Caladium Houseplant: Care For Incredibly Bright Elephant Ear Plant

Caladium is a real star among the variegated inhabitants of the interiors. This plant is demanding, and first of all – to care. But rumors about the extraordinary capriciousness of Caladium never justify.

Attention and care can avoid any difficulties. And forgive small mistakes a plant can almost always. Magnificent shades of leaves and intricate patterns of charming, daring and at the same time such gentle caladiums can charm anyone.

Caladium houseplant care description

Caladium, having tight, leathery leaves, and remaining fine-leaved and delicate. They are unique and by its nature, and by choice of varieties, and the impression in the interior.

This plant is known as angel wings, elephant ears, the heart of Jesus and angel tubers.

Сaladium – tuberous ornamental deciduous herbaceous perennials. Rough, flattened, large, up to 10 cm in diameter, tubers plants seem very massive. Adventitious roots are fibrous and small, develop evenly on the bottom of the tuber.

The height of the plant depends on the variety and ranges from 20 cm in the smallest types to 30-40 cm in most hybrids and almost 70 cm in the largest specimens. But still caladiums remain quite thin, never look like massive and overwhelming. It is a fast-growing, though the first plant that looks like a lush, thick Bush of leaves.

Colors and flowering caladiums

Luxurious, small, intricate patterns of caladiums – a feature without which this plant cannot imagine. On, as a rule, enough light base color appears contrasting veins – white, pink, red patterns. They remind the marble, then compound ornaments.

Caladiums have a limited range of colors, but no one will call it boring that this plant has the most original and variable colors among all the perennial decorative-deciduous stars.

Different shades and stunning contrasts embody White-green or red-green combinations. Brilliant scarlet, crimson-pink, cream, cream, silver-white combined with all shades of medium and dark green emit caladiums on any background.

Despite the status of purely decorative-deciduous plants, caladiums bloom, and quite effectively, but in room conditions – rarely. The peduncle of the plant begins to grow after the full disclosure of the fourth leaf.

Caladiums produce ears of light yellow color surrounded by a white-light green blanket. The plant blooms in a few days, when pollinated on the spot of the cob quickly develop spherical fruit.

Types of room caladiums

In indoor plants, caladiums are mainly hybrid, varietal plants, in which even the original species are not always indicated. Most often on the shelves, there are large-leaved, relentlessly producing leaves almost all year round, famous for contrasting marble patterns on the leaves, hybrid varieties of Caladium bicolor.

Сaladium bicolor, a have luxurious species with large leaves that tuber produces consistently, without a long rest period. Heart-shaped or swept, large leaves up to 30 cm sit on very long stalks and create surprisingly airy bushes that do not seem heavy even because of their size of leaves.

For all varieties of this Caladium, marble effect is characteristic, modern types contrast dark patterns are as common as conventional white or red.

Do not leave fans of caladiums indifferent and luxurious leaves of Caladium lindenii – like luxurious arrows, perfectly symmetrical, they rise on long and thick stalks, conquering glowing white veins, folding in unusual patterns.

Caladium humboldtii – once one of the most popular caladiums. Famous for its smaller arrow-shaped leaves. With a length of only 10 cm, the leaves of varieties of this species always flaunt a light or white spot in the center, blurred to the edges, and lighter radially divergent veins.

Read more about the caladium varieties in the article: 7 The Most Beautifull Caladium Varieties

Growing conditions for indoor caladiums

Caladium flower has not accidentally had the reputation of a real sissy. They are so demanding on temperatures during dynamic growth, so cold-fearing that providing them with a comfortable environment is not always easy even for lovers of other tropical exotics.

Caladiums pay the price for their extremely stringent temperature requirements by being able to adapt to more moderate lighting. But here their simplicity is very relative.

Grow caladiums need to be very careful: the plant belongs to the number of poisonous, juice can irritate the mucous membranes and skin. Any procedures with Caladium, including transplantation or hygiene measures, require protection of the surface of the hands.

Lighting and placement

Caladium considered plants, adaptable to place inside of the interior. But shade-tolerant, and even more shade-loving they cannot be called. They do not lose patterns on the leaves and growth rates only in partial shade or scattered bright light, and in the depths of the rooms can not develop normally.

Delicate, thin leaves of caladiums are hypersensitive to the direct sun. They are instantly covered with burns and do not tolerate even midday rays. Lighting for caladiums should be scattered. They are comfortable on the Western and Eastern window sills, but not on the South.

  1. Caladiums are ideal candidates for gardening of those rooms in which the natural environment is warm and high humidity.
  2. Bathroom and kitchen are great options for this culture. But only under the condition of protection from temperature surges.
  3. In the living room, Caladium better to post separately: their leaves are much inferior to the density of the favorites, and compared to other decorative-deciduous plants Caladium can look a little unattractive.

Caladiums combined with plants with tiny leaves and beautiful flowering, crops that usually look messy and sprawling.

Temperature and ventilation

Caladiums are one of the most thermophilic plants. Typical for this culture is only the temperature above 20 degrees Celsius. In excessively high temperatures, the tubers quickly dry out, and it is difficult for them to choose the right storage conditions.

