Outdoor Caladium Care Tips

The genus Caladium includes seven species, which are indigenous to Brazil and to neighboring areas of South America and Central America. They grow in open areas of the forest and on the banks of rivers and go dormant during the dry season. Approximately 98% of all caladium bulbs are from Lake Placid, Florida, in the United States. In recent years many new varieties have become available through breeding and are now largely disease resistant. The bulk of bulb production is sold to pot producers who in turn provide your local nursery outlets with potted caladiums ready for immediate planting.  Here at Bob’s we get in bulbs in late winter and plant them in four inch pots for our stores and wholesale production.

Here are some helpful caladium care tips:

  • Only plant caladiums outside after all danger of frost has passed.
  • Caladiums prefer well-drained soil and high humidity.
  • Partial sunlight is best for the outdoor caladium. An area where your plants can receive plenty of semi-filtered sunlight is best.
  • Plant the caladium where it will not be affected by strong wind. Too much wind can damage the plant's large leaves.
  • You may find it necessary to supplement the soil for the caladiums. The plants prefer a consistent pH of 6.0 to 6.2. To maintain this level, add fertilizer such as pine bark and compost as well as potash.
  • Trim the yellow growth from the foliage as needed.
  • Dig up the caladium tubers before the frost sets in. Lay them out in a cool, dry area and, when the caladium tubers are dry, remove the dead leaves and store them in net bags until spring. Make sure that the temperatures in the area where the tubers are stored do not drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.