Caladiums are spectacular, colorful South American natives, suitable for full shade, but they also perform very satisfactorily with a constant, tiny bit of drip irrigation in our full-sun garden.
We've also found that the leaves work remarkably well as filler material in flower arrangements and make a right proper 'cut and come again' plant!
The only finicky thing about them is they HATE being planted in cool soil. So, you need to start them indoors in little pots, giving them bottom heat from a heating pad, heat tape, heat mat, etc. in late winter or early in the spring. Once the ground warms up to ~60-70 degrees F at 6" deep, it's a good time to move them outdoors. Caladiums work beautifully in warm summer areas in all regions of the country.
Caladiums give lasting color all summer, everywhere, and they are less expensive than an annual! Plant one bulb/plant per square foot. They are winter hardy in zones 10-11. In colder areas, dig the bulbs and store in a cool dry frost-free area over winter.
Tip: It will kill you to do it, but when the first sprout emerges, break it off! It will encourage your plant to give you many more leaves than it would if you let it grow on its own!
'Brent and Becky's Bulbs - 7900 Daffodil Lane - Gloucester, VA 23061
Toll-free ordering 877-661-2852 - Phone (804) 693-3966 - Fax (804) 693-9436
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
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