DIY: How to pot and grow your own Caladium (tubers)!
We love Caladiums! There are many types of Caladiums, all with their own unique and often colorful leaves. Because of their colorful appearance and beautiful leaves they are a real eye catcher in your home or in your garden!
The caladiums grow a little different than other houseplants. They grow from spring to autumn and will lose their leaves when the tuber gets ready to hibernate. We love to help you grow your own special Caladium from tuber to full grown beauty. In this blog we’ll give you tips on how to start with the potting process and we’ll give you tips for the growing process. With the right care you can keep your Caladium happy for up to 10 years!
How to start potting your Caladium tuber:
Choose the right time to plant the Caladium tuber
In springtime the Caladium tubers start to come alive so this is the time to plant the tubers! In spring and summer the Caladiums will grow to their full size which can be up to 90 cm tall! It’s good to be aware that the Caladium will lose her leaves during autumn. Only the tuber will stay alive and she will start hibernating until next spring. Don’t worry, she will be back in full bloom next spring when you take good care of her!
When your tuber has arrived in her new home, treat her to a long and warm (not hot!) bath. Let her soak for one hour in water of a maximum of 50°C before planting her in her pot.
Choose the right pot for your Caladium tuber and make her bed
Most Caladium tubers have a diameter of approximately 7,5 centimeters. Choose a pot with a diameter of at least 15 cm. A pot with a diameter of at least twice the size of the tuber is advised. When you choose a bigger pot, the Caladium has more room to grow and will most likely grow bigger! To make the bed of your Caladium tuber you have to fill 2/3 of the pot with soil. Place the tuber facing upwards. Make it cozy by covering her with soil.
Tuck your Caladium in and be patient
Time to cover your friend with wrapping film. Make sure to open it every day to avoid mold. Find a shady and cozy spot with 20-25°C and wait for your Caladium to bloom in about 4 to 12 weeks.
The Caladium growing process: how to create a happy Caladium
Choose the right location to grow your Caladium
As soon as the Caladium starts to grow, the Caladium loves sunlight! Her origin is the tropical environment of Central- and South-America. Here she grows in the Amazon rainforest. Her leaves are delicate and therefor she can best be places in a spot with lots of indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can best be avoided since this could cause burns of dry spots on her leaves. If the Caladium doesn’t get enough light she might turn more green then colored. You should relocate her to a lighter spot when this happens.
Give her the right amount of water
The Caladium is not a very thirsty type but it is important to give her enough water so that she stays hydrated, also after a sunbath. Make sure her soil is always moist, not wet! She’s not a fan of wet feet… The tuber will rot when it is too wet for too long and this will affect the lifespan of the plant and tuber. Water the Caladium twice a week during summertime and once a week during spring and autumn. When the leaves start hanging she tells you that she is thirsty!
Treat your Caladium with lots of spraying
Your Caladium loves humidity since her natural environment is also very humid! You will please her best by giving her a daily spraying session. A spray like Elho Bree in different colours and sizes is perfect for this. If you want a real interior statement, there is always the choice of various Haws atomisers that do the same job. Her delicate leaves will stay beautiful and hydrated so you will rewarded for this extra act of kindness!
Cut the flowers when you want to save your Caladiums energy
The Caladiums can grow flowers that have a strong scent. Keep in mind that the flowers will take energy from the tuber. If you prefer the tuber to concentrate the energy on the growing of new leaves, you might consider to cut off the flowers. It's important to do this with disinfected scissors such as Edward pruning shears.
Take good care of the tuber during winter time
The Caladium leaves will die during fall but the tuber will continue to live. Cut off the dead leaves when they are fully dried out. The tuber will continue to gain energy from the remaining leaves and she will live on this energy during the period of hibernating. You can keep the tuber in the dry soil (stop watering it!) and place the pot somewhere in your home until springtime. Keep in mind that she’ll not survive when she needs to hibernate in too cold or too warm conditions. She will be happy with temperatures around 12 to 20°C. The process or growing will start all over again during spring. You can enjoy the Caladium for about 10 years this way!
Caladiums and pets
Be aware that Caladiums are toxic to cats and dogs. Chewing on the leaves can cause extreme irritation and swelling of the mouth. Therefor it is best to keep the Caladiums out of reach of your furry house mates.
Can’t you wait to grow your own unique and colorful Caladium?! We've got great news: you don't have to! During growing season (March-October), we have eight different types of Caladium tubers for sale in our shop!
While being in the perfect green environment, Melanie loves to inspire you with new PLNTS, care products and accessories. Not only by writing, but also as a host of our PLNTSlive's on Instagram!