Caladiums are one of the easiest, if not THE easiest, summer plants to grow! Their colorful foliage will brighten any shade garden from summer all the way to fall. Caladiums are indigenous to Brazil and neighboring areas of South and Central America where they grow in open areas of forests and along river banks. These tender tubers are commercially cultivated in the sub tropics of Florida and Brazil. Caladiums love and require warmth. There are two main types of caladiums - fancy leaf and strap leaf. Fancy leaf varieties sport large, heart-shaped or semi-heart-shaped leaves on longer stems. Strap leaf caladiums are shorter and have lance-shaped, narrow leaves with ruffled edges. Even though caladiums are grown for their colorful foliage, they will produce one or two arum-like white flower pods with green or pink spathes.
About this Variety
Caladium Carolyn Whorton has been a staple in many gardens since it works well in shade to partial shade and is fairly sun tolerant. Carolyn Whorton is recommended for planters, pots and baskets.
- Perfect for pots and planters
- Colorful foliage for the shade garden
- Easy to grow and very versatile
- Adds a tropical flair to the summer garden
- Grows well in shaded garden beds and borders
Partial shade to full shade
Summer to Fall foliage
Grows 18-24" tall
Plant 4-6" apart; 2-3" deep
Grow as Perennial in zones 10-11. Grow as Annual elsewhere.
Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Caladiums thrive in a partial to full shade locations where they are sheltered from the wind. The ideal soil is rich and porous and drains well, yet still holds enough water for the roots. If your soil is heavy clay and drains slowly, or very sandy and does not hold water, add organic soil amendments like peat moss or ground bark. Spread a 3-4 inch layer of soil amendment if needed and incorporate into the soil to a depth of 10 inches. Plant tubers 2-3" deep and 4-6" apart. Cover with soil. When planting a large number of caladiums in one bed, excavate the entire area to the recommended depth, work fertilizer into the bottom of the trench, set out tubers and then cover all at once. Water thoroughly at planting. While actively growing, water frequently and thoroughly so that water will reach roots. Mulch to keep the soil cool and to prevent the soil from drying out. Apply fertilizer before and after growing. After frost has damaged the foliage, dig up tubers, dry, clean off foliage and store tubers in peat moss, dry sand or vermiculite at 60-65ºF during the winter. Replant in spring after all danger of frost has passed.
To encourage leaf production, remove small flower stems as they are produced. Caladiums are excellent for growing in pots and containers to add texture and color to summer shade gardens. Plant caladiums along with ferns, astilbe, bleeding heart, begonias or other shade loving plants with similar or contrasting colors for an amazing show.