Caladiums are tropical perennial plants adored by seasoned gardeners for their large leaves shaped like a heart.
The striking feature of this plant is not just the size or shape of its leaves but the colorful display of white, pink and red and its very beautiful foliage that stands as a show stopper wherever they are planted, even though they hardly ever flower.
With all these aesthetic qualities, it is no surprise why people would want to propagate the plant.
In this article, we will be looking at how to propagate caladiums the right way!
How To Propagate Caladiums
The best way to propagate caladiums is by unearthing its intricate root system and diving the small tubers from the main one. Although, you will find some people doing it the ‘leaf way.’
They place the leaves in water and watch them develop roots after some time. If you intend to follow the leaf way, it is imperative to note that the only way this method will work effectively is if part of the tuber is attached to the base of the leaf.
Caladiums are naturally tuberous. They grow from a tuberous root. A tuberous root is a fatty root that sits under the ground and functions as the focal point of its every growth. Its tubers can be found in different sizes in which. Larger tubers will have plenty of leaf buds and bigger foliage displays.
When handling caladiums, bear in mind that every part of the plant is poisonous and so it will be wise to put on some gardening gloves. Plants are not to be ingested nor handled with your bare hands, as they are likely to cause irritations for people with sensitive skin.
Propagation of the plant is pretty simple and can be completed using the following steps below:
During the spring season, have the tubers divided before potting them.
The rationale behind splitting the tubers is that most plants grown from a tuber have a very deep and essential root system and will not thrive if you attempt growing them from a cutting, as the tubers are essential for their growth and development.
What does it mean to divide the tubers, and how can you go about it?
Dividing the tubers entails cutting them so that every piece has a bit of the plant’s stem. You can achieve this by splitting the main piece to get other smaller pieces ensuring that every split has an eye or what is otherwise known as a growth point.
- Cut the tuber so that each piece has a knob or an eye
- Once done cutting the pieces, leave them to dry well for a few days
- When you are sure it is dry, it can then be cultivated to grow, preferably during the warmer months
- When planting, have the tubers go deep into the damp soil. The key word here is ‘damp,’ as overly wet soil will make the roots rot
About 15cm beneath the soil’s surface and 25cm spaced from each other.
How To Spread Caladium Seed Properly
Caladiums are sometimes preferred to be propagated by seeds. If this route of seed planting is followed, they will need a year’s duration to grow into a big plant.
Caladium seed spreading is not as simple as it sounds.
Yes, they spread quite easily, but problems might arise if they are not spread correctly – the right soil and perfect light and water conditions. Caladium seed spreading can be done using a hand-held tool or a daisy seeder.
Now, to the next big question:
What is The Right Soil to Spread Caladium Seeds in?
The right soil for caladium seed spreading is moist, at least 8 inches deep, and has a pH of about 6 – 7.0.
The seeds need consistent watering to avoid drying up, at least not until germination begins.
Inadequate watering of the seeds will see them experience delayed growth.
Caladiums need full sun, that is, about six hours of sunlight each day, for germination to happen at the time it should.
The best time to prune down caladium plants is when they go dormant in spring. They should be cut at 2 feet or even less to avoid them dying back and spreading.
When pruning, care should be taken to avoid growing too deep into the soil. To avoid that, the plant should be cut close to the ground. Common garden tools like shears, pruning scissors, or shovels can help you when pruning.
Important Tips For Propagating Caladiums
Caladiums are quite hardy plants that require little attention and care; however, you must endeavor to have them well-established for them to enjoy a life of independence later on.
Below are a few tips you must adhere to when propagating them.
- Choose a very sunny site
- Deep soil is needed
- Plant in damp but not wet and soggy soil to avoid root rot
- After digging the soil, place cuttings in the middle of the hole and cover them with moist soil
- Water consistently to maintain the soil’s moist nature
How Long Does it Take for You to See Caladium Sprout from Bulbs?
If Caladiums are planted outdoors during the warm season, foliage may emerge in about three weeks, while it may take at least six weeks when planted indoors in early spring.
This duration may vary depending on the variety.
Like most tuberous roots, caladiums develop from a sole, fleshy, swollen root. They are known for their attractiveness and overall beauty they provide in your space.
This explains why they are mostly used in flower arrangements or even bouquets. Little wonder why many gardeners think of propagating it to keep enjoying its lush beauty for years. Propagation can be done by cutting the leaves off, you can also use cuttings or seeds.
However, if you must propagate, you must endeavor to do it right. Following the right techniques will see that these herbaceous perennial plants are well established to thrive and grow effectively without needing too much care and attention.