Caladiums include flowering and leafy plants of over 1,000 species. Caladiums are warm weather plants, but they survive the winter if stored indoors or as houseplants.
Caladiums do not suffer many problems, but the plants are vulnerable when it comes to water. They struggle with too little water and disease problems occur when they are overwatered.
Why are my caladium’s leaves falling off?
1. Lack of moisture
Although wax caladiums are more drought tolerant than other varieties, all caladiums need moist – but not wet – well-drained soil. If planted in a clay container, your plant may lose moisture too quickly. Clay pots wick moisture away from the soil.
Do not water on a strict schedule, but according to the feel of the soil. We recommend watering your plants evenly, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Reduce the amount of water supplied in winter. Use less fertilizer. Caladiums only need to be fed with every other watering. Use a balanced, half-strength fertilizer applied sparingly.
2. Too much moisture
Angel wing caladiums, a type of cane stem caladium, do not tolerate hot, dry conditions. However, these caladiums develop downy mildew disease when overwatered.
Infection results in leaf spots and subsequent drying of the foliage. We suggest treating this condition by improving air circulation around your plants and removing damaged leaves. Do not spray the foliage of caladiums.
Although variegated foliage caladiums need more light, keep caladiums, such as caladium rex, out of direct sunlight. While foliage caladiums generally do best in moist conditions, rex caladiums require 50 percent or more humidity, or your plants may develop leaves with brown edges and a crisp texture, according to the University of Illinois Extension.
This humidity level can be difficult to achieve indoors in winter, when the air dries out. Trays filled with water around your plants increase humidity, but don’t place plant pots in water.
Allow some caladiums to dry for winter storage, including tuberous caladiums. As fall approaches, begin reducing the amount and frequency of water until the leaves dry out and the stems dry out.
Overwinter the tubers in dry peat or vermiculite at a temperature of about 7 to 13 degrees C. Take them out in spring, gradually increase the water you give them and expose them to indirect light.
We recommend that you place your caladium on a saucer filled with clay balls. Choose a saucer larger than your pot. This technique has two advantages:
- It limits the risks of rotting of the roots by raising your pot and by isolating it from the surplus of watering
- It increases the humidity level all around your plant, which tropical plants love. Indeed, the clay balls located in the saucer will absorb the surplus of watering and will restore them slowly by evaporation all around your plant, thus increasing the rate of humidity. This prevents and limits the drying of the leaves of certain tropical plants.
Which exposure is the most adapted for a caladium?
Even if caladium can perfectly adapt to a moderate light, the best is to give it a bright exposure without direct sun. I tested both options and found that my caladium grew much better in very bright conditions.
Its ideal location? Near a window or a bay window, in front of a light curtain.
Which type of pot to choose for a caladium ?
The caladium, like the other caladiums, likes to be cramped. It is therefore better to avoid placing it in a pot which is too big. Its growth will be even more spectacular!
Concerning the type of container to choose (terracotta or plastic), mine is growing in a plastic pot, and it is doing fine! I find that bamboo caladiums are rather greedy for water, especially in summer. That’s why I find the plastic pot more adapted to its needs. However, do not hesitate to choose your pot according to your preferences and your watering habits.
When to water your caladium so the leaves won’t droop ?
Water your caladium as soon as the soil is dry on the surface. One to two waterings per week in summer are generally enough to bring him the necessary needs in water. In winter, space out the watering and make sure never to leave stagnant water in the saucer.
During its growth period (April to September), it will appreciate receiving fertilizer for flowering plants.
How to cut the caladium ?
The caladium has the advantage of being cutted very easily. If you want to try it, take a non flowering stem just after a node or a bud. Remove the lower leaves and place it in a glass of water. After about 2 weeks, you will see the first roots appear. It is time to repot your cutting in a good potting soil for flowering plants.
When and how to repot your caladium?
The roots of the caladium like to be cramped. A repotting every 3 years is thus largely sufficient. Make sure to always place a good layer of draining agent at the bottom of the pot (clay balls) and to use a special soil for flowering plants. Be careful not to leave any stagnant water in the saucers or in your pot holders. This could cause your plant’s roots to rot and die.
How to prune and care for your caladium?
Tutoring your caladium will probably be necessary to prevent its fragile stems from breaking. Regularly remove its faded flowers to stimulate the appearance of new ones and prune it regularly if you want to maintain a compact habit.