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Caladium

Caladiums are a large genus of tropical perennial plants with over 1000 vibrant cultivars. Traditionally used in outdoor gardening in warmer climates, these broadleaf plants can bring a dramatic or subtle splash of color to any indoor space. While these plants require a little extra care when grown indoors, their lush showy growth makes it well worth the effort.

How to care for your Caladium

Use these instructions to care for a Caladium. This guide will tell you how to water a Caladium; its light, temperature, humidity preferences and any additional care it might need to help it grow.

Caladium

LIGHT

Your caladium will thrive best in bright to medium-bright indirect light. It can tolerate direct morning sun like in an eastern or northern window. Avoid areas in which it will be exposed to harsh afternoon sun.

WATER

Water your caladium when the top 25% of soil is dry. Water thoroughly, and be sure to empty the saucer of any excess water to prevent root rot. When the plant goes dormant in the winter, water very sparingly to allow the plant to rest. Begin watering again in the spring to “wake” the plant out of dormancy.

HUMIDITY

Your caladium prefers a humid environment. Mist the leaves regularly, place a humidifier nearby, or use a pebble tray to raise the humidity.

TEMPERATURE

Your caladium prefers temperatures between 65-80°F. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes. Over winter, when the plant is naturally dormant, keep it in an area that stays above 60°F. In spring, very warm temperatures at 75°F or above are helpful to “wake up” your caladium more quickly.

FOOD

For best results, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength once a month during the spring and summer. Never apply fertilizer to dry soil; always make sure the soil is damp before feeding your plant. No fertilizer is needed in the fall and winter months.

TOXICITY

Your caladium is considered to be toxic to pets and humans if ingested. Can cause mouth and stomach irritation.

ADDITIONAL CARE

Even indoors, your caladium will most likely go into a dormant stage after producing new leaves. This is the normal lifecycle of this tuberous plant. Cut back on watering when old leaves start to die back in the fall, and to encourage the plant to come out of dormancy in the spring, you’ll want to water, apply a weak fertilizer, and keep the caladium in a warm location. Prune off the old discoloring leaves as they appear.

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What's a Caladium?

Botanical Classification: Caladium spp.

About

Caladiums are a large genus of tropical perennial plants with over 1000 vibrant cultivars. Traditionally used in outdoor gardening in warmer climates, these broadleaf plants can bring a dramatic or subtle splash of color to any indoor space. While these plants require a little extra care when grown indoors, their lush showy growth makes it well worth the effort.

Most caladiums are native to the warm tropical rainforests of Central and South America. When grown indoors, they need ample bright, but indirect sunlight to grow. If grown outdoors they prefer shade to dappled sunlight. Too much light will cause the vibrant colors to fade. During their growing season, these plants like their rich well-draining soil to be kept evenly moist but never soggy. Provide this plant with ample humidity and keep away from cold drafts, as they do not tolerate colder temperatures.

Fun Fact

While these plants rarely flower, especially indoors, they can produce a spadix surrounded by a yellow-green spathe. You can prune off these flowers to help the plant focus on leaf growth.

Pictured Left: Caladium
plant mom
Your Caladium grows from a tuber. It’s natural for these plants to go dormant and drop their leaves during the colder months.
- Plant Mom

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