A strong, vigorous plant should be healthy and bushy rather than twiglike and leggy, right? So how to make caladium bushy?
Well, I’m glad you asked! Following is a list of all our bright ideas and tips to help make your lovely caladium and bright eyed and bushy tailed as it can be!
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How To Make Caladium Bushy
All plants look their best when they are covered with healthy leaves and foliage, and plants that are celebrated for their foliage – like caladium – are no exception!
So how do you make your caladium bushy, healthy, with strong vigorous growth and healthy, happy leaves? Read on for our favorite tips:
- Ensure that they are not getting too much water. No plants like to get their roots too soggy, so ensure that they are not getting too wet.
- …But, don’t allow them to get thirsty! These lovely plants need to get a regular drink, and underwatered plants can get pretty leggy.
- Allow them to get warm. These plants like tropical conditions, with warmth and humidity, so make sure they are kept toasty.
- Avoid direct sunlight. Although caladium like to be warm, they cannot cope with too much direct sunlight, which will scorch their leaves.
- Remove the flowers. Flowers take a lot of energy for a plant to produce, so taking off the flowers before they develop will help the leaves.
- Prune off damaged or discolored leaves. These will be sapping the plants’ strength, so you should remove these so your caladium can focus on its healthy leaves.
- Fertilize with a soluble liquid fertilizer every few weeks during the height of the growing season, to give your plant the boost it needs.
- Ensure the soil is right. These plants need well draining soil, to prevent their roots from rotting in standing water, and they like soil that is on the acidic side.
This great video will give you some hints and tips on making your caladium nice and bushy:
Why Is My Caladium Leggy?
There are many reasons why your caladium may not be as bushy and big as you want it to be- but never fear, these things can be fixed! Here’re some common issues:
- Too little light. Although caladium like to be kept shaded, they do still need light. Not enough sunlight can cause the plant to stretch up looking for it, making a leggy appearance.
- Not enough water. They won’t like to be over watered, but not enough to drink will cause the leaves to wither and will prevent these plants from looking their best.
- Too much water. No plant likes its roots to sit in a puddle, and caladium is no exception! Only water when the top of the soil is dry, for the best results – you may need to water more regularly in prolonged hot periods.
- Not enough nutrients. In order to grow those beautiful leaves, caladium needs a boost of nutrients every now and then. Give them a slow release fertilizer once in a while to satisfy their hunger.
- Too cold. These plants like a tropical, humid climate, and if they are not warm enough they will not thrive.
- The wrong type of soil. Caladium needs well draining, rich soil in order to thrive, so ensure that they are growing in their favorite medium.
- Flowering stems. Caladium does not always flower, but if you see an extra long, leggy stem that is turning into a bloom, snip it off so the plant can concentrate on its foliage.
How Do You Prune A Leggy Caladium?
Generally, caladium won’t need pruning to much – after all, you’re growing it for those impressive leaves, right?
If it gets too tall and spindly, however, your caladium will benefit from a little gentle pruning, to allow the plants to concentrate on getting bushy.
- You can harvest the leaves for household arrangements any time you like, safe in the knowledge that a little trim will encourage more leaf growth.
- Snip the stems right at the base, down as far as the soil line. This will ensure that the plant is not damaged, and will encourage it to sprout new growth.
- Remove any dead, brown or dying leaves as you see them, to allow the plant to put its energy into new, vibrant leaves.
- Cut away the large, central bud. This, although it may seem counter intuitive, will encourage the side shoots which helps make the plant look bushier.
- Trim away all the foliage before you lift the bulbs for winter, so the bulb can concentrate on its dormancy without wasting energy on leaves.
This article will give you a lot of information about caladium, including how to prune the central bud for the best results.
What Fertilizer Is Good For Caladiums?
Although they are not particularly heavy feeders, caladium will love a little addition of nutrients, especially just before the main growing season.
The best types ore those that are low in Phosphorous, as this is the nutrient that this little plant needs the least of.
Look for an NPK 10-5-10, or 20-10-10. These types will give your caladium the best support to help it grow healthy and strong!
It is recommended that you feed your caladium twice in the growing season – once in spring and once in the height of summer.
You can choose a slow release liquid fertilizer, or a water soluble one, to allow your plant to take the nutrients it needs, when it needs them.
Caladiums also need their soil to be on the acidic side – a pH of between 6 and 6.5 is ideal for the optimum nutrient intake.
So there you have it – some great ideas on how to make your caladium bushier, healthier and altogether more beautiful!
These tips may work on other plants too, but remember that these ideas are specific to the needs of caladium, so it’s best to stick to one plant at a time!