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Caladium

SCENTIFIC NAME: Caladium bicolor 'Summer Breeze'

KNOWN AS: Elephant Ear, Heart of Jesus, Angel Wings

CLIMATE (LOCATION): South America | Tropical & Subtropical

DESCRIPTION: This variety of heart-shaped leaves has a pale green or white color with an intricate pattern of veins in a vibrant green. The pink midline and primary veins stand out and make the leaves look like they are "bleeding".

Moderate difficulty & pet toxic

Caladium Plant Care

Lighting

Light Requirement: Full Sun (Bright Direct Light) & High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

Caladium plants prefer bright, indirect light with some exposure to bright direct light. They do well in a south or west-facing window where they can get bright, filtered light. North or east-facing windows will not supply enough light. If grown indoors, they may need supplemental light from an LED grow light if not located close to a south or north-facing window.

Watering

Quick Tip: Water until water comes out of drainage holes. Allow top 2 inches of soil to completely dry between waterings.

Caladium plants prefer to be kept moist but not soaked. The best way to water them is to thoroughly soak the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes, and then allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out before watering again. It's important not to let the soil completely dry out, as this can lead to wilting and stress for the plant. On the other hand, it's important to not let water sit in the tray under the caladium either as this causes root rot. Caladiums also benefit from high humidity levels, so misting the leaves or placing a tray of water near the plant can help maintain the ideal moisture levels. It's important to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Additionally, it's a good idea to use room-temperature water, as cold water can shock the roots and hot water can damage the plant.

Temperature

Preferred Temperature: 60º - 85º

Caladium plants prefer warm temperatures and cannot tolerate cold weather. The ideal temperature range for these plants is between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night, Caladiums like things tropical! It is important to keep them away from cold drafts, air conditioning units, and windows during the winter months. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it can cause damage to the plant, and if it drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it can kill the plant. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a stable temperature range for Caladium plants to ensure they thrive.

Humidity

Preferred Humidity: 50 - 80%; Moderate/High Humidity

For Caladium one crucial factor in ensuring the health and beauty of your caladiums is maintaining proper humidity levels. Keep humidity levels between 50-80%: Caladiums thrive in high-humidity environments, but too much can lead to fungal infections. Aim for relative humidity between 50-80% to provide the optimal conditions for your plants. If you don't know it by feel or already have an area set up use a hygrometer to keep an eye on the humidity. If you're growing your caladiums indoors, consider using a humidifier to maintain consistent humidity levels. This is especially important if you live in a dry climate or have central heating and air conditioning that can dry out the air. Placing your caladiums near each other can help create a microclimate of higher humidity around them. This is a simple way to increase humidity levels without investing in any additional equipment. Misting your caladiums regularly can also help maintain the necessary humidity levels. However, be careful not to overdo it, as too much water on the leaves can also lead to fungal infections.

Additional Plant Care

Propagation
Caladiums can be propagated by dividing the tubers, which are bulb-like structures that grow underground. To do this, gently remove the plant from its pot and carefully separate the tubers, making sure that each section has at least one healthy growing point. Plant each section in a new pot with fresh potting soil, making sure that the growing point is just below the soil surface. Keep the soil moist and place the new plants in a bright, warm location, but out of direct sunlight. It's best to propagate Caladiums in the spring, just as new growth is beginning to emerge.
Toxicity
Caladiums can be propagated by dividing the tubers, which are bulb-like structures that grow underground. To do this, gently remove the plant from its pot and carefully separate the tubers, making sure that each section has at least one healthy growing point. Plant each section in a new pot with fresh potting soil, making sure that the growing point is just below the soil surface. Keep the soil moist and place the new plants in a bright, warm location, but out of direct sunlight. It's best to propagate Caladiums in the spring, just as new growth is beginning to emerge.
Repotting
Caladium plants should be repotted annually in spring to provide them with fresh soil and room to grow. To repot a caladium, start by selecting a pot that is one size larger than the current pot. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, taking care not to damage the delicate tubers. Remove any old or dead leaves and examine the tubers for any signs of rot or damage. Place the plant in the center of the new pot and add fresh potting mix around the roots, ensuring that the tubers are covered but the stem is not buried. Water the plant thoroughly and place it in a bright but indirect light location.
Pruning
For Caladium, pruning is essential to maintain the plant's health and encourage new growth. The best time to prune a Caladium plant is during the growing season when it's actively growing. To begin, identify any dead, damaged, or yellowing leaves and cut them off at the base with sharp and clean pruning shears. If you notice that the plant is becoming too leggy, you can also pinch off the top of the stem to promote bushier growth. Be sure not to remove more than one-third of the plant at a time to avoid stressing out the plant!
Fertilizer
Caladiums need to be fertilized regularly to maintain their growth and beautiful foliage. During the growing season, which is typically from spring to fall, it is recommended to fertilize the plant every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer to half its recommended strength to avoid damaging the plant's delicate roots. Stop fertilizing the plant in the fall when it enters its dormant period. During the dormant period, reduce watering and do not fertilize the plant until the next growing season. Overfertilization can lead to fertilizer burn and can damage the plant, so be careful not to apply too much fertilizer. One thing that helps is watering before fertilization so that the fertilizer has a chance to make it through all the soil and doesn't get stuck in dry soil.
Soil
Caladium plants prefer a well-draining and fertile soil mix that is rich in organic matter. A good soil mix for Caladiums should be well-aerated and should hold moisture well without becoming soaked for long periods of time. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and sand or a commercial potting mix that is formulated for foliage plants can be suitable for Caladiums. It's important to avoid using heavy soils that can lead to soaking and in turn root rot. Caladiums also require regular fertilization during their growing season, and it's recommended to use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.
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Caladium Lighting Requirements: Full Sun (Bright Direct Light) & High Light (Bright Indirect Light)

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