Planting Caladiums at Home: A Guide for Beginners

Did you know this plant? Discover the step-by-step guide to planting caladiums at home and fill your garden with colour.
Planting Caladiums at Home: A Guide for Beginners

Written by Editorial Team

Last update: 07 July, 2023

This is a great time of the year to fill every space in your home with color. Are you getting into gardening? Then how about planting caladiums in your home?

This tropical plant with large, showy foliage can be a great addition. Plus, it’s easy to care for and doesn’t require a lot of space.

In this article we’ll tell you about caladiums and, in addition to learning about their varieties, we’ll show you how to plant them!

General characteristics of caladiums

Caladiums are herbaceous plants with tubers that belong to the family Araceae. They are native to the tropics of South America and were introduced to Europe in the mid-18th century.

Since that time, they have become a popular indoor and outdoor species due to their easy care. Although they can grow up to 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet) tall, on average they usually reach around 30 centimeters (1 foot).

One of the most striking aspects of caladiums is the density of their foliage. Their leaves can reach a size of about 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide and 45 centimeters long (18 inches).

They also have a variety of shapes and colors. From white to green, red, pink, and orange with speckles or veins. They add a touch of vibrancy to any garden.

Caladium species you can plant in your home

According to a publication from Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology, the exact number of caladium species is still a matter of debate, varying from 7 to 17 depending on which classification is consulted.

Here are some of the most popular and well-known in gardening:

  • Caladium bicolor: this variety of caladium is the most common and has undergone genetic improvements to create hybrids. Its foliage is mostly green, adorned with red or white veins, while its spathes can be yellow or white.
  • Caladium hortulanum: the leaves of this species are unique, as their texture resembles that of paper.
  • Caladium humboldtii: this type has small leaves with green tones, which present a pattern of spots or white marbling of various sizes and shapes.
  • Caladium picturatum : this type has elongated leaves with white veins.
  • Caladium steudneri folium: although less popular than other varieties, it has glossy green leaves, lightly marbled in white, which are waxy and resemble the shape of a heart.

Planting caladiums at home

The cultivation of caladiums can occur in two ways:

  1. Multiplication by tubers
  2. Sowing seeds

Read on for a step-by-step guide on planting caladiums at home! Then you can enjoy their beautiful large and showy leaves.

1. Multiplication by tubers

To plant caladiums at home you can plant the whole tuber or divide it into several parts, making sure that one of them has at least two buds. Before planting, it is advisable to treat the cut areas with a broad-spectrum fungicide containing sulfur. Then let them dry for one or two days.

Bury them at a depth of 2 to 3 cm (around an inch) in a pot or in the garden. During this stage, try not to water them frequently and keep them at a temperature of 20 to 27 °C (68 to 80 F) until the fourth leaf sprouts.

Later, you can transplant them to a larger pot and use a substrate rich in organic matter with a little sand. In this way, you will facilitate water drainage. From that moment on, watering should be regular.

2. Sowing seeds

If you decide to multiply the caladiums by seed, it is advisable to wait for the arrival of a temperate climate, making sure that the ambient temperature does not exceed 20 °C (68 F). For this process, you will only need to prepare a tray with a light, sandy substrate.

There you will bury the seeds, covering them lightly, to ensure humidity during the germination period. It is essential to keep them in low light and with the substrate always humid, at a temperature between 20 and 23 °C (68 to 73 F).

In case of strong winds, the ideal thing is to cover the tray with glass or plastic. Periodically, remove the cover to avoid excess humidity.

Once the seeds germinate, remove the plastic or glass and increase the amount of light that reaches them. Make sure they are kept out of direct sunlight and receive good ventilation.

If you detect weak seedlings, remove them to give the sturdy ones more room to develop. Then, when they have some leaves, transplant them into small pots, being careful not to damage their roots.

The first leaves will be all green, as the color of the variety begins to show from the sixth or seventh leaf.

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Watch out for pests!

When growing and planting caladiums, it is essential to pay attention to them, in order to avoid pests and diseases. Aphids and spider mites are some of the most common. They can cause serious damage to the leaves.

To prevent them, you should control humidity and the amount of sun they receive, as well as maintaining cleanliness in the garden. In order to prevent diseases caused by fungi and bacteria in the tubers, use a light substrate and manage watering.

By following these steps, you can enjoy healthy caladiums in your garden.

Take care of your caladiums to give life to your garden!

Caladiums require some additional care to grow healthily. Take note of the most important ones!

  1. Try to place them in a bright area, but make sure they are away from direct sources of natural or artificial light.
  2. Offer a soil based on peat with an acid reaction, mixed with sand and with good drainage.
  3. The soil should be moist, but never waterlogged.
  4. Transplant once a year and fertilize every two weeks with worm castings or a liquid fertilizer diluted with irrigation water.
  5. Do not prune them. The caladiums gradually eliminate their leaves naturally.

That’s it! Now you know all you need to know to plant caladiums at home. Enjoy the beauty and joy they will bring to your garden!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.