Caladiums

If you've never grown caladiums before, you're in for a treat.

Caladiums are quite easy to grow and thrive in southern zones in full or partial shade. In temperate zones they need to be planted late after the ground has warmed, kept watered during hot summer days, and lifted for winter storage. Some newer hybrids have more sun tolerance than older cultivars.

Caladiums range in size from 6 inches up to 2-1/2 feet, which makes them versatile in the landscape. Most do well in containers, potted for portable color accents, planted in patio planters, or grown indoors as house plants.  Some are even suitable for hanging planters.

Planting: For outdoor planting, bulbs should be planted when night temperatures are 65 F or above and the soil is warm to the touch. They should be planted 2 inches deep and about 6-8 inches apart. Ideal conditions are partial sun and partial shade.

Care: They will grow in full sun, however they may require more water. The soil should be light and well drained. Leaf mold or peat moss may be added for better results. These plants require little water at first to prevent deterioration, then water freely when leaves appear.

As a houseplant use 3 bulbs to a 6 inch pot. Plant bulbs 2 inches below the surface in light garden soil. Water sparingly until first leaves appear. They may be transplanted after flowering.

For Floral Arrangements:They may also be used as fresh cut flowers. We recommend cutting the leaves at least 3 to 6 hours prior to using them. Cut them off near the bottom of the stem and immediately set stems in water. They will go through a wilt stage in the first 24 hours, however they will perk up. They should last in an arrangement for 2 to 3 weeks.

Storage:To store your bulbs from year to year we suggest digging them after your first cool spell. Allow them to cure for 7 to 10 days before storing. Store them in something ventilated such as old pantyhose or an onion sack. Keep them ABOVE 65 F until time for planting again.

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