Caladiums are one of the most popular houseplants. They have been used in homes since ancient times. Their popularity increased with the invention of photography during the 20th century. Today they are very common in homes all over the world.
There are many varieties of caladiums. Some are easy to grow, while others require special care. There are also some that don’t need much attention at all. However, there is no doubt that caladiums make beautiful plants when grown properly.
The name “caladium” comes from the Greek word “kalandros”, which means ‘curled’. Caladiums come in several different shapes and sizes. Some are round, some are square, some are triangular or even hexagonal. All types of caladiums have a stem that grows out from their center.
The stems may be straight or curved. Most varieties of caladiums do not require any watering except when they get too large to handle and then it’s best to prune them back every few years so they don’t become invasive pests in your home!
All caladiums have what is called a ‘corm’. The corm is sort of like a bulb under the ground. You must never let the corm get dry, otherwise it will quickly die and shrivel up. The leaves of a caladium plant can be green, red, pink, purple, or even white.
They can be solid colors or have little spots or speckles on them. Some caladium varieties have leaves that look like they have little pictures on them. There are so many different kinds of caladiums to choose from, it’s no wonder everybody loves them so much!
Caladium plants can be placed in pots or they can just be placed directly in the ground. If you wish to place them directly in the ground, select a shade location where they will not get any direct sun. The soil should be a potting soil mixed with a large quantity of peat moss or spent mushroom soil. This is very important because caladiums need an extremely porous soil in order to thrive.
If the soil is not porous, it will not drain properly and water will not get to the corm, causing the leaves to shrivel up and the plant will die. After planting the caladiums, be sure to keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Water whenever you water the rest of your houseplants.
If you wish to grow caladiums in pots, there are a few things you need to know. The pots must be a few inches smaller in diameter than the corm that will be planted in them. This is important because caladiums need a lot of room for their roots to grow. You can place several corms in a single pot, but make sure you have a very large container.
The larger the pot, the more soil you will need in it. Peat moss or spent mushroom soil should be used in the pot to ensure proper drainage.
Make sure caladium plants get four to five hours of sunlight each day. Water them when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
Sources & references used in this article:
A survey of caladium cultivars grown in Florida and their characteristics as potted plants by G Hurner – Proc Fla State Hort Soc, 1982 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Pythium root rot resistance in commercial caladium cultivars by Z Deng, BK Harbaugh, RO Kelly, T Seijo… – …, 2005 – journals.ashs.org
Garden White’—A Large White Fancy-leaved Caladium for Sunny Landscapes and Large Containers by Z Deng, BK Harbaugh – HortScience, 2006 – journals.ashs.org
Toward breeding for resistance to fusarium tuber rot in caladium: Inoculation technique and sources of resistance by F Goktepe, T Seijo, Z Deng, BK Harbaugh… – …, 2007 – journals.ashs.org
Lower incidence of variants in Caladium bicolor Ait. plants propagated by culture of explants from younger tissue by EU Ahmed, T Hayashi, Y Zhu, M Hosokawa… – Scientia horticulturae, 2002 – Elsevier
Caladium genetics and breeding: recent advances by Z Deng – Floric Ornam Biotechnol, 2012 – globalsciencebooks.info
Evaluation of caladium cultivars for sensitivity to chilling by Z Deng, BK Harbaugh – HortTechnology, 2006 – journals.ashs.org
Interspecific genome size and chromosome number variation shed new light on species classification and evolution in caladium by Z Cao, Z Deng, M Mclaughlin – Journal of the American Society for …, 2014 – journals.ashs.org
Screening for resistance to pythium root rot among twenty-three caladium cultivars by Z Deng, BK Harbaugh, RO Kelly, T Seijo… – …, 2005 – journals.ashs.org