Caladium: care

Caladium is a plant sensitive to cold

Plants of the Caladium genus are characterized by leaves that appear to have been painted by an artist. But, the fact that they are natural, makes us many -myself included- who want to get a collection with a few copies. Now, acquiring the specimens is just one thing: once we get home with our plants, we have to know that if we want them to stay beautiful, we must take care of them.

And this is not always easy. Caladium care can be a challenge when the climate in our area is very different from that of these plants in their places of origin: the tropical forests of Brazil and Guyana. There, temperatures are warm but without being extremely high, humidity is high, and although there are periods when it rains less, drought is not as serious a problem as it is in the Mediterranean region due to example.

So, how should Caladium care be? Since it is a tropical plant, which can be very demanding when grown in a country with a temperate climate, here is everything you need to know to keep it healthy and beautiful:

Put it in a bright place

Caladium is a difficult plant to care for

Image - Wikimedia / Yercaud-elango

The caladiums they need to be in areas where there is a lot of light. In fact, in their places of origin they are only found in open areas, not in those where light hardly reaches. For this reason, it is important that they be kept either in a room where there are windows through which the sun's rays enter, or outside in an area where there is a lot of (natural) light.

But yes: they should never be exposed to direct sunlight: the leaves of these plants are not prepared to withstand it. You should also not put them right in front of the window glass, because they would also burn.

Pot or soil?

This will depend a lot on each one. Caladiums are bulbous plants, whose leaves are very delicate, to the point that if the temperature drops below 10ºC, they die. Therefore, you have to think very carefully if you want to have them at home or in the garden, since if you choose to have them indoors, logically you will have no choice but to grow them in a pot; but if you are going to have them outside, you can choose to have them in a container, or plant them in the ground. Even if it is cold in winter in your area, you could plant them in the garden with their pot, and when autumn comes, take them out and put them in the house.

However, it is also very important that you know that these plants need a slightly acidic soil with good drainage. Therefore, it is highly recommended to plant them in an acidic plant substrate. There are many companies that sell it, including Battle o FlowerSo you won't have a problem finding it. Another option is to mix coconut fiber (for sale here!), which is also acidic, with 30% perlite. Here's a video about it in case you're curious:

Give it a moderate watering

The caladium They are not plants that can go without receiving a single drop of water for a long time. For this reason, we must try to water them regularly, preventing the soil from drying out completely so that they do not dehydrate. But how often should they be watered? Well in summer it will be frequently, since that is when the substrate dries out faster; the rest of the year, on the other hand, less will be done.

In general, you need to water 3-4 times a week during the summer, and about 2 times a week (or even less, if the soil stays wet longer).

Pay them while the good weather lasts

These are plants that need 'food', as well as water, to be beautiful. So It will not hurt to pay them from spring, when they begin to sprout, until after the summer. We will do it with a liquid fertilizer for green plants that you can buy here!, or with a universal one (for sale here!), following the manufacturer's recommendations.

In this way, it will not take long to obtain some beautiful specimens, which if they are in pots, will surely need a larger one in less time than we think.

Provide them with moisture if necessary

Caladiums are plants that live in humid environments, so if they are kept in areas where the environment is dry or very dry, they will have a very bad time. For this reason, in these conditions we will have to increase the humidity around them a little, for example with a humidifier, or by placing containers with water nearby.

Of course: before doing anything it is very important to see what humidity there is in our area, since if it is high we will not have to do anything. For example: on an island, or if you are near the coast, if we sprayed the leaves they would fill up with fungi right away, which is why it is so important to check the relative humidity before starting to do anything. And for that, there is nothing like having a domestic weather station at home, like this one:

Do not expose them to drafts if they are at home

The fan, air conditioning, or heating can dry out the environment, causing the caladium to dehydrate. That's why, I recommend placing it as far away as possible from any device that generates drafts, since regardless of whether they are cold or warm, the plants have a hard time.

If you keep them outside, you'll need to protect them from strong winds, but since they're relatively small, it's easy to move them around.

Caladium is a delicate plant

Image - Flickr / James St. John

We hope that these tips will help you to provide the best care for your caladium.


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  1.   Teofilo Verastegui Rios said

    Thank you for teaching how to take care of it and keep these plants beautiful

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      We are very happy to know that you liked it 🙂