Come coltivare il caladio

Caladiums have large, arrow-shaped, paper-thin leaves that come in a striking array of colors and patterns. A mass of caladium is an explosion of whites, greens, reds, and pinks that are mottled, veined, and striped. They can easily give you the visual impact of flowers while only being foliage plants.
However, these plants have a few drawbacks. They are tuberous plants that grow foliage only from spring to autumn. They also require very high humidity, have absolutely no cold tolerance, and are toxic to animals and humans. Tuttavia, per quanto riguarda le piante di fogliame, queste solleveranno sicuramente alcune sopracciglia ammirate.
I caladium sono piante stagionali anche ai tropici, dove i giardinieri li piantano nei mesi primaverili ed estivi quando prospereranno nel caldo e nell’umidità. Se coltivate indoor, danno il meglio di sé con molto calore, luce intensa ma indiretta e molta umidità. Anche nelle migliori condizioni, il fogliame di caladium dura solo pochi mesi prima che le foglie inizino a morire e la pianta torni in letargo. Va bene, dovrebbero farlo.
Molti giardinieri usano masse di queste piante sorprendenti come accenti estivi e pezzi di conversazione. Quando le piante muoiono, puoi salvare i tuberi in un sacchetto e ripiantarli l’anno prossimo per un altro spettacolo.
I caladium sono coltivati ​​​​per il loro fogliame, ma hanno fiori, che iniziano sotto forma di spate o spighe. Taglia qualsiasi spata non appena appare per assicurarti che tutta l’energia della pianta venga utilizzata per le sue splendide foglie.
Plant caladium in a rich, well-drained potting mix, such as a damp mix of soil and peat. Garden soil should be similarly rich and well-drained. The ideal soil pH is slightly acidic, at 5.5 to 6.2.
When leaves appear on the plant, water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist. Never let the plant dry out. Stop watering the plant when the leaves start to die back. Resume watering when the leaves reappear next season.
Fertilize the plant weekly during the growing season with liquid fertilizer or use slow-release pellets.
The warmer, the better, for caladium houseplants. Aim for 70 degrees Fahrenheit, if possible, as that is the temperature at which tubers begin to grow. Keep the humidity as high as is practical. When planting outdoors, you can transplant potted tubers (or, better yet, simply transfer them in peat pots) after the last frost date for your area. Plants grown this way should be started indoors four to six weeks prior to transplanting.
All parts of the caladium plant are poisonous, both to people and animals. Use caution when you have caladiums around children or pets .
There are literally too many cultivars to keep track of—caladium cultivars are green, red, pink, white, even orange. In many cases, cultivars are sold without names. Almost all cultivars are descended from C. bicolor, which is native to South America. Some books list these plants as C. hortulanum. Choose your variety based on its appearance. They will make a showy border or a single plant.
A few noteworthy cultivars include:
Tubers of mature caladium can be divided. Make sure that each new tuber section has at least one growing site. Indoors or out, caladiums are a seasonal plant, with foliage in the summer and a rest period in the autumn or winter. Their rest period isn’t determined by temperature or light cycle, but by how long the plant has been growing. After the leaves begin to die back in the fall, either keep the tubers in the same pot (keeping it dry) or remove it, clean, and put it into sawdust or sand for storage. Store the tubers above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize the loss of healthy samples. Plant them out again when the next growing season begins.

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