Saturday, September 3, 2011


Caladium x hortulanum
Perennials ( zones 9 and warmer ) or summer bedding annuals ( in cooler climates ) that are hybrids derived from Caladium bicolor. They are great in the shaded landscape and also in planters as long as they are kept moist. Caladiums typically reach up to 2 x 2 feet in size. In tropical monsoon climates they grow during the wet season then go dormant during the dry season, re-emerging when rainfalls return.
The Caladiums are native from Central America to northern South America, especially Brazil, where they grow in open woodlands and along riverbanks.
The wavy-edged, broad spear-shaped to triangular leaves, up to 20 inches in length,
are vividly colored with a combination of deep green and either white, pink, red or sometimes all of the above. They are among the showiest and most spectacular of all shade perennials.
Caladiums require partial or light shade and moist, fertile, acidic, well drained soil as well as prefer daytime temperatures above 70 F. To look their best, they must not be allowed to dry out.
In temperate climates, the corms should be lifted before the first frost then dried and stored for the winter. They are stored moderately dry over the winter at 56 to 61 F. The bulbs can be planted the following spring with the tops of the bulbs 1 inch below the soil surface. Plant the bulbs on the sides if you cant tell top from bottom. They can be propagated from division of the tubers. There are some excellent videos on Youtube about storing Caladium bulbs for the winter. These include:

* photos taken on July 13 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 7 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 3 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 12 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on July 11 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 1 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 20 2012 in Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 24 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Sep 16 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Jul 7 2017 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Aug 21 2017 in Columbia, MD

Caladium lindenii

* photo of unknown internet source


  1. These are great plants. Love heat, shade,water and occassional fertilizing. During winter, I cut them back to the ground and in June when ground temps warm up in Tucson, they spring back to life! Great plant!

  2. Thanks for the comment. Just wondering the average yearly minimal temperature in Tucson and if they are mulched during the winter. Still trying to find out their extreme limit of hardiness. I really like the Caladiums too and use them in some of my landscaping whether in planters or in the ground.

  3. Thanks for posting this. Perfect timing, I just put 40 plants in the ground today. I started them from bulbs my MIL bought at Costco. I was wondering what to do with them once the weather turned cold. I am Zone 6.

  4. There are some great videos on how to store Caladiums on youtube. I always like to actually see things done rather than reading about it, before trying it myself. Some excellent videos include