Caladium Culture for Professional Growers
See our entire collection of Heart to Heart™ Caladiums
Growers can expect predictably strong crops every time when they start with our painted and de-eyed Heart to Heart caladium bulbs. Here are some helpful grower tips from the experts at Classic Caladiums.
PLANTING AND GROWING MEDIA
For greenhouse production, we recommend planting caladium bulbs beginning in January. At that time of year, you can expect them to finish in 8-10 weeks. If planted later in spring when light levels and temperatures are naturally higher, the plants can finish as fast as 5-8 weeks.
The bulbs you receive will already be de-eyed and are ready to plant. De-eyeing results in more well-branched, uniform plants.
It's best to plant your caladium bulbs as soon as you receive them if possible. If you must store them, keep them at 63°F or warmer with humidity levels between 65-75%. For extended storage, remove the bulbs from their boxes and place them in well-ventilated open trays to ensure good air circulation.
Caladiums can be grown in 1.0 Quart, 6.5 or 8.5 Jumbo containers. The number of bulbs needed per pot varies as follows:
Jumbo Bulbs: 1 per 6.5", 2 per 8.5"
#1 Bulbs: 1 per 1.0 Quart, 2 per 6.5", 3 per 8.5"
#2 Bulbs: 2 per 1.0 Quart, 4 per 6.5", 6 per 8.5"
Treat the bulbs with a preventative broad spectrum fungicidal drench at transplant.
Plant Heart to Heart caladium bulbs with the white painted side UP in a well-drained growing media. Cover them with two inches of soil. Water them thoroughly after planting.
We recommend using a well-drained growing media that contains organic matter. A pH adjusted peat moss, pine bark and perlite mix has proven successful for caladium growers. Aim for a pH of 5.5-6.5.
LIGHTING AND WATERING
Caladiums prefer moderate light levels. Tight spacing and low light will cause them to stretch. These plants have moderate water requirements. Keep them moist from planting time until they sprout. After sprouting, the growing media should be allowed to dry slightly between irrigations, but don’t allow the foliage to wilt. Irrigate with water that is above 60°F to avoid the possibility of stunting or delay.
Caladiums love heat and moisture when they are getting ready to sprout. Uniform sprouting occurs when soil temperatures are elevated to 75-85°F and soil moisture is kept at 90%. Soil temperatures in the 60-70 degrees range will cause an uneven and delayed response.
Spacing should be done at planting time or right after sprouting.
Bonzi drench foliar spray and tuber soaks can be used to control growth and improve a caladium's habit. Apply B-Nine at 2,500 ppm plus Bonzi at 15 ppm in a weekly spray. Sprench beginning 3-4 weeks before shipping to improve durability during shipping.
Caladiums require medium to light rates of fertilizer. A constant liquid feed of 75-100 ppm Nitrogen is recommended. A balanced nutritional package like 20-6-20 or 12-4-12 or a controlled release fertilizer may be used as well.
Fancy Leaf Caladium Characteristics
Several traits are generally associated with fancy leaf caladiums--there are always exceptions.
1. Petiole (leaf stem) attached within the leaf blade
2. Leaves tend to be heart shaped
3. Leaves are generally larger
4. Tend to be less cold tolerant
5. Tend to last for shorter periods in the landscape when compared to strap leaf caladiums
6. Tend to be taller
7. Tend to have a more upright habit
Heart to Heart™ 'Lemon Blush'
Heart to Heart™ 'Snow Drift'
Heart to Heart™ 'Raspberry Moon'
Strap Leaf Caladium Characteristics
Several traits are generally associated with strap leaf caladiums--there are always exceptions.
1. Petiole (leaf stem) attached at or near the edge of the leaf blade
2. Leaves tend to be more elongated and arrowhead-shaped
3. Leaves are generally smaller
4. Tend to be more cold tolerant
5. Tend to last longer the landscape
6. Tend to be shorter
7. Tend to have a more spreading, less upright habit
Heart to Heart™ 'Chinook'
Heart to Heart™ 'Scarlet Flame'
Heart to Heart™ 'Heart and Soul