The Caladium: [Characteristics, Planting, Care, Irrigation and Substrate]

A wonderful plant, the Caladium, belonging to the genus Caladium, is a real visual treat for its beautiful and large leaves painted bright red towards the center with gradient green edges.

It is also known under the popular name of Heart of Jesus or Painter’s Palette. It is a gift of nature to take care of any of its 12 varieties, unique in the world, coming from Brazil, Guyana and other nations of South America.

Caladium Characteristics

One of the most showy is the Caladium bicolor. They all have perennial tubers and grow to a maximum of 90 cm.

Its leaves are the best in the world!

They come from tubers and usually measure about 15 to 45cms in length and width. They come in colors such as crimson, red, white, and downright awesome bi-color versions.

Its leaves are 15 to 45 cm long and wide, and arise from tubers. These can be of very varied colors: white, crimson, red, and even bicolor.

To the waste of natural beauty is added a green spadix or inflorescences less frequent to appear in indoor cultivation.

Temperature: Where to plant a caladium?

It requires an environment with high humidity to feel comfortable and not get sick.

An average temperature of around 21°C will suit you very well, because you come from warm to temperate places.

Drastic changes in temperature do not favor anything. It likes the stability of an uneventful climatic environment, even between night and day.

Light: What needs do you have?

Demand a bright place to live inside your home. Choose a very well lit room, because otherwise its precious leaves will burn.

This plant needs a lot of light, but not direct, because the leaves will suffer a lot until they burn if the exposure to the sun is intense and prolonged, especially in the summer, where what applies is to keep it inside the house, in a cool environment.

Substrate and Fertilizer: How do we prepare the land?

In the growing season of any of the Caladium varieties, it is necessary to add a good quality mineral fertilizer that you must add to the irrigation water.

As for the substrate, it is recommended to use a universal substrate in a pot, composed of: peat, coconut fiber, perlite, root activator, composted plant material and fertilizer, which produces excellent sponginess.

And in relation to the subscriber, it will be enough to use a universal type twice a month in the growth stage, when the plant consumes a lot of energy. Buy liquid guano or a universal fertilizer, they are the most indicated.

Another important piece of information is related to the management of the bulbs that will help us multiply the variety of Caladium that you prefer. First of all you must preserve the bulbs in humus, until the first leaves begin to sprout.

That is the right time to transplant it into a pot, where you should have the following composition ready: 1/3 peat; 2/3 heather land and a sand portion.

Plant caladium step by step

  1. Choose a pot that is at least 200mm wide and deep (or larger, depending on the size of the plant). Place the pot in a well-lit spot, but out of direct sunlight.
  2. Partially fill your chosen pot with a quality potting mix.
  3. Remove the plant from the container, gently deflect the roots, and cut any roots that are encircled or tangled.
  4. Water occasionally, letting the plant dry out slightly between waterings.
  5. Fertilize fortnightly if possible, using earthworm humus, for example.

Irrigation: How and how often do we water?

It has delicate stems, which can rot easily.

But since at the same time it is very necessary to water the plant frequently, it is necessary to achieve the right balance in this daily task. Spraying is not the most indicated, but rather the use of a humidifier in the room or place of cultivation of the Heart of Jesus.

It is also convenient to add clay to the pot’s water dish.

You should always check that the substrate has dried before watering again. In this plant it is essential to do it because it is delicate.

Use a digital meter or simply a wooden stick, which will notify you, as long as it comes out clean when extracted from the ground, that the Heart of Jesus is ready to receive another watering.

Towards the end of September, watering should be spaced out until the time for withered leaves arrives.

Don’t miss out on the privilege of growing a caladium or Corazón de Jesús at home. With these tips you can enjoy its beautiful tones.

Caladium care

The most important factors in caladium care are humidity and feeding. The fertilizer will help strengthen the plants so they produce the right tubers for the next growing season.

Caladiums need to be watered regularly, especially during dry times.

In fact, it is recommended to water them weekly. Caladiums grown in containers should be checked daily and watered as needed. Mulching around caladium plants will help conserve and maintain moisture, even in containers.

Since caladiums are considered tender perennials, they should be dug up in the fall and stored indoors over the winter in cool climates.

Once their foliage turns yellow and begins to drop, caladiums can be carefully lifted off the ground.

Place the plants in a warm, dry place for at least a couple of weeks to dry out. Then cut off the foliage, place the tubers in a net bag or box, and cover with dried peat moss.

Store the tubers in a cool, dry place. When it is spring again, you can replant outside. If you are growing caladiums in containers, they can be wintered indoors.

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