieties of caladiums found in either the fancy-leaved or the strap-leaved cultivar. All of which can make a dramatic statement in the landscape.
Common name: elephant ear
Height: 15–35 inches (40–90 cm)
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Caladiums can be purchased as potted plants or dormant tubers. Their size depends on the variety. For the most part, each tuber has a large bud, which is often surrounded by smaller ones. To make it easier for these smaller buds to grow after planting caladium bulbs, many gardeners find it helpful to lift out the large bud with a knife. Of course, this is up to the individual and will not adversely affect the overall growth of your caladiums.
Planting caladium bulbs takes little effort. They can be planted directly in the garden during spring or started indoors four to six weeks before the average frost date. Soil temperature is an important consideration, as planting too early outdoors can cause tubers to rot.
Sunlight: All caladiums love filtered sunlight and shade. Some newer selections can take more sun.
Soil: Caladiums need well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter, such as mushroom compost or chopped leaves.
Water: Always water caladiums regularly. Keep the soil slightly moist. Add mulch, such as pine straw, to help retain soil moisture and conserve water. If you have caladiums in full sun, don’t let them dry out.
Fertilizer: Use a slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Smart-Release Plant Food 19-6-12 or a liquid feed.
- The most important factors in caladium care are moisture and feeding.
- Fertilizer will help strengthen the plants in order to produce adequate tubers for the following growing season.
- Caladiums need to be watered on a regular basis, especially during dry conditions.
- In fact, watering them on a weekly basis is recommended.
- Caladiums that are grown in containers should be checked daily and watered as needed.
- Applying mulch around caladium plants will help to conserve and maintain moisture, even in containers.
- Since caladiums are considered tender perennials, they must be dug up in the fall and stored indoors over winter in cold climates.
- Once their foliage yellows and begins falling over, caladiums can be carefully lifted from the ground.
- Place the plants in a warm, dry location for at least a couple weeks to dry out.
- Then cut off the foliage, place the tubers in a netted bag or box, and cover in dry peat moss.
- Store the tubers in a cool, dry location.
- Once spring returns, you can replant outdoors.
- If you are growing caladiums in containers, they can be overwintered indoors.
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