Gardening Tips

Caladium: care

Caladium: care

Caladium is a plant that is impossible to miss when entering a room where it is present. They are beauties with colorful leaves that captivate from the first glance, but all this beauty comes with a small price to pay: their care is not entirely simple.

If you want to learn what are the Caladium plant care at home and keep it radiant, keep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article.

Characteristics of the Caladium plant

The Caladiums or caladiums are tuberous and herbaceous plants of the Araceae family, which are characterized by their striking heart shaped leaves that, due to the multiple hybridizations to which they have been subjected, today present more than 1,000 variations in their shades and colors.

exist 12 Caladium speciesalthough the most popular for cultivation at home is the two-color caladium, to which we usually refer when we refer to the Caladium plant to dry. They reach approximately 30 cm in height and come mainly from Central America, Brazil and Guyana.

Caladium: care - Characteristics of the Caladium plant

Location for Caladium Plant

Coming from the Amazon rainforest as it does, it’s easy to imagine the kind of needs the caladium has in regards to light: you have to place it in a very bright area but away from direct sources of lightlike the windows.

If your caladium does not receive enough light, the intensity of the colors of its leaves will be quickly affected, in the same way that if you expose it to direct light it is very likely that it will burn. This delicacy with its location is one of the first problematic points that we can find with the care of this plant.

Indoors, you should also keep the pot away from artificial sources of heatsuch as radiators, stoves or fireplaces, which can cause serious damage due to excessive environmental dryness.

Temperature for the Caladium plant

The temperature is, perhaps, the most important care of the caladium. To be in the best conditions, the plant needs a fairly stable temperature around 21 ºCnot tolerating cold or temperatures above 30 ºC, not even occasionally.

Due to this, it is usual to cultivate the Caladium as houseplantsince even in many tropical or subtropical climates temperatures sometimes vary outside the comfort range of the plant.

Caladium: care - Temperature for the Caladium plant

Irrigation and humidity for the Caladium plant

Watering is another very important care for the Caladium and, unfortunately, it also demands a lot of attention. the plant needs fairly stable levels of moisture in the substratewhich must always be slightly damp but never waterlogged.

This means that you can’t water your caladium with a large amount of water and forget about it for a few days: you will most likely kill it quickly if you do that. Watering should be regular, frequent and lightso that the surface layer of the substrate never dries out during the warm months, although in winter you can let it dry slightly.

In this case, it is best to look at the leaves of the plant: if they appear rolled up when they sprout, it means that the caladium needs a little more water. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of watering too little than too much, since if the plant is a little dry it will recover immediately as soon as you water it if it does not happen regularly, while if you flood the substrate you may kill it.

Regarding humidity, to maintain a adequate level of environmental humidity in the plant you can place it on a plate with stones or pebbles of good size and water, without it covering them. Put the pot on top, without it touching the water, and the natural evaporation of the water from the dish will do the job of keeping the humidity around your caladium at its proper point. This only needs to be done in the warmer months unless the plant seems to be drying out, and remember to change the water twice a week.

In these articles you can read about When to water plants and How to water plants on vacation.

Substrate for the Caladium plant

The most important thing with the caladium substrate is that it offers a drainage as best as possible. You can use a mixture of peat and sand, which will give good results, or try the universal mix for seedbeds with peat, worm castings and coconut fiber, all in the same proportion. Then add a handful of perlite and another of vermiculite and you will have an ideal substrate for most plants, rich, light and drained.

Fertilizer for the Caladium plant

The caladium only needs bonus contribution when summer starts and when it ends. The ideal is to use earthworm humus or some other kind of ecological fertilizer, such as bokashi or compost. Add about two centimeters to the base of the pot and it will immediately appreciate the supply of nutrients.

We recommend you read about Organic Fertilizer: what it is, types, benefits and how to do it.

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