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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Caladiums and Flowers

Caladium bulbs are among my favorites for lasting quality in Florida's summer humidity. If you've followed this blog during any part of the summer months you've probably wondered how many times and how many ways will I say how much I adore them. I love them for their ease of planting, low maintenance, drought tolerance, big impact, and colorful foliage ways.
Expecting them to last through the summer and into September is something I've become accustomed to. Admittedly many of the hundreds that stood erect, in drifts of heart-shaped brightness through the summer, have faded or been pruned away recently. But happily I can still sing the praises of the ones I planted in July. They are proving my experiment of succession planting to be a handy idea.
Here's how it goes:
~The bulbs stay in the ground all year.
~Order new bulbs in February but request they be delivered last week of May.
~The ones that return-bloom (and the majority do) will start blooming around March or April.
~Beginning in June bulbs I've ordered for fill-in's have arrived and get planted.
~End of June more are ordered (by this time they are likely to be on sale, too).
~Last ones get planted in July for foliage lasting until ... hey, it's almost November!
Lately we've concentrated on our efforts to sustain and increase foliage and structure. It has most certainly been the emphasis in my mind and in my garden.

But while I've had my camera in hand this week, I've taken some photos of some of the flowers blooming. We never tire of our blooming plants and thank them for their sturdy performance during these unusually warm Florida October days.
Phillipine Violet, Barleria Cristata

Red Pentas lanceolata

Gaillardia pulchella (planted from seed and blooming since spring)
Cosmos in the veggie garden.

Clerodendrum Ugandense, Blue Butterfly Bush

A cutting from a neighbor... anyone know what it is?

Cassia Senna Alata

Cassia Senna Alata seed pods

Cassias trees blooming a few houses down from Hoe and Shovel... so full and pretty this time of year.

White Peacock butterfly on the blue porterweed in the veggie garden.

Happy autumn days, dear reader. Have a beautiful weekend. Meems


  1. Your post is so uplifting Meems. I am looking forward to the weekend. Your garden still has so much beauty in it. My garden is getting that downtrodden look. It is raining yet again today. Leaves are piled up on the patio. The bird bathes are full of leaves. IF it dries out this weekend sometime I will be able to clear the paths. My caladiums are all wilted to nothing. I have tried to keep them overwinter but it doesn't work for me. I will look forward to getting more next summer. They are the best thing for my very shady window box. I always think of you when I water them too. :) Cheers and I hope you have a great weekend too.

  2. Genus: Pachystachys (pak-uh-STAK-iss)Species: coccinea (kok-SIN-ee-uh)is your red flower also called Cardinal's Guard. It looks best in the back of mixed landscape border where it can pop it's flower heads up high as it wants to grow tall. I have seen hummingbirds frequent them. It is rather unattractive in small containers which makes it rarer than some Justicias and that is why it is a good pass-a-long plant to give and to get. This whole genus is from Tropical S. America and they all are resistant to nematodes and thrive for many years in our poor sandy soils. I like the way you layer your garden.

  3. Lisa,
    Have you tried letting your bulbs dry a bit after digging them by laying them out in a single layer? Maybe putting them in shredded paper in a semi-warm place in the house would work? They are very hardy sorts. But, you are right, they don't like the cold. I'm just happy you persist and plant a few each year in your window box. It is the perfect setting and you make it look so pretty every summer!

    YOU are so helpful! Thank you. My neighbor gave me that cutting many years ago and in my busyness (with so many other responsibilities)I left it in a pot barely surviving. Last fall when I decided to start clearing/using that woodsy space in the back of the back yard I put it in the ground. It is across a short pathway from the beautyberry actually. It stands tall now behind firebush plants. I've also made cuttings by trimming it and sticking more in the ground next to the mother plant. It's nice to have some blooming things that wait until our summer has passed.

  4. Well your experiment is working out just wonderfully. Your gardens are so lush and full Meems.

  5. Well that peacock butterfly just pops with this pretty background. I don't do bulbs but good look with that. Yours always look so pretty.

  6. Your posts are always a fun, informative read. Maybe next June I should order off for some caladiums on sale and extend my growing season for a few weeks.

  7. Meems - so glad you are experimenting with your caladiums. Your info will benefit us all - right now mine (which had disappeared) are now putting out some new leaves. It is a sparce showing - but better than nothing. re: your cutting - does the plant have the feel of a succulent?

  8. The White Peacock butterfly is absolutly gorgeous...
    I have never seen one. On my list.
    I just might have to come to Florida for my butterfly fix this winter.
    Happy Halloween.
    May your gardens flourish in November, mine will be sleeping.
    Always enjoy walking in your gardens. Thank you.

  9. Oh My Goodness Meems. I have seen your beautiful flowers and your caladiums before --but have never that White Peacock Butterfly before. WOW---how gorgeous!!!! Love it....


  10. Oh, such lovely pics! The butterfly is totally amazing....Love the pic of the cassia too, I had almost forgotten about this plant. I had one many years ago and always looked forward to October for its bloom. So, now I'll probably have to head to my local nursery tomorrow to see if they have any! My caladiums are just about all done for the season, and you've definitely inspired me to plant more next spring. Where do you order your bulbs from?
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. HI Meems, Just stopped in for a visit, Nice blog and great photos.

    70 here today can't figure it. Last year one of our trips to Florida was during the big freeze.

    Have a great evening,

  12. oh my much is blooming beautifully into the fall for you.
    we are so damp and cold nothing outside is enjoying it. i am so glad i got to have some of your very own caladiums in my garden this year. now they are all at rest in my potting shed. i hope you were able to finally catch those pesky armadillos so maybe your replanted veggies will have a chance!
    happy your header.

  13. Susie,
    Most of my bulbs are purchased either from Caladiums4less or Caladium World... both available online.

  14. I know this is an old post; but, I just discovered your wonderful garden on Facebook. You have truly inspired me. I live somewhat southwest from you in the St. Pete area, but have always grown a cottage garden. I will now be underplanting with loads of Caladiums. I have already ordered about 80 bulbs from the vendor your recommended in one of your posts....I will be watching your wonderful garden from now on...thankyou!



Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway