From the blue caladium plant to the white and many other brilliant color options, caladium, also called elephant ears, develops remarkable heart-shaped leaves in distinct colors, which makes it an excellent choice of ornament for your home.
The plants are convenient for you to pick and cultivate. It is aboriginal to tropical regions but is grown outdoors in the U.S.
In this article, you are going to learn how to propagate caladium the right way.
Let’s get started!
How to Propagate Caladium
The adequate method for propagating caladium is by division. This also serves as a maintenance process to maintain the neatness of your plants in the garden.
Moreover, slicing caladiums guarantees, you'll get replicas of your dear plant using its tubers.
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Nevertheless, you want to exercise some precaution in propagating caladiums because they can result in poisoning and reactions upon touch or ingestion.
You should also examine and sterilize all the necessary tools before and after using them.
Saturating your gardening tools for half an hour in a diluted bleach solution is greatly advised before rinsing them.
Overwintering Caladium Tubers
Before we go into the steps, it’s essential to explain a typical mistake with terminologies used by many guides.
When we say overwintering caladium bulbs, it implies caladium tubers. In fact, the proper term should be tubers, and they are what you’ll slice up for propagation.
Spring is the right time to do this, but overwintering tubers are widespread, particularly in cold regions.
Remember that caladiums don’t do well in cold climates, so it’s better to dig the tubers, split them, and have them stocked in the greenhouse.
They should remain in the greenhouse temperature between 70 to 75°F somewhere dry until planting time in spring.
Let’s go through the steps, shall we?
How to Propagate Caladium by Division
Like how you dig other plants, you must dig around the plant’s edge to relax the lifting.
You can ease the area with a spade and lift the tubers from the soil.
Take out the soil and deteriorated parts like foliage, tubers, and buds, to stop them from circulating to the healthy parts.
Some gardeners also take care of the tubers with any fungicide of their choice before storage as a precautionary action.
It would be good if you also brushed them off before planting.
Before planting the divisions, you must slice and take out a tuber’s more giant central bud.
This procedure will bring about a fuller and more bushier plant because the other minor buds will produce more shoots.
And as I stated before, you should only plant healthy tubers and dispose of those with deterioration and indications of any disease.
It would be best if you planted the divisions in rich, moist, well-draining, and acidic soil in the greenhouse so they won’t get exposed to direct sunlight.
At most, six hours per day of sunlight would be okay to enable the plants to establish themselves.
But if you’re outdoors, test the soil’s warmth because caladiums will flourish more between 60 to 70°F, which is around spring.
A distance of 12 inches among them at a depth of two inches is needed for planting caladium tubers with their eye buds upright.
You also want to examine the soil’s condition and use a slow-release fertilizer for the first six months of the growing season.
Finally, confirm the soil moisture to enable the plants to grow, but be cautious not to overwater and facilitate fungal growth.
How Long Does it Take Caladium Bulbs to Sprout?
When you buy caladium bulbs, you’ll obtain a full palette of gorgeous foliage with large colorful leaves to formulate the showy green stem.
Then again, there’s more.
Each bulb also includes two eyes, which are growth nodes that will germinate into green shoots for you to transplant wherever you please.
It requires around three weeks for the eyes to develop and change into lush green leafy plants, so we urge most people to plant the bulbs immediately and see what they come up with.
Caladium bulbs can germinate from 4 weeks to 2 months, but the standard is between 8 and 10 weeks.
Don’t be upset if they don’t sprout as planned; many elements determine the growth rate.
Caladiums sprout from a rhizome, much like a potato. To find out the problem, you must assess how the bulb has been stored.
It could be that the bulb was stored wrongly and would need some time to restore its natural sugars.
No matter what, your tolerance will pay off with a rewarding yield!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Caladium a Good Indoor Plant?
Yes, caladium is a wonderful indoor plant. It enhances the color of your space all year long. And it’s simple to care for, too! Caladiums are not just attractive during their peak season but also in the wintertime. Their intense green leaves endure through the holiday season without hinting decrease.
How Fast Do Caladiums Spread?
Caladium plants will normally mature to 0.5m in height and branch to around 50cm. A new plant will generally be less than this and stretch quicker during its first year. The speed at which they spread will differ according to the level of light, weather conditions, and hydration.
Can a Caladium Leaf Root in Water?
Although Caladium is commonly propagated from a cutting, a leaf can be set in water, and it will produce roots. This will only work if a portion of the tuber is bound to the base of the leaf. It is more inclined to grow efficiently.
You might still be asking how to propagate caladium with water. It’s not beyond your powers, but you’ll have to put in additional effort.
Ensure you use non-chlorinated water and replace the water once a week or when the water becomes contaminated.
It will also be essential to nourish them with a water-soluble fertilizer because they’ll not get the nutrients they usually get from the soil.
Whatever method you use, don’t forget that they prefer direct sunlight and well-draining soil.