How to Grow and Care for Caladiums?
Caladiums (Caladium spp.) are tropical plants grown for their heart-shaped leaves and colorful foliage. The caladium plant is a popular landscape plant in subtropical areas, and it is often grown indoors in temperate regions. Caladium stems grow from underground tubers, and the tubers are often called bulbs or corms.
The caladium is a tropical plant that is hardy only in USDA zones 10 through 12. Caladiums need warm soil to grow well, so they are usually started indoors in pots and planted outdoors after the last spring frost date. Some caladium varieties are more sun-tolerant than others, so gardeners should check the variety for specific growing requirements.
Most gardeners buy caladium tubers in spring when they’re planting them outdoors, but gardeners can also save their tubers to plant again the following year. The caladium plant produces leaves during the summer months and then goes dormant during the winter. Gardeners who live in warm climates can keep the tubers in the ground year-round, but gardeners who live in colder places must dig up the tubers when they go dormant and store them until spring.
The Benefits of Caladiums Plant
Caladium is a tropical plant that has long been used as a decorative plant in various parts of the world, especially in Asia. Although the leaves or stems are not edible, the caladium plant has many health benefits. Here are some benefits that you can get from caladium plants:
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland, it was found that caladium leaves contain chemical compounds such as alkaloids and steroidal saponins which have anti-tumor properties. In addition to preventing cancer cell growth, this compound also helps your body fight cancer cells. Not only cancer, but these compounds also have anti-bacterial properties so they can protect you from various types of germs that are around you.
2. Preventing anemia
The red blood cells in your body play a role in supplying oxygen to all parts of your body, so if the number of red blood cells decreases then you will be prone to fatigue and shortness of breath easily. The content of vitamin C which is in caladium leaves can help increase the production of red blood cells and thus maintain your stamina when doing activities. Vitamin C is also needed by the body to absorb iron and calcium.
There are two types of caladiums: fancy-leaved varieties and strap-leaved varieties. The fancy-leaved types have larger leaves with more color patterns and blotches, while the strap-leaved types are narrower and more solid in color.
If you are looking to grow caladiums, you will need to decide whether to plant from bulbs or seeds. Planting from bulbs will give you more control over the size and shape of your plants, as well as speed up the growing process. However, planting from seed can be a fun learning experience for novice gardeners, and is often cheaper than purchasing bulbs.
If you are planning to plant from seed, start them indoors about 10 weeks before the last frost of the season (or earlier if you live in a warmer climate). If you are planning to plant from bulbs, place the bulbs in potting soil about 2 inches deep after all danger of frost has passed in your area.
Whichever planting method you choose, use soil that is rich in organic matter and make sure it drains well.
Caladiums are the perfect way to bring color to your garden. Their leaves come in a variety of striking patterns and colors, and they grow well in partial shade.
They’re also easy to care for. Here’s how:
1. Plant them in rich, loose soil and make sure you space them at least 8-12 inches apart; they’re not fond of crowded conditions!
2. Give them plenty of room to grow—they generally reach widths of up to two feet—and take care not to bump into or damage their leaves.
3. Caladiums thrive on humidity, so if you live in an arid area, give your plants a light misting or set up a humidifier nearby.
4. Water them deeply about once per week and let the soil dry out before watering again; if possible, water from below by placing a saucer beneath the plant’s container and filling it with around 2 inches of water at a time (don’t forget to empty any excess water that hasn’t been absorbed).
To propagate Caladiums, you will need:
-An adult plant
-A sharp spade or shovel
-A small plastic bag
-A spray bottle filled with water
Here’s how to do it:
1. Select a bulb from the end of a healthy caladium leaf. The bulb should be large and have many roots attached to it. Make sure that there is at least one eye on the bulb – this eye is the tiny bump in the center of the bulb.
2. Use your spade or shovel to dig up the soil around the adult plant so that you can get a large chunk containing the bulb. You’ll want about 3 inches of soil and roots on all sides of the bulb.
3. Place your chunk of soil into a small plastic bag, seal it, and then set it aside for another two weeks as your new plant grows its roots before planting it in your garden or yard.
Pest and Disease Control
Caladiums are perennial indoor plant that is relatively easy to grow. However, there are some pests and diseases that you should be aware of if you’re going to grow Caladiums.
Some common pests that affect caladiums include:
Mealybugs – These creatures can be found on the undersides of leaves and along leaf joints. They suck the juices out of plants and secrete a sticky substance called honeydew that often leads to sooty mold growth.
Aphids – These insects also suck plant juices and secrete honeydew which can lead to sooty mold problems. Aphids are small soft-bodied insects often found on new plant growth or clustered on flower buds.
Leafminers – These larvae tunnel between layers of leaves creating winding lines as they feed inside the leaves.
Spider mites – These tiny eight-legged arthropods can be hard to see but will leave a fine webbing on plants as well as yellowing, browning, or stippling of foliage.