How big are the bulbs?
Generally there are four different sizes of Caladium bulb one the market (from smallest to biggest): Size 2, Size 1, Jumbo and Mammoth. The bulbs you can purchase in our shop are size ‘Jumbo’. The Jumbo bulbs have a diameter of about 6 to 9 cm (the size may differ per bulb because it is a natural product).
What is the main difference in bulb sizes?
The main advantages of using the bigger sized bulbs are that they produce more leaves and these bulbs reach maturity more quickly giving you a beautiful and full pot of leaves. This is particular nice if you live in a climate with a slightly shorter growing season.
Lager bulbs do not automatically provide larger leaves on the plant nor does this mean that the plant will grow taller. The growth habit of your Caladium will depend mostly on the growing conditions.
What is the best way to pot the bulb(s)?
A few things are important before your start. Determine what is the top and bottom side of the bulb, make sure you have the right pot size and potting medium ready and determine where you’ll place the bulbs.
⁃Determine what the top and bottom side of the bulb is.
In most cases you’ll see one or more ‘eyes’ in the bulb. This is the top side of the bulb and should be planted upwards. The bottom is more smooth. If you can’t see any ‘eyes’ on your bulb, no worries. Just plant your bulb in any way. The bulb shouldn’t have a problem to grow out, it could only take a bit longer.
⁃Pot size and potting medium for your Caladium bulb
The ‘Jumbo’ bulb we have for sale can best be potted up in a 17 to 19 cm pot. Plant one bulb per pot. If you do want to plant multiple bulbs in one pot it’s recommended to use a bigger pot so there is enough space between the different bulbs.
Caladium bulbs aren’t too difficult and will grow in most soil mediums. Preferably use a soil that can hold some water on one hand and with good drainage on the other hand. The soil must remain slightly damp, but always avoid too much water is held up in the pot to minimize the risk of rot. If you don’t want the fuss of making your own soil, you can use an all purpose soil for house plants, which is normally available in all garden centers.
⁃Determine the best place in your urban jungle to grow out the bulb(s).
A warm environment is the most important ‘ingredient’ in growing out your Caladium bulb(s). Therefor place your bulb in a warm spot with enough light. A south facing window or even a little greenhouse is perfect.
How to pot the bulb?
Potting your bulb is very easy and can be done in a few minutes.
1.Fill up your pot with soil for about 2/3.
2.Then place the bulb (right side up) onto the soil.
3.Cover the bulb with soil until the pot is full.
4.Give the bulb a good amount of water. At least until you see some water is leaking from the drainage hols in the bottom of the pot.
5.Place your potted bulb in a spot with enough warmth and light. At the stage of germination you can put it in a south facing window or even in a little greenhouse.
From now on patience is your best friend! Just wait until the first growth points appear. Do keep an eye out on the bulb(s) and water when the soil is drying out. The soil should always remain slightly damp.
When do I pot the bulb(s)?
Caladiums are tropical plants and appreciate warmth. Creating a warm environment is key in letting your bulb(s) sprout. If you put your bulb(s) in a greenhouse you can start potting up your bulb(s) in early spring (March/April). Otherwise it might be wise to wait a bit longer until the temperatures are getting higher (late April/May).
Keep in mind that when the temperature is too low the bulb will go back into dormancy and wil only start to sprout when temperatures are increasing. The best temperatures for a Caladium is between 17 and 25 degrees.
How long does it take for the bulb to grow out?
After potting up your bulb(s) you just have to be very patience. Depending on the environment the bulb is in it can take 4 to 10 weeks before the bulb is starting to sprout. The speed of the germination will also depend on the variety. Some will just grow quicker than others.
Once the first shoots appear the growth should go much faster. This is such an exciting process to watch!
Will a bulb always grow out into a full plant?
Growing Caladium bulbs is fairly easy and the bubs have a high germination rate. How ever there is always an error margin to be taken into account. In general 95% of the bulbs don’t have any problem to sprout and grow out to beautiful plants.
What to do when the bulb is growing out into a more established plant?
Once the growth points are getting larger and the first leaves are unfurling it can be a good time to give the plant a new place in your urban jungle. This will depend on the weather mostly.
When it gets warmer and sunlight is getting more intense and bright you might want to remove the plant out of the south facing window to a spot with more indirect sunlight. After all Caladium are tropical plants and will always desire warmth and a higher humidity, but in their natural environment Caladium grow beneath the forest canopy. In the summer months a spot close to an east facing window is ideal.
As for watering the same rule remains, keep the soil damp at all times. Normally it should be sufficient to water the plant once a week. But during the hot summer months, or if you’re living in a hot climate any way it might be good to water twice a week.
Does the plant go dormant?
Yes, a Caladium can go dormant, this is its normal life cycle. Especially in areas where there are obvious season changes (like Europe and parts of North America). In tropical climates a Caladium possibly can survive the winter.
Due to the changing seasons a Caladium will require less water from beginning of Fall. Therefor it’s important to water you plant less frequently and less water by each turn. When the leaves start to droop you can stop water the plant completely. You can wait for all leaves to die off or you can cut off any left over leaves. Get the bulb out of the soil and whip of any remaining soil. Wrap the bulb in some paper (like news paper or a brown paper bag) and store it in a dark, dry and cool area. Then in Spring you can re-pot the bulb and grow it out into a plant again!
When exactly a Caladium goes dormant will mainly depend on the wether conditions in your country or area. In the northern parts of Europe it will get colder sooner than in southern parts of Europe for example. Thereby you might experience some late hot Summer weather in the Fall (like we sometimes have there in The Netherlands) which can expand the life your plant. Keep an eye out on your plant and you should be able to see the plants condition change.