Months Of Colorful Foliage – Caladiums
In The Garden – By Stephen and Kristin Pategas
The caladium growers in Lake Placid, FL continue to breed new colorful cultivars of caladiums. One place to locally find a good selection of bulbs is at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market on selected Saturdays in March and April.
- There are two types of caladiums. Fancy-leaved caladiums are larger and heart shaped, while the more compact lance-leaved are narrow, elongated, and lend themselves for use in flower arrangements because of their lasting quality as cut foliage. They also work well in hanging baskets.
Use caladiums in the ground, containers, or hanging baskets. Established caladiums push their foliage above ground starting in April as the soil temperatures rise above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The foliage starts to decline many months later in late autumn as the temperatures decline.
- Plant caladium tubers (bulbs) with the pointed growing tips up, in well-draining soil and cover with one to two inches of soil. Keep them moist and fertilize every two months during the warm months. Leaf size and longevity are directly related to the size of the tubers and care. Here in Central Florida a two to three-inch layer of mulch protects the bulbs from the cold and they can stay in the ground. In colder climates, containers or dug bulbs can be stored dry in temperatures above 70 degrees.
In 2019 the Caladium Photo Contest was launched. The three winners were awarded prizes and the images were shared at the Winter Park Public Library, added to the City Hall lobby monitors, and posted on the Winter Park Blooms Facebook page. The three winners are shown here along with three additional entries. To enter this year visit www.cityofwinterpark.org/kwpb.
Volunteers from Winter Park Blooms (a committee of the Keep Winter Park Beautiful & Sustainable Advisory Board) sell an amazing selection of caladium bulbs at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday March 14 and 28, and April 4, 11, and 18 from 8 a.m. to noon. They use the proceeds to fund beautification projects and to host the America in Bloom judges who will visit Winter
Park April 27th and 28th. Information and caladiums can typically be found at the base of the stairs to the historic freight depot. Check www.cityofwinterpark.org/kwpb and Facebook for KWPB&S and Winter Park Blooms news.
Hortus Oasis (FL26000315) in Winter Park is a boutique garden design company specializing in residential, commercial and specialty gardens. Stephen is a registered landscape architect and Kristin is a certified landscape designer. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Photographers noted in image captions.