How to plant caladium bulbs is a question that gardeners often ask – luckily it is a fairly easy thing to do! Let’s learn all about the ins and outs of planting, growing and propagating these lovely, easygoing little plants.
What You'll Learn Today
How To Plant Caladium Bulbs
These perennial little bulbs are really easy to plant, and can sometimes shoot up really soon, to reward you with delightful foliage.
- Start by soaking the bulbs in warm water for up to 24 hours – this gives them a good boost and makes them realize it is time to grow.
- Plant them up to 2 inches deep in the soil, with their pointed ends pointing upwards.
- They should still sprout if you get them the wrong way up, but be warned it may take longer for the plant to show any growth!
- Space the bulbs between 8-12 inches apart, to allow them to grow and spread.
- Position them in a spot where they will be warm, and will receive filtered sunlight – direct sun will scorch the leaves.
- Water the bulbs in well, then just keep an eye on the moisture levels – they will not like to sit in puddles for long.
- If you are planting out potted caladium, leave them outside for a few days to acclimatize before you plant them directly in the soil.
- Feed them twice during the growing season, using a slow release fertilizer that is specialized to caladium – you should be able to find something perfect in your local garden store.
Which Side Goes Up On A Caladium Bulb?
These little bulbs are quite helpful – they almost have directional arrows, telling you which way up they want to be planted!
They are slightly oval shaped, with a rounder fatter part and a taller, pointier section, so you know which end is which.
Place the bulb into the soil with the fat, round end facing down, and the pointy part facing up to the sky.
You will probably find that your bulbs take much longer to germinate – or do not germinate at all – if you plant them the other way up.
If you just aren’t sure which end is which, you can cover all your bases and plant the bulb on its side – this may not give the best results, but at least it should come up one way or another!
Here’s a good video showing you the best way to plant your caladium bulbs:
Should You Soak Caladium Bulbs Before Planting?
Some seeds and bulbs like a good soaking to encourage them to germinate – this makes them think that there has just been a good rainfall so now is a good time to sprout!
Caladium will benefit from being soaked for at least an hour before you plant them into the soil; this gives the plant a chance to get a good drink.
Use lukewarm or room temperature water, so as not to shock the bulbs into thinking it’s cold winter rain.
You can even leave the bulbs in water overnight; just make sure that you warm up the water on a regular basis so the bulbs don’t get chilled.
Soaking the bulbs like this is also a good way to get rid of any pathogens or bacteria on the bulb that may affect the growing plant when it sprouts.
You can also get a good look at the health of the bulb, as the water will wash off all the mud – remove any areas that are discoloured or rotting.
After soaking them, plant them pointy end up in some good, rich potting soil, and you should be rewarded with some shoots before too long!
How Long Does It Take Caladium To Grow From Bulbs?
The time it takes for your caladium to sprout will depend on the conditions you give it; if it is happy then it will sprout sooner.
Given the ideal conditions, caladium can come up in as little as two weeks – you will see the first shoots and know that you are keeping it in just the right way!
In a poorer setting, caladium can take up to twelve weeks to start showing signs of life, so if you don’t see anything within a month then don’t panic.
On average, you should see your plant waking up between four and eight weeks after you planted it.
Anything up to three months is still within a reasonable time to expect to see your caladium start to shoot up.
If, after three months or so you are not seeing any growth, it is a good idea to check all of your growing conditions and start over with fresh bulbs.
What Month Do You Plant Caladium Bulbs?
Caladium, if you are growing it indoors, can be planted at any time. If you are planting them in the garden then you will have to watch out for the weather!
Caldium don’t like to get cold, so if you are planting bulbs in the garden then ensure that you wait until well after the last frost.
Springtime is generally a good time to plant anything, as it is the start of the growing season and when most plants start to wake up and come to life.
If you intend to plant out your caladium in the garden, give them a head start by planting the bulbs in pots indoors, four to six weeks before the expected date of the last frost.
If you want to keep your caladium indoors, this is still a good time to plant them – the bulbs will do best when they are grown as close to their natural schedule as possible.
Caladium bulbs are relatively easy to grow, and they turn into the beautiful plant we know and love – what could be better motivation than that?
Hopefully you are now armed with a few tips to help you plant caladium bulbs, and grow the best plants you’ve ever grown!