Caladiums, tropical perennials, are endemic to wet and dry tropical forests in Central and South America. Caladium bicolor, a Brazilian plant, is the most common of several decorative species of the genus Caladium in the arum family (Araceae).
This species has thousands of identified cultivars, but other species and hybrids are occasionally accessible. They are easy to cultivate as summer “bulbs” or houseplants, even though they are only hardy to zones 9 and 10. In this article, we’ll discuss how to propagate Caladium.
This is an “old-fashioned” shrub with striking leaves that has been cultivated in Europe since the late 1700s. The heart-shaped leaves have strongly colored midribs, contrasting borders, and mottled, veined, and striped patterns in varying colors of green, white, pink, rose, and red.
The leaves are carried on long petioles that emerge directly from the underground tuber; there are no stems. The selection of caladium cultivars is extremely extensive, allowing you to select the best one for your region.
And, because these plants grow quickly, it’s safe to believe that propagating them by division will be simple. Caladiums are also known for maturing in just one season, making propagation a breeze.
- A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Propagate Caladium
- A Care Guide for Caladiums
- Final Remarks
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Propagate Caladium
Caladiums may be propagated easily by division and repotting. Plant division is the process of separating plants in the same pot.
On the other hand, repotting is the process of moving a plant to a new pot, usually a larger one, to give it more room to grow. Before propagating and planting Caladium, disinfect all of your gardening instruments.
This keeps the tubers safe from any fungal, bacterial, or viral illnesses that may have remained on your instruments.
Step 1: Remove the entire plant from its container
- Potted plants are easier to divide since the roots are contained within the pot.
- If you wish to propagate your plant, wait to water it until the dirt is compacted and the entire soil with the roots emerges together.
- To free the soil from its attachment to the pot, begin tapping or pressing the container’s outside sides.
- Then turn the pot down to re-establish contact between the plant and the soil.
Step 2: Separate the stems
- Caladiums produce stems in clusters.
- Each group develops independently, making it easier to determine where they should be divided.
- Separate the Stems into groups.
- To separate the groupings of stems, slice through the dirt between them with your thumb and pull gently.
- Ascertain that each stem-group has its own set of roots.
- Even if the group only has one stem, you can split it to encourage it to grow more.
- However, do not cut a stem that belongs to a group since it will die because it lacks its root.
- Caladium plants with mature bulbs have bulbs inside the soil.
- The bulbs resemble potatoes and produce stems.
Step 3: Put the stems in different containers
- Place your newly divided stem clusters in separate pots.
- You’ll be able to enjoy more of them in different areas of your home, or you can give them away as gifts.
Step 4: Put soil in your pots
- Fill your caladium stems’ pots with soil.
- To help them stand erect, place a stick next to them and tie the stem(s) to it.
- Caladium stems are delicate and bend down frequently, especially when searching for the sun.
Step 5: Place the bulbs you’ve collected on top of a pot of soil
- To help your bulbs develop faster, place them on top of a pot of dirt.
- Place the flat part on the dirt first, followed by the pointed part.
- It is not necessary to bury the entire bulb.
- If you press it on top of the soil, it will grow with half of it visible on the surface.
- Place your new bulbs in a soil-filled planter.
Step 6: Don’t forget to water your new plants
- Propagation disturbs and may stress their roots.
- After a long day, the first thing they require is water.
- It’s what they eat.
- They require it to provide them with the energy they require to grow.
A Care Guide for Caladiums
Water new plants immediately after they’ve been separated from their soil. Separating caladiums from the dirt lowers their water and nutrient intake.
Water new, young plants before fertilizing them because too many nutrients can damage or even kill them. Watering more than twice in one week will also cause them to die.
Caladiums are sensitive when not watered often enough. Keep in mind that their soil must also receive two inches of water weekly.
Avoid overwatering them by allowing their soil to dry out between watering sessions. This is because caladiums are sensitive to moisture and the lack of it.
If you work excessively and have difficulty remembering the last time you watered them, place a water meter in their soil. This will help you remember to water them every day or every other day since watering meters measure moisture levels between one and ten centimeters deep.
Some caladiums begin to display brown spots when they wilt from the lack of water.
Wait a week to fertilize them after they’ve been transplanted. Fertilize them after a week of watering and wait another week to water them again, but this time without fertilizing.
Too much fertilizer can kill or harm caladiums because that’s what causes over-stimulated growth. That’s when the leaves begin to grow slightly larger than usual, but it doesn’t last long.
Truly healthy caladiums will only naturally develop the size of their leaves in response to changes in their environment.
Place your newly propagated caladiums in an environment with the right temperature and humidity for them to thrive. Watering caladiums is difficult when their location doesn’t have adequate lighting or exposure to the sun, but it is possible.
A great way to ensure success is by placing them in a room or a corner to receive adequate light and moisture.
However, if possible, you should grow your caladiums outside because indoor locations for sunlight may not be as good as the sun itself. Caladiums require eight hours of direct sunlight daily, so try to place them near a window or where they will receive proper lighting.
Maintain a humidity level at around sixty-five percent when transplanting them outside during summertime. If you’re planting your caladiums outside, you should research how much humidity is in your location before proceeding with the process.
If it’s not humid enough for your plants, provide them with the right environment. If you’re considering growing them in a pot or planter, place them near water to enhance proper humidity levels.
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Caladiums are the easiest plants to reproduce and multiply in the garden if handled with care. Learning how to reproduce Caladium necessitates mastering the most effective method, which is bulb division. You can dig the bulbs and store them to replant in the spring over the winter.
The best way to propagate Caladium is to divide it. This can also be used as a maintenance technique to maintain your garden looking tidy.
More importantly, dividing caladiums means that you’ll be able to duplicate your favorite plant by using its bulbs. Now that you know how to propagate Caladium, you can add this thriving plant to your garden.
On the other hand, Caladiums should be propagated with caution because they can induce poisoning and reactions if ingested or touched.
Before and after each use, you should inspect and disinfect all of the tools you’ll require. It is highly recommended that you soak your gardening tools in a weak bleach solution for half an hour before rinsing them.