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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.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why I Wait to Plant Caladium Bulbs

'Puppy Love'

It is so very tempting to jump the gun and plant Caladium bulbs in springtime when the soil and air first begin to warm. New shoots of Caladiums from the year(s) before respond to the seasonal transition and lingering sunshine. Out they come, slowly unfurling into glorious shocks of brilliant color. Fingers itch to put more of them in the ground right away.
'Burning Heart' is the larger, background Caladium with 'Tiki Torch' bordering.
It's perfectly acceptable to plant Caladium bulbs anytime after your last frost date and when the temperatures warm to above 65F (or so) consistently. But, I like to wait. Caladiums respond best to warm, moist soil, and humid air. These are the conditions that make them best suited for summer foliage plants. As my Florida gardening friends are well aware, our spring season is typically very dry.
'Classic Pink' in the front garden.
I don't know about you, but I tire of dragging hoses around to my newly installed plants in the spring. Caladiums do not tolerate drought conditions for any enduring length of time. As a matter of course, they prefer our summer rainy season. Happy they are to receive a good daily downpour as long as the soil they're planted in drains well. You don't want to put them where water collects.
'Puppy Love' in the front garden.
As difficult as it may be to wait past spring to plant, I do. My bulbs are ordered early from Classic Caladiums for the best selection. I don't actually have them delivered to my doorstep until June and often don't get the last of them planted until July (or later). At that point the soil is warm (day and night) and our summer rainy season has kicked in full force. New sprouts from bulbs rocket out of the ground in a matter of days and colorful foliage unfolds in what seems like time-lapsed speed.
'Celebration' under the blue bottle tree and 'Radiance' on the right in the back garden.
Happy heart-shaped faces of reds, greens, pinks, white, and even salmon colors shine for the entirety of summer, and often into fall, when planted later. The general life-span of Caladium plants each year when they sprout or re-sprout is about 150 days.
'Tiki Torch' mixed with 'Desert Sunset' in pots.
I prefer my annually planted bulbs, with their dazzling foliage show, to peak mid-August into September when many of the spring blooming flowers have faded.

'Lemon Blush' and 'Desert Sunset'
Summer is Caladium season. They thrive with very little attention once the rainy season begins and provides them with plenty of nutritious water from heaven.
'Classic Pink' to the left and 'Lemon Blush' to the right.
My garden is chocked full of Florida-Friendly and Florida native plants, but Caladiums are the stars of my summer garden. Waiting to plant them until after the spring dry season is well worth the patience required.  Especially when August rolls around and there is still ample color gleaming in my garden from their easy-care foliage.

*** All Caladiums shown are varieties from and sold by Classic Caladiums.

*** Other articles I've written on Caladiums.

**** Come hang out with me and other gardening friends for daily updates from Hoe and Shovel on Facebook... here's the link: *** Hoe and Shovel on Facebook **


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All material © 2007-2015 by Meems for Hoe and Shovel Gardening Blog. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.


  1. I love all of your caladiums. 'Burning Heart' is different.

    I have a pot of caladiums that you sent me bulbs of. I can't remember the name right now, but they are sweet. Thank you again for that gift.

    I bet your gardens are such a JOY to see in real person.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

    1. 'Burning Heart' is a BRAND NEW variety coming on the market Lorraine. The coppery color is very unique. The bulbs I gave you are 'Miss Muffet'. That was several years ago ... I'm glad to know they are still popping out for you each year. ((((hugs))))

  2. Experience is a wonderful thing. Your caladiums surely must thank you every day as they enjoy the summer rains. Gorgeous, all.

    1. They definitely perform better for me now that I patiently wait to plant them later, Daisy. It worked out especially well this year because our dry weather decided to visit late June and into July.

  3. We have to wait long into spring to plant them here. I love them but never plant the bulbs. I plant some that have been started in pots at the nursery and then I have to keep them watered. A lovely foliage plant for sure.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Yes, it stays cold much longer there. The bulbs are super-easy to plant. You can put them in the ground the same season you want them to sprout... unlike many bulbs you are used to in the north. Buying the plants works also, but you could probably save some $$$ and have more options if you ever decided to try the bulbs.

  4. Oh, what would I give to be able to grow caladiums! They look fantastic and I love them all but it is too wet and chilly here in the UK!

    1. Thank you Jane... you are right. Caladiums do not love chilly!

  5. This is the first year I've ever grown caladiums, and only then because our garden club was selling them. Now I wonder why I waited! They are so gorgeous, the few that I have. I'm in Ohio, so mine are in a pot that I planted in June. They were slow to get going, but now they look lovely!

    1. I'm glad you've discovered how colorful and wonderful caladium foliage is Robin. You will love adding them to more containers next summer.

  6. Hi Meems in the long time we are blogging, though i was absent in coming here for a long time, i normally associate Hoe and Shovel with plenty and beautiful caladiums. Now that i come back i am so glad i am looking at those caladiums again. Always refreshing.


Have a blessed day,

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