When to Plant Caladium Bulbs
If you wish to give your caladium bulbs a head start, you may plant them indoors six weeks before the last frost date. If you start outdoors, make sure the soil is warm before planting your caladiums bulbs. The night temperature must reach the high 60’s or warmer on a consistent basis.
Where to Plant Caladium Bulbs
Finding the right location for your outdoor caladium is important and well-draining soil is a must. Partial sunlight is best for the caladium. Caladiums bulbs also like rich soil; if the soil is poor, add generous amounts of compost and manure. Last, plant the caladium where it will not be affected by strong wind. Too much wind can damage the plant's large leaves.
How to Plant Caladium Bulbs
Plant the caladium bulbs in holes that are two inches deep. When you hold the tuber up, look for the part of the tuber which has something similar to the eyes on a potato. We have marked the tubers with white paint on the location where eyes will appear (if they haven't already) to make them easier to identify. Gently put the tuber in the ground, with the white eyes pointing up. Add a little bone meal to the soil and plant other tubers about 12 inches apart. Water them generously to encourage the caladium to take root. Caladium bulbs should be kept moist during germination, without allowing the soil to become soggy. Cool nights and excessive moisture can cause the bulb to rot. Once the caladiums break ground it is easy to tell when to water as they will droop very easily if thirsty. You will need to adjust your watering schedule based on your climate and the amount of sun the plant receives.
How to Care for Caladiums
Caladium grows well with little care or attention. Fertilize them outdoors once a month with a general purpose fertilizer. Indoors, use a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. During the growing period, remove any dead or damaged leaves. Trim the yellow growth from the foliage when the growing season has passed. Where winter is a concern, dig up the caladium bulbs before the frost sets in. Lay them out in a cool, dry area and, when the caladium bulbs are dry, remove the dead leaves and store them in net bags until spring. Make sure that the temperatures in the area where the bulbs are stored do not drop below 60 degrees.