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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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Caladiums On My Mind

A new hyrid at Classic Caladiums (not available yet for purchase) Isn't it beautiful!!!
The springtime alarm clock is on the verge of awakening sleepy-headed Caladium bulbs lying under the surface of dirt and mulch. When the soil warms from Florida's abundant sunshine and lengthier daylight hours, Caladiums will begin to push out new sprouts for another season of delightful textural foliage.  In Central Florida our winter is warm enough to leave our Caladium bulbs in the ground during their dormant season.
Classic Caladium 'Blushing Bride'

Wouldn't you love to plant a lush display of 'Blushing Bride' Caladiums like this? I'm guessing you'll need about 25-30 #1 or Jumbo bulbs to recreate this look.
'Blushing Bride' is only a segment of this pinwheel. 'Rosemary', 'Candyland', 'Highlighter',
and 'White Delight' make the full circle.
Do you like to plant caladium bulbs (tubers)or do you wait for caladium plants to show up in your local nursery? The advantage, if there is one, to buying plants of caladiums is seeing the foliage colors and habit of the plant when purchasing. It's the same as picking out any other plant at the garden center. 
You can create your own kaleidoscope of Caladium beauty with varying colors of leaf foliage.
For my garden, I prefer to purchase bulbs directly from the grower. I order mine from Classic Caladiums on the Internet. If you want to know why I choose their bulbs over others in the industry you can find out here.
Caladium 'Red Ruffles' makes a stunning border ~ it is a strap variety that grows about 12-18" tall. 
The ROI (Return On Investment) when purchasing bulbs is exponentially greater than purchasing plants. Here are a few of my reasons off the top of my brain...
1) Each bulb sprouts a plant with 4-5 leaflets. How many qualities plants can you buy for less than $2?
2) The life of the plant doesn't begin until it is planted into warm soil. Caladium leaves/plants generally have a lifespan of about 150 days from sprout to dormancy. I want to enjoy every one of those 150 days in my garden.
3) Better control. I plant bulbs closely (about 8-10" apart) for the impact and result I desire.
4) Easier to plant. I can pop bulbs into the ground around roots and between plants easier than making room for an entire plant.
5) More options. Garden centers only carry a few varieties. I can order color, size, and amount whenever I want (from January until about August) and specify a delivery date. More options. Did I say that already?
Caladium 'White Dynasty' is part of Classic Caladiums Sun Series. They grow in full sun.
It's time to re-think Caladiums. They make more sense than spending dollars on annuals that fade within a few weeks. Caladiums love Florida's humidity and warmer-than-warm summers. Caladiums perform beautifully with outstanding endurance, color, texture and variety without the need of endless maintenance.
Classic Caladium 'Mount Everest'  is part of Classic Caladiums Sun Series. These are growing in full sun at a Classic Caladium warehouse display.
When contemplating the just-right variety for your garden, don't forget that Caladiums aren't just for the shade anymore. I've had great success with Classic Caladiums' Sun Series varieties growing in 5-6 hours of Florida's summer sun. There are some remarkably durable new hybrids that have recently been introduced to the marketplace. You can read more about them here.
'Peppermint' turned out to be one of my new favorite varieties. It has just the right amount of deep red, white and green to mix with just about any perennial!

I've placed my first order of the season with Classic Caladiums already. I made a notation to my online order to please ship in late May. Be sure to check the regional map for the best planting time for your area.

For Central Florida it is recommended to wait to plant bulbs until March. I choose to wait even longer. I wait until the dormant bulbs (already in the ground) have sprouted fully before I plant new ones.
By waiting a couple of months, it gives me a chance to see any holes/spaces that need to be filled in around the newly revived plants. It also extends my crop time by planting later. I first get the spring crop that peeps out of the ground around late March. I plant in May and again in June and more in July. The result of succession planting is extended foliage-life in my summer/fall garden. Last year I planted every month until November (a trial experiment). Today, there remains a few Postman Joyner,brilliant red leaves, that stood up through our entire winter. That's pretty remarkable.
A new hyrid at Classic Caladiums (not available yet for purchase) Sheer artistry!
Do you have Caladiums on your mind? It's time to place your order if you haven't already. Classic Caladiums is offering a discount of 10% off any $25 or more order to Hoe and Shovel readers. Just type in the code ROSEGLOW to get your discount.

Edit update: My apologies I originally put the wrong discount code in this post. ROSEGLOW is correct. Thank you to Amber for the alert.

Happy planting! Meems

*** All photos in this post taken at Classic Caladiums' warehouse display September 2012.


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  1. Hmm.. I can't get the coupon code to work.

  2. Oh my gosh. I just love that new caladium, and then the new one at the bottom too. I am going to check out the link to see what this place has to offer. I had one caladium leaf appear so far. They make me feel happy, I think part of the reason are the colors, but the other reason is the heart shape.

    Happy Gardening Meems ~

  3. Amber... I apologize. I copied the code incorrectly originally. Roseglow is the correct discount code. Thank you for the alert. Meems

  4. Isn't spring great! Classic Caladiums introduced 4 more varieties this year. Descovering hidden genes as I breed is great fun. No telling where we can take this great line of plants with new colors, leaf shapes, disease resistance and environmental tolerance. Hope all your readers enjoy caladiums. You take awesome photographs!

  5. Sorry I forgot to sign my comment about your post and our breeding. Dr.

  6. Love the Peppermint and Starburst varieties! I am eagerly awaiting the return of my sleeping caladiums this year. They are such a colorful, easy-care addition to my shade garden.

  7. Thanks for the heads up.I'm gonna order the sun loving variety.I have an over abundance of sun.The few that I have tried actually have done quite well with all day sun.

  8. I love the white caladiums, more and more. Just ordered some more.

  9. The new hybrid at the top is beautiful. It reminds me of a big watermelon slice. It's so gorgeous I want to eat it.

  10. I just got home from NC and want warmer weather, so my caladiums will start popping up.

  11. I can always count on your blog for my burst of beautiful garden colour. Thank you so much - we've got another winter storm on the way. Oh well. Caladiums are one of my favourite foliage plants - tho quite difficult to find here. That new cultivar is just yummy. I'm definitely going to look a little harder to find some - maybe ask our local nurseries if they'd consider bringing them in.

  12. Love the Red Ruffles! I think it's the best.

  13. Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time.Patio Covers Las Vegas

  14. That first caladium is certainly gorgeous. You have inspired me to try caladiums, I ordered my first two, red ruffles and miss muffed, and love them!

  15. Hi Meems, thank you for all the suggestions about layering the garden, it's very helpful. You also answered several of my questions about caladiums that I had. I am trying to create a lushier garden in a shady spot under two oak trees and you gave me some wanderful ideas. I live in Sarasota and had a hard time relating to many other gardening sites as they were for a different climate. Yours is a real treasure! Thank you for creating beauty, we all need it for our souls. Petra

  16. OK, now that it is almost 2015 can you give us a name for the anonymous caladium in this post? And tell us how variable it is?? You have a beautiful site.


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