Leaves of medium size and oval-elliptical shape. Varieties of plants differ in color.
Caladium can not be called a capricious plant, but also unpretentious as well. He needs specific conditions.
Year-round temperature should be moderate.
The intensity of lighting depends on the color of the foliage - bright greens require a lot of light. The only condition is the absence of direct rays, that is, only scattered light is needed.
The rest period is clearly expressed and lasts six months. During this period of sleep, the leaves fall completely.
Any neutral one with sufficient nutrition and good drainage will do.
The growing season requires weekly top dressing. Fertilizer selected complex mineral. With the end of watering, top dressing is also stopped.
From the beginning of the growing season to the end of summer, the plant requires a lot of moisture. Watering is done as soon as the top layer of the earth dries. Water needs soft, settled, room temperature. Watering is very important to maintain decorativeness; an overdried plant will become dull. But it is impossible to overmoisten the caladium, since the tuber easily rots. At the end of summer, watering is gradually reduced, causing leaf wilting. After their complete fall, watering is stopped.
Humidity is necessarily quite high. To create the desired microclimate, a household steam generator is used or the plant is placed in the florarium. Spraying will lead to the appearance of ugly spots on the foliage.
In very early spring, the Caladium needs an annual transplant. In proportion to the tuber, the container is taken, filled with new soil. Small nodules are spaciously planted in one large pot. Tubers are planted in 2 ways: for the growth of a lush bush, they are deepened by 4 inches, and to get the children, they are slightly added. After planting, it is not recommended to water the caladium; it is only necessary to moisten the soil slightly. As foliage appears, watering is intensified.
Caladium can be propagated by children, seeds, division of the mother tuber. Choose a sufficiently large healthy tuber, cut into slices, so that each one has a kidney. Places of cuts are treated with charcoal, slightly dried. Landing is carried out in the usual way.
Due to the loss of varietal qualities by seedlings, propagation by seeds is used extremely rarely.
After waiting for the complete drying of the earth in the pot, it is removed along with the tubers and carefully removed. Carefully clean the remains of roots and the earth. Tubers sorted out, looking for damage, rotten spots. All this is removed, immediately processing the places with crushed coal. Prepared tubers are harvested. By the end of January, a kidney begins to form, which will ripen in February.
Primary Genus: Caladium
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The genus Caladium comes from South America, where it grows in forest glades and along river banks.
Plant size and type:
Two-color caladium is a tuberous plant with heart-shaped or arrow-shaped leaves on long petioles that rise directly from the tubers. In the wild, Caladium grows up to 40–90 cm.
ON THE PICTURE:In the culture, Caladium is bicolor grown for decorative foliage.
The leaves are thin, their size varies, but usually the average leaf length is 30–38 cm, petiole is about the same length. The color of the leaves is diverse.
The leaves of the Kaladium bicolor can be almost completely white with a slight shade of green along the veins, can be speckled, streaked, stained or marbled in pink, red or white with green.
The flowers are white, small, inconspicuous, collected in the cob.
The plant is poisonous, so it must be kept away from pets and children. Contact of Caladium juice with sensitive skin can cause irritation.
During the growing season, the temperature should be at least + 18-24 ° C. In the summer, you can take the Caladium to fresh air, if necessary, bringing the pot into a warm room. When the nights get colder in the fall, the plant is brought into the house and kept on a sunny window until the leaves begin to fade.
Caladium needs bright light, but you can not expose the plant to direct sunlight. When grown outdoors, the pot is placed in a shaded area.
Caladium is a tropical jungle plant, during the period of active growth it should be watered sparingly, but the soil mixture should be completely saturated with moisture. As at the beginning of autumn the leaves begin to dry out and reduce watering, they reduce.
The plant needs constant high humidity. To increase humidity, the pots are installed on trays with wet pebbles and foliage is sprayed daily. In dry air, the leaves begin to wrinkle in an hour or two.
During the period of active growth, the plant is fed every half week with a half dose of standard fertilizer.
