How to Plant Caladium Bulbs
Caladiums are tropical foliage plants that provide a splash of color in summer flower beds. They grow well in shaded areas, containers, hanging baskets, and as borders. Caladiums are easy to grow; they are tropical plants, native to Brazil. So, it's no surprise that these plants love a warm, shady, humid environment. It grows to its full height of 12" to 30" in one season. You can add drama to any landscape with the addition of caladiums. Their brightly-colored leaves, in shades of red, pink, white and green, are perfect in a grouping or as an accent for other plants.
When to Plant Caladium Bulbs
If you wish to give your Caladium bulbs a head start, you may plant them indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date. If you start outdoors, make sure the soil is warm before planting your Caladiums bulbs — the night temperature must reach the high 60's or warmer on a consistent basis.
Where to Plant Caladium Bulbs
Finding the right location for your outdoor caladium is important and well-draining soil is a must. Partial sunlight is best for the caladium. Caladiums bulbs also like rich soil; if the soil is poor, add generous amounts of compost and manure. Last, plant the caladium where it will not be affected by strong wind. Too much wind can damage the plant's large leaves.
How to Care for Caladium Bulbs
Caladium grows well with little care or attention. Fertilize outdoors once a month with a general purpose fertilizer. Indoors, use a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. During the growing period, remove any dead or damaged leaves. Trim the yellow growth from the foliage when the growing season has passed.
In colder zones (7 and below), where winter is a concern, dig up the caladium bulbs before the frost sets in. Lay them out in a cool, dry area and, when the caladium bulbs are dry, remove the dead leaves and store them in net bags until spring. Make sure that the temperatures in the area where the bulbs are stored do not drop below 60 degrees.