Table of contents:
Aroid family. Homeland - South America. There are 15 species in nature.
- Caladium bicolor Caladium bicolor is a herbaceous stemless plant. It has oblong tubers, about 10 cm long. Leaves on long petioles, arrow-shaped or spear-shaped, up to 30 cm long. Small inconspicuous flowers are collected in the ear inflorescence, characteristic of all aroids. In culture, many hybrid forms of differing leaf color are common. So in some, the leaf surface is red, in others it is pure silver, but in most it is two-colored, for example, silver with a dark green edge or red with silver or green blotches.
- Humboldt's Caladium Caladium humboldtii is a herbaceous plant with tubers about 3 cm in diameter. Leaves on long petioles, arrow-shaped or spear-shaped, up to 10 cm long, dark green in color with silvery spots. If you arrange additional lighting, then the plant does not lose leaves during the dormant period.
Caladium: home care
Temperature: In summer, normal room temperature, preferably not higher than 25 ° C, since at high temperatures it is difficult to maintain the required air humidity. In autumn, the plant goes into a dormant period, which takes place at a temperature of about 15-16 ° C. If the caladium is on a balcony or veranda, then in the fall, when it gets cold at night, you need to move the pots to the house and put them on a sunny window until the leaves begin to fade. During this period, water with the obligatory complete drying of the soil in the pot (it should become very light).
Lighting: Bright diffused light, obligatory shading from direct sunlight, in the midday hours from March to the end of July on the south and southwest window. Already in August, the sun in central Russia will not be aggressive for the leaves. Grows well in the east or northwest window. Some Caladium varieties tolerate full sun for 6-8 hours a day.
Watering: From spring to autumn it is quite abundant, but the soil should not be too moist and be sure to have time to dry out in the upper part of the pot. With the death of the leaves, watering is reduced, and then stopped altogether.
Top dressing: During the period of active growth from March to July after 2 weeks, feed Caladium with a balanced fertilizer at a NPK ratio of 10: 10: 10 (the proportions may vary, but the ratio should be in equal parts). Dilute the fertilizer according to the instructions or dilute a little more with water.
Air humidity: Caladium loves humid air, so for the summer, the pot should be placed on a pallet with wet expanded clay or wrapped in a wide layer of wet moss. Spraying only with soft warm water from a fine spray.
Transfer: With the end of the dormant period in March, the caladium tubers are transplanted into fresh soil, consisting of 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of finely chopped pine bark (or coconut substrate), 1 part of humus, 1 part of fine gravel.
You should plant them about 4-5 cm deep, when planting in boxes at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other, and if you choose a pot, then 15 cm in diameter will be just right. The depth of the slide is such that a layer of drainage made of foam, expanded clay or cork about 2 cm in height fits at the bottom. In the fall, when the growing season is over, to save space, you can remove the tubers from the pot, shake off the soil, and place in dry sawdust in a box. The dormant period for caladium tubers is three to five months. Store tubers in the basement, under the stairs in the closet, at an optimum temperature of 15 ° C.
Reproduction: Daughter tubers.