Sunday, February 13, 2011


This is taken from the planter in front of my place last year

Another bulb you'll find in the garden centers during this time of year are the caladiums.  They look more like dirty stones in their clear bags, but the package covers suggest otherwise.  This particular plant offers a variety of color and leaf design.  I personally love caladiums as they add a really nice look to the garden. Plant them with other tropicals to mix it up a little.  Some rules about growing them here in Tucson and some of my observations working with them.....
1.  The whiter the leaf; the more shade they'll take
2.  Red to pink varieties like a bit more sun
3. Like with most tropicals, do not put in direct desert sun or you'll burn their fragile designs
4.  Don't put into the ground until mid March and do not expect growth until it is hot again. At the end of May or beginning of June, you should see something green sticking out of the ground.  The ground, normally, should be at around 50 degrees, but with this plant, I actually think it has to be warmer.  A lot of people think that when it's 80 degrees during the day in February, plants will grow.  However, you need the right conditions.  The ground is always several degrees cooler after a "cold" winter and that is caused by our overnight lows. Once air and ground catch up to the 90-100 degree days, these caladiums will burst forth from the ground. Once they've started to leaf, make sure you water regularly. Just know that they take off slowly here.
4.  Again, these plants, like most tropical bulbs, do well in pots and planters with loose rich soil

Taken in the Amazon, I found a patch of these beautiful caladiums growing in the wild.

These bulbs are easy to grow and I highly recommend trying them out in your own gardens.  Until next time, see you in the garden:)

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