For the cultivation of this species, a peat-based mixture should be used, and put shards from the clay pot or other drainage material at the bottom of the pot. In spring, sleeping tubers are transplanted into fresh soil. The pot is best taken with a diameter of about 8 cm. For small tubers and 13 cm. For larger ones. The tubers are buried to a depth equal to their thickness, that is, 2 cm thick tubers. They are planted to a depth of about 2 cm. In order for the two-color Caladium to begin to grow again, it is necessary to maintain the temperature not lower than + 21 ° C.
Tubers need a rest period of at least five months, that is, from the beginning of autumn to the beginning of spring. At this time, they need to be stored in pots in a dark place at a temperature of about + 15 ° C and watered very rarely, about once a month.
Diseases and pests:
Most problems (for example, premature leaf wilting) are caused by non-compliance with the necessary conditions of maintenance: maintaining constant heat and high humidity.
For propagation of Caladium in the spring before the resumption of growth, small nodules are separated from the mother plant and planted in pots. From each such tuber a new plant is formed. Young tubers reach maturity in one or two years.
This is the founder of potted hybrids with a characteristic dark green color of leaves with silver stripes tapering to the edge. The length of arrow-shaped leaves is up to 10 centimeters and a width of up to 5 centimeters. The flowers opening in the spring, reminding candles, have no decorative value.
This variety has an arrow-shaped leaf, reaching a length of up to 30 centimeters. Drawing in the form of a red spot on a green background. Variants of various colors are possible.
Gardeners' favorite caladium hybrids:
Rosalie - the plant is characterized by reddish leaves with a green border.
Pink beauty - a variety with red veins on the leaf surface, pink in the center with a green border.
Florida cardinal - leaves with a raspberry center and a green border.
Hybrid varieties of caladium grown by flower growers do not enjoy their sympathy, despite their original appearance. The reason is the semi-annual dormancy period that occurs in the fall.
The growth period begins in late March or early April, when the caladium is brought to light and provides ample moisture at a temperature of +22 to +27 degrees Celsius. The frequency of watering is approximately 1 time per week. Excess water from the sump must be removed.
In summer, the plant needs 0.5 liters of moisture per day, divided into morning and evening intake. Water temperature should not be lower than +22 degrees Celsius.
It is advisable to water it carefully, if there are drops of moisture on the leaves, dark spots appear. Systematic removal of dust from the sheet surface is required.
A tropical guest is kept at a humidity of about 70%. To do this, you can install a can of water nearby, or place a flower pot on wet pebbles in a pallet, and cover the surface of the earth with moss. You can also humidify the air with a household humidifier or steam generator.
Top dressing is introduced from the end of May, only 2-3 times for the entire season. For this, a special liquid mineral fertilizer is used.
In September, when the leaves turn yellow and fall off, the plant goes into sleep. Flower pots are cleaned in a dark place until spring. The minimum temperature during this period is about +20 degrees Celsius.
During hibernation, care for the plant continues. To prevent the soil from drying out, a few tablespoons of water are enough.
If rotting is detected, it is necessary to cut out the sore spots with a sterile knife and treat the slices with crushed coal.
Light and air temperature
When growing at home Caladium is preferably placed in partial shade, with northern or western illumination of windows, eliminating direct sunlight and drafts.
A guest from the tropics prefers an air temperature of at least 22 degrees Celsius and a humidity of about 70 percent. During the growth period, it is necessary to water abundantly and spray around the flower, avoiding direct moisture on the leaf surface.
For growing at home, use the prepared soil for the Aroids. But you can prepare the substrate yourself, using a mixture of one part of peat, one part of leafy soil, one part of compost and half part of sand.
A feature of flowering: in indoor conditions, caladium blooms and bears fruit extremely rarely.
When growing Caladium in the garden it is planted in places of diffuse sunlight. This corresponds to the conditions of natural growth of lianas in the shade of other plants. In the summer, comfortable abundant soil moisture is comfortable.
The soil for growing caladium is made from a mixture of compost, leaf soil, turf and sand with the addition of peat.