During the period of dynamic growth, Caladium is better to have a stable heat, but without anger. The ideal range in which plants reveal their decorative entirely remains 22-25 degrees Celsius.

Caladiums like stability. They are extremely sensitive not only to temperature changes but also to any drafts.

Caladiums are extremely sensitive not only to temperature changes but also to any drafts.

Irrigation and air humidity

Caladiums don’t like damp. Vlagalishe they have seen only about moisture. Play, soaking of tubers of Caladium is hazardous. The uniform moisture content of the substrate for Caladium is maintained by frequent, but not excessive watering.

The soil in the pots should partially dry out in the upper half, remaining slightly moist consistently. Drought, complete drying of the substrate stops the growth of Caladium, so skip water treatments for this capricious plant is undesirable.

After the caladiums fall off the leaves, watering it is not necessary. But it is better to reduce them from the moment when the Caladium stops growing and without waiting for the dropping of all the leaves. Watering is reduced gradually, making it rarer. Renewal of watering is carried out immediately after transplantation.

Caladiums – feel useful in areas with high humidity. The more stable these indicators, the better the plant develops and the more beautiful the leaves. Grow well when installing pallets with water, moss or expanded clay. Providing at least average values of humidity, you can achieve from the plant much more decorative.

Fertilizing and fertilizer composition

For caladiums, fertilizers can be applied only during the period of ongoing growth. This plant pick up the frequency and period of feeding is very easy: as soon as the growth of shoots in the care program includes regular food (2 times a month). But the amount of fertilizer is reduced compared to the recommended for the first 4–5 procedures.

Begin feeding Caladium not when it seems the first sprout, and after the unfolding of the first sheet. In the first few weeks, the plant is quite satisfied with the reserves of nutrients in the soil.

For Caladium, you can use two types of fertilizers – particular for Aroid or tuberous and bulbous, in extreme cases – fertilizers for decorative-deciduous crops. If possible – choose the best complex, mineral-organic preparations or alternate fertilizing with mineral and organic fertilizers.

Pruning and shaping the Caladium

The main mistake in the cultivation of caladiums is cutting of withering leaves. Like the bulbous, the Caladium tuber absorbs nutrients from the leaves. And when they fade before the rest period, is to wait until their desiccation.

The container and substrate

Substrate for caladiums chooses from among much light, water-permeable semispace. For this plant, it is better to select different substrates for Caladium or Aroids, in extreme cases – for bulbous and tuberous crops, be sure to add sphagnum to improve the structure.

Caladium prefers small but deep enough container. Their size is selected according to the size of the tuber, adding no more than 4 cm in diameter. Caladiums planted one plant, and only small tubers on growing, leaving 2-3 cm between them for growth and development.

How to grow caladiums in pots

Caladiums are transplanted annually. Regardless of whether the tubes were removed from the soil and stored in dryness outside the substrate, or left in pots, transplanting in early spring – in March or late February – launches a new stage of development. If the tubers are buying their first germinated, giving the kidney to hatch, and then planted. Digging tubers, it is necessary to separate the daughter plants.

Watering after planting is better to replace the neat spraying of the soil for very light humidity.

Removal of the upper buds may stimulate a more balanced development. But under suitable conditions and without this procedure caladiums increase lush leaves. Regular watering is resumed only after the beginning of the growth of the first sheet. Feeding in the care program is introduced just after the first sheet is fully deployed and the plant begins to grow actively.

Problems in the cultivation of the Caladium

Caladiums are considered to be pest-resistant plants. The only pest that threatens them in indoor conditions remains aphids, which loves the colored leaves of caladiums. Of course, with the constant dampness of the soil caladiums suffer from rot, which can only be dealt with an emergency transplant with the removal of damaged parts and treatment with fungicides.

Reproduction of caladiums

This tuberous plant is easy to propagate vegetatively – separation as independent plants daughter tubers. The Department is carried out when digging a tuber from the soil before a rest period or a transplant. Each plant is desirable to be planted in a separate container; in the first days of the conditions should be soft and optimal for fast and high-quality rooting.

If the tubers do not develop well, very large, the number of children is unsatisfactory, or they do not form at all, you can divide a large tuber of Caladium, cutting it into parts with 2–3 kidneys in each. Processing of cuts with coal, drying require accuracy and impeccable cleanliness. Divided planted in light soil and rooted at a very light moisture substrate.

  1. Very rarely, but caladiums propagated and leaf cuttings.
  2. Cutting is carried out at the base of the cuttings.
  3. Rooting is best done in water, keeping its temperature slightly warm.
  4. The first period of rest, the caladiums obtained by cuttings are sent just after the tubers grow to 5-6 mm in diameter.

Seeds of the plant very quickly lose germination, when buying, you need to be careful and follow the dates indicated on the packages. Sowing is carried out in a standard substrate, under a cap or film. Caladium seeds can germinate only at a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees.

Even though caladiums quickly sprout, it is not easy to grow plants. Very high humidity in combination with light soil moisture, the requirements to carry out watering with warm and purified, soft water and extreme sensitivity to temperature drops make always take care of young plants.

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