caladiums as houseplants

petrushkaJune 5, 2013

I've had this caladium for 7-8 years. it's 5 tubers, 2 quite large. I grow it in NE window - gets about 4 hours of morning sun. all tubers are blooming. the largest 2 have leaves that are 18-19". I just love it. I think it's Red Flash. I got it at a country market. it blooms after the first leaves unfurl. and at the end of summer it gets gigantic!

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's incredible!! So big, pretty.

I wasn't sure from your wording if these go dormant for winter or if they grow on inside?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:57PM
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purple, I can count on you :) nobody else gives a hoot!
go read my zz flower or stem thread (last post), it's still on 1st page.. and shed a tear... nobody else cares.
I am trying to recover after disastrous zz repot, by posting other pretty pics :). it rattled me badly.
caladiums. of course they go dormant. even in fl in the ground they go dormant. they need rest like bulbs. but I think there you just leave them in the ground, and then they come back up. i just meant that i grow them strictly indoors for summer (as opposed to outdoors like most people).
by October they will be ginormous. this is a pic from late aug last year. i start them in apr-may. usually by may1-15 i have first leaves going and flowers too.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 6:38PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

have you thought of trying the "Evergreen "types?? While i find they do go dormant it's about half the regulars.
The series called "Stained glass" is particularly outstanding. love caladiums except for the dormancy gary

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 4:48AM
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They are beautiful, I never knew you could grow them as house plants

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 5:46AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Me either, I didn't get it at first, glad I asked. That's fascinating that they go dormant inside. I've tried keeping others like elephant ear and Canna growing over winter, sometimes they will, sometimes not.

The Caladiums I have in the ground are starting their 3rd and 4th seasons. Wonder if any will make leaves anywhere near that big, I doubt it.

Wish I had some help for the ZZ!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:46AM
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I think leaf size depends on variety and then tuber size. if you feed the plant , the tubers should increase with time and hence leaf size.
I googled evergreens - is that the name they use in fl shops? couldn't find any info except xanthozoma lindenii came up. was it reclassified as caladium? very pretty, but I think it's too large for me. I just found out about xanthozomas in white lava post. that's a must when I have a real garden.
I also stumbled on your old posts - you said it's thai-beauty?
that's very pretty, but you only can get it online and it's usually sold out too. and it's also quite big. I am thinking...wayside gardens has it. I proly should've moved earlier...july planting would be too late for indoors due to changing light.
indoor mine go for 5 months. if I start in apr, they start declining in sep. if I start in may - they decline in oct.
I keep florida sweetheart and miss muffet outside on the balcony in summer, since they are smaller and more manageable for me. i kept miss muffet indoors a few years ago - but it greened too much, so I put it out. it dried up when I dug them up for winter. now I overwinter small ones in the pot in soil.
I saw white thai in Redlands FL in RF orchids shop. but it's too difficult to bring it in by air. here's a pic

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:17PM
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here's a pic of my fl sweetheart now just starting. I think it looks very similar to the white thai! what do you think?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:52PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

I think u do pretty good keeping those going indoors, that don't like dry air one bit! Really nice leaves, I don't know why caladiums don't interest me...
But no, even tho, to describe the 2 they seem very similar, the overall look of the 2 is entirely different to me, I would never say the look similar but, I can see what u mean... Those thai's look so nice but they are just wimps... That my experience anyways...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 2:36PM
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thai seem to have stronger vertical 'fan' veins and they are narrower, closer together. and the middle vein is longer and thicker. but overall the pattern is quite similar. especially if you think how different the regular spotted or 'painted' varieties are.
did you try to grow thai? why do you say they are wimps? in this pic above they are kinda leggy and small, but in others online they seem to be quite big and bushy.
my humidity even in winter is at least 60% dec-feb, when the heaters stop - it rises to 70% shoulder season, and then to 80% may-sep when it gets warm. so i start them when it's already 70% and when the leaves show it's close to 80%. i have lots of big fleshy leaved plants , guess it adds a lot to humidity. wintertime i run humidifier at night in 1 room, must be helping too.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 3:34PM
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We get a lot of the Thai Caladiums here, it's amazing the number of variations you can get.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:57PM
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can you post some pics or links? I don't seem to be getting anything but thai-beauty ...I love even just to look at them.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 9:02PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Do you know anything about the origin of the Thai caladiums"" Have heard they are a cross between Caladium and Xanthozoma?? Thought caladiums were native to the neo tropics??
This is only my third year on the so called "evergreens"
and only have one growing in a pot It went dormant in late Nov while the regulars are gone by early Oct reappeared in early Jan while regulars came up in late Feb.. Will try to post a pic of it but be warned it's not nearly as spectacu,lar as some of the other types. They come in blues ,blacks, browns silver ,bronze yellows as well as the regular caladium colors.. Not sure if there are different leaf types as with regulars. Most notable are leaves that are transparent much like cellophane!!
i got it at a local plant show ,was the only one they had left lol Will let you decide the color when I post the pic lol gary

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 5:51AM
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I just got a couple of different potted caladiums in 6' pots (and that other plant in the middle of the picture) and potted them up because they were both very root-bound. I was surprised to find many small tubers, some tiny with tiny weak leaves sprouting, rather than a few big tubers.

