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How to care for Caladiums

Caladiums are native to the warm tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Some varieties can grow up to 35 inches tall and the leaves can grow as big as 18 inches long and broad.


Water caladiums regularly, especially in hot, dry weather, to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry, usually about once a week. When grown in pots, make sure the pot has drainage holes so excess water can flow out.


Caladiums are tropical tubers that appreciate high humidity. You can boost humidity by misting the plant frequently, or you can also set up a tray with water and pebbles or a humidifier.


Caladiums need bright, but indirect sunlight to grow. Too much light will cause the vibrant colors to fade.


Caladiums prefer rich, well-draining soil. You can add mulch, such as pine straw, to help retain soil moisture and conserve water.


Caladiums enjoy temperatures from 15 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They don't like extreme temperatures and will go dormant if it's too cold or too hot.


You can fertilize your caladiums every other week with a half-strength fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can burn their leaves.


Caladiums are not bothered by many detrimental pests, but they may be afflicted by caterpillars and grasshoppers that will chew on the leaves. Other pests that suck on the leaves include aphids, mealybugs, mites, thrips, and whiteflies.


Caladiums work well when mixed in containers or gardens with other plants. Mix them with elephant ears, ferns, impatiens, begonias, bromeliads and more for a show-stopping display.


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