Caladium, also known as Caladium, Heart of Jesus, Painter’s Palette or Wounded Heart, is a large genus of tropical perennials with over 1000 variants. These broadleaf plants can add a dramatic or subtle pop of color to any space. In this guide, we teach you how to grow caladium and all its care.
Where to Grow Caladium
- Indoors, in a well-lit area out of direct sunlight.
- Outside in warm weather where there may be shade.
How to Propagate Caladium
The best method of caladium propagation is division. However, you should be careful when spreading caladiums as they can cause poisoning and reactions upon contact or ingestion.
The best time to propagate a caladium plant is in the spring.
As with dividing other plants, you should dig around the perimeter of the plant to make lifting more comfortable. You can loosen the area with a shovel and lift the tubers off the ground.
Remove soil and damaged parts, such as foliage and shoots, to prevent them from spreading to healthy divisions.
Before planting the divisions, it is a good idea to cut and lift the largest central bud from a tuber.
This technique will result in a fuller, bushier plant as the remaining small buds will create more shoots.
You can plant the divisions in fertile, moist, well-drained soil in the greenhouse to ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.
The best would be a maximum of six hours a day for the plants to become established. But if you are outdoors, check the warmth of the soil as caladiums will thrive between 18-26°C, which is the case in spring.
Plant the caladium tubers with the buds up and 30cm apart at a depth of 5cm.
Growing caladium in a pot
Choose a pot that is at least 8 inches wide and deep (or more, depending on the size of your plant).
Partially fill your chosen jar with a quality mix.
Remove the plant from the pot, carefully separate the roots and cut off any that are broken or tangled.
Place it in the new pot and fill it with the potting mix, gently firming it up. Water well.
Water occasionally, allowing the plant to dry out slightly between waterings.
Feed every two weeks from spring to fall with liquid plant food.
Growing caladium in the garden
Choose a well-drained, partially shaded spot in the garden and prepare the planting area well, remove large stones and add compost.
Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root ball. Carefully remove the plant from the container.
Place it in the hole and fill it with soil, firming it gently. Always water well after planting to pack the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant becomes established.
Cover lightly with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, grass clippings or straw, and water well.
Water once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions, to keep the soil slightly moist.
Keep sheets clean by wiping them with a damp cloth.
It is known that all parts of the Caladium plant are poisonous. Be careful when planting, pruning and especially around children and pets.
Remove dead stems from the base of the plant to promote a clean, tidy appearance.
Caladium does best in bright or medium-bright indirect light. It can tolerate direct morning sun, for example from an east-facing window.
Avoid places where it will be exposed to afternoon sun, especially in summer.
Water your caladium when the top two to three inches of soil is dry. Water thoroughly and be sure to drain the saucer of any excess water to prevent root rot.
When the plant goes dormant for the winter, water sparingly to allow the plant to rest. Start watering again in the spring to “wake” the plant from its slumber.
Caladium prefers a humid environment. Mist the leaves regularly, place a humidifier nearby, or use a stone tray filled with water near the plant to increase the ambient humidity.
If grown indoors in winter, keep the soil drier, as they don’t like too much water near their base during their dormant period.
Caladium prefers a temperature between 18 and 26°C. Prevent cold drafts and sudden temperature changes from affecting the plant.
During the winter, when the plant is naturally dormant, keep it in an area that stays above 15°C.
In the spring, very warm temperatures of 23°C or more are useful to “wake up” your caladium more quickly.
For best results, use liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once a month in the spring and summer.
Never apply compost to dry soil; Always make sure the soil is moist before feeding your plant. During the fall and winter months, no fertilizer is needed.
It may also be interesting to read: How to grow Calas and all their care.
Caladium is considered toxic to pets and humans if ingested. May cause mouth and stomach irritation.
Share this article on the networks: