Contents of the article:
Deciduous plants most often come from subtropical or tropical regions of the world. Caladium is a rather sparse, but extremely bright genus from the tropical regions of the Americas, including 15 distinct species.
At home, perennial herbaceous plants live under the canopy of a forest, where thick dense curtains form in comfortable conditions. A characteristic feature of the culture is the large, pointed heart-shaped leaves, because of the shape, size and extraordinary coloring of which the Caladiums, in the photo, are compared with elephant ears or angel wings. And such comparisons are well founded.
Even in wild varieties, leaf plates can be as long as 30–45 cm, and the rainbow or the artist’s palette may envy the variety of shades on the leaves of the Caladium.
The plant does not have a regular stem. Leaves appear above the ground on long, upright petioles and, gradually expanding, form thick rosettes with a diameter of half a meter.
At the base of the root system of the caladium is a rounded-flattened tuber with a diameter of about 7–10 cm. In the apex of the tuber the bud of the future shrub is clearly visible, and at a distance from it are single dormant buds. After planting, the tuber forms a fibrous root system, which, after the end of the growing season at home, dies off, and the plant retires.
The fact that inexperienced flower growers are mistaken for a flower of caladium is an inflorescence. His appearance can be expected after the disclosure of the third or fourth sheet. The inflorescence looks like a fairly large dense spike consisting of male and female flowers and wrapped in a pointed blanket.
In some of the varieties of the caladium, as in the photo, it is painted in the same tone as the bright leaves. But there are varieties with white or greenish bracts. Flowering lasts no more than a few days, and a month after pollination on the former cob matured rounded reddish-orange berries.
Several species of this tropical plant have found use in culture. One of them is Caladium esculentum, whose starchy tubers are edible and used as food in a number of countries in South America, .
But for the whole world, not edible, but decorative, as in colorful photos of Caladiums, became famous. The wild plants of the Caladium bicolor, Caladium marmoratum, Caladium picturatum and other varieties became materials for breeders who subsequently received hybrids used today in garden and indoor floriculture.
Home care for the caladium
The preferences in the initial conditions of growth, that is, in the tropics, affect the care of the caladium.
As with all variegated plants, caladiums need a lot of light. And the brighter the paint on the leaves, the more sun culture requires. Here are just direct rays are detrimental to those accustomed to life under the canopy of plants. Best location:
- east or west windows;
- open terraces or loggias protecting foliage from a scorching body;
- pristvolny circles of trees, if the culture is carried out in the summer in the open air.
for your home If you choose southern windows for the Qaladium flower pots, shading is required. On the north side, foliage coloring will inevitably suffer, so in this case you will have to take care of the backlight.
During the entire growing season, as well as during storage of tubers during their hibernation, the caladium will be comfortable at ordinary room temperatures.
Remembering the tropical origin of the plant, you need to know that the success of caring for the Caladium, as in the photo, at home depends largely on the humidity of the air. In summer, the culture develops beautifully in the open air, on the balcony or loggia. Together with a pot, plants are planted in a garden or on flowerbeds.
But when the house is excessively dry, for example, when the heating devices are turned on, procedures to change the situation must be included in the care of the caladium.
It is not worth spraying the foliage because of possible stains on the leaf plates and discoloration, but spraying moisture over the bush will give good results.
From spring, when the first sprouts appear above the ground, and before the rest period, the caladium is shown generously watered in the photo. Signal to watering is drying the soil surface. If the plant does not receive water in time, the leaves will wilt and lose their attractiveness. But the extra water in the substrate is not needed. It can cause rotting of roots and tubers. And then there is the risk of losing the green pet.
Landing is carried out in loose nutrient soil, which can be done by mixing in equal parts:
- garden land;
You can add a little sand, crushed coal and sphagnum to the resulting substrate. Before planting the tubers, the soil is sterilized and then laid out in pots on top of a strong drainage layer.
Cadladium containers, as in the photo, are selected based on the size of the tubers. For the smallest specimens, take pots with a diameter of 9–12 cm.
Adult tubers need to be planted in a container with a diameter of at least 20 cm, since large leaves grow well and require a lot of soil and feeding space.
Taking care of caladium during dormancy
When taking care of caladium at home, you need to take into account that these plants have a mandatory period of rest, which in the middle lane falls in autumn and winter.
By September, in order to prepare the tubers for hibernation, gradually reduce the intensity of irrigation. After that, the wilting and falling off of the foliage begins, meaning that moisture is no longer needed at all.
Cadmium dried up tubers in autumn:
- removed from the ground;
- gently scrape off substrate residue and dried roots.
- is examined for damage, rot, or signs of disease.
All damaged tissues are removed, and the cut sections are treated with fungicide and sprinkled with powdered activated carbon after drying.
Tubers overwinter in dry moss or vermiculite at room temperature until a growth bud becomes visible at the top in January or February, ready to give life to a new rosette of leaves.