How to grow and care for CALADIUMS

Mother Nature is an amazing artist and caladiums appear to be one of her finest creations! In-fact, they can be safely renamed as “saving grace” for summers. When the sun shines a bit too bright and it’s rays scorch everything in sight, caladiums still come up without a care to cheer up the garden(and our souls).

caladium varieties

So, if you haven’t yet guessed, they LOVE hot weather. High temperature and adequate watering can produce magic out of queer looking little bulbs.
I think of them as a “surprise gift”. The whole process of sowing mixed bulbs and waiting to see which pattern comes up from each, for me, is one of the most exciting summer tasks in the garden!

Caladium varieties
So, how to go about it?
Get your hands on some caladium bulbs. They are easily available at local seeds shops or nurseries at the onset of summers. The bulbs are small, dark and stiff(retailing at Rs.10-20/bulb) Press the bulb to check if it isn’t soft. Soft and squishy means ready to rot and won’t sprout anything. Good quality bulbs usually have a spike or two ready and will sprout as soon as you plant. It is also a good way to know which direction to plant the bulb in, though it will come up even if you sow it upside down. A good thing about caladiums is that they are quick to come up so you can plant them at any point of time during summers and the leaves will show up in a few days.

plant caladium bulb


Plant them 2-3″ deep and keep the spike(if any) showing a little.
Water everyday and wait. That’s it! Planting in semi-shade(abundant but indirect sunlight)prevents leaf burn and produces the best results.

Caladium varieties

Caladium varieties

Caladium varieties
As with any bulb, adequate drainage is important because standing water can rot the bulb and you will be left wondering if the bulb vanishes into soil!

They will continue to put up a show as long as the weather is warm .As winters approach,the plant will start dying back. Worry not, it is only the leaves not the bulb. When the growth becomes negligible, cut back all foliage and dig softly from the sides of the pot for bulbs. Never poke a tool into the center as you may damage the bulbs. Also, caladiums multiply as they grow, so one bulb may have now formed ten.(Hence, richer the soil, better the bulbs). The best thing to do is loosen up the soil from the sides and then dig for the bulbs with your hands. Shake off all dust and allow the bulbs to dry in shade. Give a shot of fungicide(i don’t) if you wish to, and store in paper bags till the next season. Enjoy winter flowers and wait impatiently for summers to arrive again!

Though there exist hundreds of beautiful patterns, my favorite has always been the one with a splattered effect. What’s yours?

Caladium varieties
Do share your pics and experiences.

Till then,
Happy Gardening 🙂


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10 thoughts on “How to grow and care for CALADIUMS

  • June 7, 2016 at 6:44 PM

    I Have Rarely Seen, Heard Or Read Such Kind Of Information Regarding These Beautiful Flowers
    This Content Has Motivated My Interest And Sthrenghthened My Love In Nature
    Really Superb

  • June 7, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    Thank you very much. I am elated humbled and honored! I hope you keep dropping in

  • July 23, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    Hey yasmeen thank you so much for this info. I love caladiums but don’t have any access to healthy and variety bulbs.. Can you pls pass me some details about your local retailor so that I can contact them and add few more variety of caladium to my collection…. Lods of thanx…

  • July 26, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Hi! where do u stay? I bought the bulbs from Hara Seed Shop, Ludhiana opposite PAU. Otherwise you can also contact GARDEN GLORY, New Delhi. They ship the bulbs all over India. Hope this helps!

  • June 23, 2017 at 9:20 PM


    My name is Gary, the owner at

    I’m writing you today because we recently updated our article on Caladiums. Crazy, over 6000 words!

    I wanted it to be informative but, you be the judge!

    For example, Did you know:

    The first public showing of the Caladium took place in 1867 at the French Exposition, and the earliest Caladium hybridizer was Frenchman, Louis Van Houtte.

    Anyway, I think the article would be a great addition and resource to your page at:

    You can review the article at:

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    Happy Growing,

  • July 20, 2017 at 7:15 AM

    Thanks Yasmeen for this very informative post. There are so many sites for house plants but I feel not as many when it comes to growing in Indian conditions:-)
    When is the best time to plant and transplant these beauties? Also can they take heat upto 45° kept ina shaded area on the terrace?

  • July 21, 2017 at 5:24 AM

    I am glad you found my post helpful! I think the best time to plant is as soon as summers begin (apr-may).. Bulbs are the best way to grow.. transplant is easy and can be done on any good-weather day..They don’t really die in that high heat but the leaves get scorched ruing the colors.. so yes, it’s the best to keep them semi-shaded. Hope this helps!!

  • July 21, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    Thanks Yasmeen for the quick reply. Can’t wait to plant them. I was hoping you’d say Monsoons. April is so far away 🙂 Happy gardening.

  • July 21, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    Thanks Yasmeen for the quick reply. Can’t wait to plant them. Happy gardening:-)

  • July 25, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    haha.. you can always buy plants and move to pots of your choice 🙂 I am doing the same actually..

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