Looking to add more color to those shaded areas of your yard? Caladiums are an excellent choice and very easy to grow and care for. Vibrant reds to pale pinks, wide bands of color to speckled patterns of green, the foliage of caladiums will make quite the splash in your shade garden! The heart-shaped leaves of caladiums generally grow 12-20″ tall and work well for borders, accents or simply intermixed with other shade-loving plants, such as hosta, astilbe, and begonias. They will provide great color all season long!
Since they are slow to get growing, starting these tubers indoors is a great way to get fuller, more vigorous plants come summertime. Here are some helpful steps to get started early:
- Plant them in a well-drained planting container with a bit of potting soil, at a depth of approximately 2-3 inches deep. Attempt to determine which end is up by feeling for points (buds) on one end. Once those points are found, place this side upwards under the soil.
- Water sparingly. Caladiums require a consistent temperature of 60° F or above in order to sprout and begin growing. Keep in a sunny location, somewhat shielded from hot, direct sunlight.
- Move containers outdoors or replant in an outdoor garden bed after all threats of frost has past.
Some sources even lovingly refer to caladiums as Angel Wings! Check out some nice varieties at Tulipworld.com. You can get them as early as late February, giving you a nice jump-start on your garden. Keep in mind: caladiums are only hardy in planting zones 9-11, but can easily be stored indoors over the winter if you are in colder zones. Protect them from frost at all costs and you’ll have beautiful foliage for your shade garden for years to come!