Caladiums, or elephant ear plants, are grown for their large heart-shaped colorful leaves that are often more spectacular than many flowers. The leaves of a Caladium, some as long as 24 inches, have marbled and veined patterns of red, pink, white, and green. A Caladium is a tuberous rooted perennial and will die back and be dormant from late fall to early spring. The beautiful ornamental foliage makes the extra care required to grow and then re-grow a Caladium each year well worth it. This plant is poisonous so please keep it away from children and pets.
WATERING & FERTILIZING:
The soil of a Caladium should be kept moist but never soggy while the plant is actively growing. As the leaves of the Caladium start to die back in the early fall, gradually reduce your watering until the soil has thoroughly dried out. Move the Caladium to a dry, dark, cool location, and water lightly once every six weeks. A Caladium needs to "rest" for about 5 months each year before it can start to grow again. Fertilize a Caladium every two weeks while it is actively growing with a water-soluble plant food high in nitrogen. Always dilute the fertilizer 50%.
type info here
type info here
LIGHT CONDITIONS/GROWING AREAS:
A Caladium needs a great deal of humidity to grow well and look its best. This is probably the hardest requirement to accommodate. You can increase the humidity around the plant in various ways; keep the Caladium on a bed of wet gravel or pebbles at all times, place a small humidifier near it, or group several plants near each other to create a mini greenhouse effect. Ideal temperatures for a Caladium would be between 70-85 degrees. A Caladium likes a consistent temperature with as little fluctuation as possible. While dormant, the temperature around a Caladium should be cooler but never below 55 degrees.
OPTIMUM SOIL CONDITIONS:
A Caladium grows best in a slightly acidic fast draining soil. Once a month you can even water your Caladium with left over tea or some very dilute vinegar.
The colorful leaves of Caladium attract mealy bugs, aphids, and spider mites. Gently wash any pests off the leaves of your plant with warm soapy water.
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