In late autumn, tubers are dug from the ground, cleaned of old roots and placed in a box with sawdust, sphagnum moss or vermiculite.
For vegetative breeding using daughter tubers or a large tuber is divided into several parts, each of them requires the presence of at least one kidney. It is important to sprinkle cut surfaces with charcoal powder and air dry them.
Breeding seed produced to produce new hybrid varieties. Therefore, they are used from specialized stores. It makes no sense to grow caladium from its own seeds, since this method does not preserve varietal characteristics.
Sowing of seeds is carried out in a mixture of sand and hardwood, moistened at a constant temperature of +30 degrees Celsius under a film or glass. After 3 weeks, you can observe the biting of the sprouts, and after a month they need to be planted in separate containers. By the fall, full-grown tubers are already growing.
Diseases and pests
A common caladium disease is rotting of roots from excess watering. Fusarious and wet rot on the roots often appears during the first month after planting, when the first leaves have not yet grown.
If after 1.5 months the caladium has not acquired leaves, it is necessary to check the root for rot. Using a sterile knife, cut off damaged parts and sprinkle sections with powder fungicides.
Caladium can be a victim of an attack of aphids, mealybugs, spider mites. Upon detection pests the plant needs to be treated with insecticides.
What to do if leaves and others turn yellow?
Appearance yellow leaves can be explained by both unsatisfactory conditions of plant maintenance and infection with late blight, which can be controlled with fungicides.
Swirling leaves indicate a lack of moisture in the soil and high air temperature. To cure the flower, spraying and increased watering are used.
Brown edges of the leaf surface signal freezing of the plant.
and the need to move it to a warmer place.
Pallor of leaves and loss of contrast of patterns occurs with a lack of sunlight. You can use special lamps or move the vine to a zone of comfortable lighting.
Read other interesting articles about indoor plants, for example about: pteris, platycerium, indoor nightshade and nerter.
Caladium is propagated in three possible ways: daughter tubers, tuber division, and seed.
- In order to propagate caladium daughter tubers, during the transplant in the spring, children are separated from the mother tuber, planting them in a separate flowerpot or pot. This method is considered one of the most common and simple.
- Use tuber division method also quite simple. For this, the adult specimen must be divided into 2 or 3 parts and planted in different containers. At least one kidney must be left on each part. Tuber division is made with a disinfected knife, and live sections are sprinkled with coal powder and planted in a sand-peat mixture. Germination is carried out in a bright and warm room with a temperature of +22.24 degrees Celsius.
- Caladium is grown seed in order to obtain a new variety. Seeds need to be purchased in specialized stores. Since this is a hybrid, it does not make sense to collect your own seeds at home, as some signs of mother plants may be lost in subsequent generations. Sowing of seeds is carried out in a mixture of sand with hardwood with regular moistening and maintaining the temperature at +30 degrees Celsius. The sprouting of the sprouts can be observed after 2-3 weeks, and after a month they can be planted in independent containers. Caladium is dived repeatedly in the summer season, and by the fall, small tubers are already forming.
In late May, after the first 4 leaves appeared, the development of an inflorescence began in full swing - an elongated cob of light shade in yellowish tones, wrapped in white-green or leaf-colored bedspread. Flowering does not occur in tandem with pronounced odors and lasts only from one to several days. After pollination, dense spherical berries ripen.
It is worth noting that in indoor conditions, flowering and ripening of fruits occurs very rarely.
Fusarium and wet rot are the tubers of the plant. If damaged areas are found, the tubers are cut with a sterile knife to healthy tissues, and the places of the slices are sprinkled with powder fungicides.
Prevention of rot needs to be done every year when planting.
This symptom may indicate a lack of watering or high air temperature. To correct the situation, increase the intensity of irrigation and use spraying.
Very often, the pallor of the leaves is accompanied by a loss of contrast of the patterns.Typically, this is due to a lack of sunlight. To correct the situation, moving the plant to a more illuminated place or using special lamps will help.