Caladium – an amazing plant for exotic atmosphere in your house and garden
Caladium is not a very common houseplant in our homes, but if you see it in someone, you will not be able to forget. And, of course, you will want to grow it yourself. Caladium is an ornamental deciduous plant with extremely beautiful leaves. “Elephant ears”, “Heart”, “Angel’s wings” – so called by the people for its shape. Caladium has many species and varieties that differ in leaf color. It is so bright that no one pays attention to the color of the plant. And yet, if you try, caladium can be grown in the garden. At least relocate the pot with it in the summer to the flower bed.
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This exotic plant for us comes from tropical America. There, caladium in the natural environment can reach five meters in height. It can often be seen in private gardens in Brazil or Florida. Their climate is ideal for growing caladium outdoors. We usually have ornamental grass caladium living in greenhouses, conservatories or greenhouses. Under certain conditions, it feels great on the windowsill of a sunny covered balcony.
Features of growing caladium in the house
Caladium, or rather, its indoor hybrids – clearly, exotic plants, so they require a lot of attention, and for their spectacular growth – a number of conditions. That is why such bright and decorative grass is not grown en masse by many flower growers. But if you like to surprise your guests with something unusual and are not afraid to experiment, you can try.
To grow caladium at home you need to consider the following factors:
The presence of a glass loggia, balcony or greenhouse with diffused lighting;
Availability of space for hibernation of the plant;
Humidity for spectacular growth of caladium is about 70%;
The optimum temperature is +15 – +26 degrees Celsius;
Caladium does not tolerate both excessive moisture and excessive drying of the soil.
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How to effectively provide a period of rest for caladium
Properly organized winter “hibernation” – an essential period for plant life. The peculiarity of caladium is that its owner needs to prepare for it in September. Then reduce watering and exclude mineral fertilizers, which are regularly (every two weeks) carried out in the summer during the intensive growth of the plant.
Caladium signals the beginning of the dormant period itself – its leaves will begin to dry and fall off. When it falls completely, the tubers of the plant are removed from the container, shake off excess soil and placed on a windowsill under a lamp for about a week. Indoor temperature – +20 degrees.
Then the tubers are placed in moss, sand or perlite and stored in a warm dark place. Wintering caladiums are stored at a temperature of + 15- + 20 degrees. If the temperature drops below +10 for a while, the plant is likely to die.
In the spring, the tubers of caladium are brought to the world of God, checked for fungus or mold, and planted in a pot.
Planting a houseplant in a pot
Like all houseplants, caladium loves good drainage. A layer of sand is placed on it, and on top – a substrate for growing exotic tropical plants. The tuber is deepened enough to get intensive leaf growth. If caladium is planted shallow, it will quickly give a significant number of children, which will negatively affect its appearance. In a pot with a diameter of 15 cm you can plant two or three tubers. If they are very small – then 5-6.
The most lush leaves give caladium from adult tubers of the second year.
How to grow caladium on the street?
Is it possible to plant caladium in the garden? It is possible. But keep in mind that this exotic plant is very heat-loving and does not tolerate significant fluctuations in temperature. So, probably, this July from its +10 at night no caladium would survive. It is also better in our latitudes to grow this exotic plant in a container garden. And if the weather is not favorable, take the pot to the balcony, loggia or warm veranda.
If you want to take a risk, choose a place for caladium with diffused lighting, possibly under the crown of a tall tree. Ensure complete absence of drafts and direct sunlight on the leaves.
Photos via: Pinterest