Caladium Collection: Culture notice
The team at What The Flower has selected a limited edition collection of 30 varieties of caladium bulbs for you to plant yourself.
What to put a good touch of peps and color in the middle of your small jungle!
Where does caladium come from?
Caladium is a tuberous plant native to the tropics of Brazil and is part of the large Araceae family.
There are fifteen different species and hundreds of hybrids including the 30 varieties that you will find in this collection.
What does it look like ?
Caladium is recognizable thanks to its very colorful foliage, which depending on the species, can have very marked veins, spots of bright colors, very contrasting borders or even be a solid color.
The shape of the leaf is sagittate, giving it a vague resemblance to the leaf of its cousin Alocasia. On the other hand, its sheet is very fine and lets the light pass nicely through transparency. The leaves of the caladium are mounted on long stems, it can measure up to 90 cm in height, its leaf can be up to 40 cm long.
When do I plant it?
The first thing to do is to be patient, we start planting from the end of winter, the beginning of spring, the better the weather, the faster it will grow the top of the top? germinate it in July or August ...
Caladium needs light and heat to be able to grow quietly ... The more it has, the faster it grows!
So if your apartment is not very bright and there is little heat there, wait until the days get longer and the brightness is a little more present.
If you are really impatient, don't panic, several tips can help you, horticultural lamps, heating mats and small greenhouses can help you ...
If you store your tuber before planting it, take care that it is stored away from light, in a ventilated, dry place and never below 15 degrees.
Once the favorable conditions are gathered, it is very important to ensure that your tuber is in good health, it is the first guarantee of a good culture!
If you ever feel a soft part on the tuber, do not hesitate to cut it, then let the healthy part heal for a few days with a little cinnamon powder, which is an excellent natural anti-bacterial. You can put it in culture once the healing is very dry. If your tuber is healthy, you can first soak it for a few hours in a glass of water to rehydrate it before allowing it to germinate.
Choice of container
The choice of the container is very important. You will not need a container too deep to germinate your caladium, adapt the size of the container to the size of the tuber.
A plastic pot will be quite suitable for germination, it will allow you to maintain a slight humidity that your caladium will need, it is imperative that this pot is drilled at the bottom to ensure good drainage and not to rot your tuber. .
During our tests, we tried several types of substrates to germinate caladiums, we obtained the best results with:
- Sphagnum alone, which allows the tuber to leave quickly and which leaves us the care easily by slightly lifting the sphagnum to be able to control the progress of germination. Be careful, on the other hand, not to have too heavy a hand when watering;
- the compressed coconut fiber, which is very light and allows good air circulation, is also a good start to the plants.
The direction of tuber growth and planting
Once the choice of the substrate is made, examined your tuber, you will see that it has one or more small "eyes", it is this part that we will install upwards, the other side of the tuber being slightly flatter , it is very easy to recognize the direction of planting.
Never plant your tuber too deep, it should be covered with a thin layer and protrude slightly from the substrate.
Maintenance during germination.
It is imperative during the germination of the tuber, that your pot takes advantage of a warm place, the heating mats of germination are really favorable to this type of culture, allowing your substrate to dry slightly and thus avoid, excess water and rot. of the tuber which can be fatal.
Set up your pot in a bright spot and always check your substrate, water it only when it starts to get dry.
Light, heat and humidity are the three secrets of good germination. Once these elements are assembled, you will see it is child's play.
I had the opportunity to test the Green Basics greenhouses from Elho last year and I admit that it was really very practical to maintain heat and humidity during germination.
And then ?
After a little patience, after a few weeks, you should see a small spike appearing out of the substrate! At this point, it means that you have successfully completed all of the above steps!
Once the first leaves have unfolded, you can repot your plant in a larger pot and give it a more suitable, well-drained substrate.
I adapt the size of my pot to that of my tuber and generally plant it in a terracotta pot with a bottom of clay balls.
Due to its tropical origin, caladium loves heat and humidity, so it is very important to provide it with a very bright location, avoiding too direct sunlight which could burn its foliage.
The more light it has, the more vivid its colors!
Caladium needs a high humidity, take care that the air is not too dry, spray the foliage regularly with non-calcareous water to avoid damaging the leaves or install an air humidifier nearby.
Water your Caladium generously but always let the substratum rest and slightly dry between two waterings, it should be kept slightly humid but never soggy.
If you install cups under your pots, be very careful never to leave stagnant water.
During the vegetative period, you can add special liquid fertilizer for indoor plants to your irrigation water, diluted in the irrigation water.
Be careful, do not let the fertilizer come into contact with the leaf to avoid possible burns, and be sure to respect the dosage indicated on your instructions, an excess of fertilizer could be fatal for your plant.
In late fall, the foliage of Caladium wilts. It takes a little break until spring, when the temperatures will be more suitable for its development. So, when the leaves are slowly starting to wilt and to see this beautiful foliage appear again the following year, gradually reduce watering at the end of fall.
Once the foliage is completely wilted, cut the last stems flush and store the pot in a cool place (between 15 and 18 degrees) and protected from light. At the beginning of spring, all that remains is to take out the pot and gradually resume watering.
You can also dig up the bulb and store it in a bed of chips or perlite in a cool place away from light.
Now that you have all the information, it's your turn!
Please feel free to share your caladium evolution on Instagram with the hashtag: #CaladiumCollectionWTF.