After I repotted, I read they like bone meal soil additive for fertilizer. I intend to feed with Foliage-Pro just like my other plants. Should I sprinkle some bone meal on top of the mix as well, what do you think?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 1:32AM
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foliage-pro is very hi in N? but they don't like hi nitrogen. they like even npk ratio 1-1-1.
too much nitro will cause leaf greening on colorful foliage - which you don't want.
I feed with AV 10-10-10 in the beginning and then also orchid or AV fertilizer with hi phosphorus 8-14-9, it is formulated for acidic soil plants, which they are. adding bone meal gets them phosphorus. but av fert accomplishes the same - for me it's more convenient.
they also need calcium, so cactus feed is good, it contains calcium and mine is 1-7-6.
fish emulsion is also good.
I use some osmocote time-release on it too, when it's well leafed out in hi-summer.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 1:59PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

This is the pic of my only thai caladium. It got dumped out during a storm so is starting over. Gets MUCH larger.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 5:38PM
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interesting! do I see some leaves white-green, while others pinkish? do they change as they grow?
if you look at my pic from rf orchids (I didn't buy it) - smaller leaves are also developing pink veining.
is this what they do?
gary, how big do the leaves get on yours?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 7:04PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

yes, that's been my experience , The older leaves are those with a greenish cast. They tend to change color as they age The largest leaves this one has produced was
around 10 x18 about double what they are now. Note the leaves are more strap than shield shaped as in the RF one?? of course there are these types in the regulars as well as "ruffles" and very sharpe shields
As i mentioned the remarkable thing about them are odd colors such as blue ,black ,yellow and in the series called
"Stained glass" there are transparent areas looking like celophane lol
I'm disappointed that they are not really "evergreen " as advertized BUt they do double the life span
Would think they'd be a good choice as a "house plant for this reason alone??
have heard they are a cross between Caladium and Xanthozoma ?? gary

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 5:29AM
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Thanks, petrushka. Looks like I need to read up more on fertilizers. I've heard 3-1-2 ratio is best, but apparently not for every class of plants. I have tropical foliage plants mostly - I'll look up further what is best for them. I am unwilling to have multiple fertilizers for different plants (one is OK obviously, maybe two - then things get out of control for me).

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Wow, impressed by the pictures. We just get the regular caladiums here. I never even heard of half the one you guys mentioned.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:09PM
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I found AV fertilizer 1-1-1 ratio or orchid with higher P very useful for many plants and readily available. some orchid ferts have higher N for leaf-stage-growth 3-1-1 ratio. so you need to read the label.
they are formulated for acid loving plants - which a lot of tropicals are. they also contain other micros.
it all depends what plants you grow, how many you have, how tolerant they are of PH variations.
soil acidifier is a must for many plants. fyi caladiums need 5.5-6.5 range and alocasia need 5-6, which is mildly acidic.
acid-loving plants will experience chlorosis 'yellowing of the leaves' /iron deficiency at some point if not given proper fert.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:32PM
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just wanted to show you how my red flash has grown in 2.5 months, the tallest leaf is about 32" high. the 1st two large leaves have started to show first decline spots, but it's still producing new leaves.
also I got new 'florida sunrise' - medium sized up-front. all indoors as usual in NE corner window all summer.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 12:32PM
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wow, great-looking leaves!

Both my caladiums developed petioles that are too long and the leaves are very droopy, some lower than the rim of the pot, and they dry out. This is most likely because of low light and so they look like they are going into dormancy.

Kind of depressing but whatever - I am definitely happy to look at yours.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:32AM
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mine go dormant on the dot: 6 mo from breaking ground in spring. but I found that if they get better light in may they won't get lanky afterwards. but they do need some direct sunlight indoors.
so I now start them later so they show first leaves in may, when I get much better light going thru solstice and july-aug.
they are my main indoor source of color in summer. and thankfully they free up space in winter when I need it for the xmas tree and jades and ivies, etc.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:50AM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Looking good!
Not sure I've ever seen a 3' tall red flash!
I may give this a shot myself next year!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I have 75-80% humidity indoors in summer - so my tropicals all love it.
the pot has 5 tubers planted together, 2 are 2", the other 1".
I've had it since 2006 and it was a good size when I got it already. so it's about 9-10 years old, I guess?
all indoors. largest leaves are 18-19" by 12-13".
I wonder what size the tuber would be after 10 years in the ground? if it survives :).
now I am thinking - how old do they get? is it going to die on me soon of old age :) ?!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:47PM
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