Caladium: popular species with photos and care tips
Caladium is a beautiful, albeit moody plant. It will decorate the loggia, living room, turn the cottage into a paradise. The original foliage will transform any interior and make it much more comfortable.
You can carry out zoning using these colors, or you can choose the appropriate frame, turning the caladium into a bright accent.
Caladium is native to Brazil, belongs to the aroid family, in a natural, tropical environment reaches a height of 5 meters. This is a tuberous plant with large arrow-shaped leaves, for which it was called "elephant ears". There are more elegant names - "the heart of Jesus", "wings of an angel."
At home, it is an agricultural crop, starch is extracted from it.
Caladium leaves are very interesting. Color transitions from a shade to another, multicolor spots, fancy patterns and veins, and all this is painted in silver, raspberry, white, green, purple. The shape is reminiscent of elephant ears, but there are also more pointed ones.
Like most aroid ones, caladium in its natural form is not too decorative. Its flowers are inconspicuous, gathered in a boring cob, surrounded by a green and white blanket. Such a cocoon blooms for only one day, and then round berries of a fiery color ripen in its place. True, at home, flowering and fruiting does not always occur.
Crossbred and hybrid varieties are sold in modern flower shops. They are much more interesting and decorative. Mistresses prefer to keep the caladium on the loggia or glazed veranda.
However, despite all the merits of breeders, the plant has not won the special favor of gardeners.
The reason is the prolonged inactivity of the flower: from the first autumn days, the caladium starts to lose leaves and goes to rest until mid-February.
Important! Caution should be exercised for those who suffer from allergies, since the juice of this plant is a very strong natural allergen, which is also poisonous. For the same reason, it should not be placed in the kitchen or in the nursery.
How to choose and buy Caladium
You can buy caladium in tubers, or you can - immediately in pots in almost any flower shop or order online. You need to choose a plant, focusing on the tubers: size matters. It is better to make a purchase in early spring, when this flower begins a period of growth.
If you bought a sprouted plant, then it will need to be transplanted. In the store it is better to get recommendations for the care of a particular variety: there are many varieties and they have different requirements.
When making a purchase, make sure that the flower is healthy. It should not be rot, stains, plaque. The soil should be slightly moistened. Wetland specimens should also not be taken - most likely, rot has already hit the roots.
The same goes for tubers. They must be clean, free from stains, mold and growths.
According to Feng Shui teachings, Caladium is very useful to keep single in the house, especially women, since aroid ones help attract a soul mate.
In total, there are 15 caladium species. The most common ones are
Humboldt and Schomburg. It was these two species that produced many varieties that were later bred by breeders.
Humboldt is a stemless plant with a rosette of sagittal foliage 10 by 5 cm. A dark green leaf blade with silver spots in the middle - this is its classic appearance.
Schomburg is painted in a silver-red color scheme with greenish veins, the socket reaches 15 by 12 cm.
Very beautiful, albeit rather capricious plant.
Leaves are narrow, arrow-shaped. A bright red blot spreads from the central part of the sheet to the edges, contrasting sharply against a green background, hence the name is two-color (Caladium bicolor).
The plate is 30 cm long. This tropicana is very demanding, and in temperate climates it is a lot of trouble.
It has larger sizes. Cuttings reach a meter and a half, and the leaf in diameter reaches 80 cm. The center of the leaf is painted in a cream shade, the edges are deep green.
The photo and description of this plant are fully consistent with the name, which alludes to the color of the leaves: from the inside they are red or purple.
An interesting combination: an almost white sheet, covered with red veins with a green mesh ceiling. He gained great popularity and fell in love with many gardeners, including for their unpretentiousness.
Although Caladium is most of the time at rest, caring for it is needed all year round. Non-observance of cultivation rules leads to growth retardation, the development of fungal microflora, and the plant dies.
After all the foliage has circled, the tubers are taken out of the ground.. They are carefully inspected for rot, damage, and dead secondary roots are removed.
Slices are covered with activated carbon as an antiseptic. Dry tubers are placed in dry moss and hidden in a dark place at room temperature without drafts.
A warm and humid environment is a basic requirement of tropical plants. It is necessary to recreate for them the conditions corresponding to their natural habitat: 40% moisture and +25 ° C.
Plants love light, but not direct, but diffused. The shadow also suffers well, but the foliage will be less bright. Northeast or northwest is ideal: if the windows face these directions, the plants will receive a maximum of diffused light. During sleep, they need to be removed in a dark place.
A resident of the tropics does not tolerate cold. 25 ... 28 ° C are optimal for him. Too hot indicator - more than 30 ° С - leads to the fact that the plant withers, and at 20 ° С and below the caladium starts to wither and hurt.
Watering, fertilizing the soil
Caladium is watered in the spring, at the first sign of growth. But even during sleep, you need to ensure that the earthen lump does not dry out. You can install an ionizer nearby and make sure that the humidity is at least 60%. Then you don’t have to water, because there will be enough moisture in the air.
Watering should always be under the root and only after the first layer of soil has dried. You can not fill the plant. Water temperature for irrigation - 20 ° С.
Caladium needs minerals for growth and development.
You can choose a special fertilizer with vitamins. The best composition would be: 50% nitrogen, the remaining 50% should be potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc. They feed 2 times a week from the moment of awakening, instead of watering under the spine.
Important! When watering the foliage, it is better not to wet it so as not to provoke rot.
Caladium propagates in two ways: tubers and seeds.. Tubers are planted in spring, separating the daughter from the mother. Two-year-old tubers let out children who can give independent sprouts. They are separated with a very sharp knife. Slices are dusted with ash and planted in different containers.
It can be propagated by seeds: caladium is a self-pollinated plant, and getting seeds in an apartment with good care will not cause difficulties.
During flowering, you need to collect pollen with a cotton bud and transfer it from the upper leaves to the lower ones. In a month, the fruits will be tied. When the berries are completely softened, it will be possible to collect seeds.
Planting in a pot
As soon as the plants grow, they are planted in different dishes.
By the fall of the tubers will be formed and go to winter rest. In the spring will be quite mature plants.
All landing manipulations must be carried out with rubber gloves.because the plant is poisonous.
Landing on the street
In summer, caladium can be planted in open ground, but next to a branching tree, to protect the plant from the scorching sun and wind.
The soil must always be moist. Like at home, fertilizing is mandatory on the street. By autumn, the tubers are dug up and harvested.
Sow the seeds immediately after harvesting.. Germination soil is mixed from sand and turf land 1: 4. Seeds are planted 1 cm, powder on top with sand. From one seed to another should be 10 cm.
Glass is placed on top of the greenhouse effect. Air every day for half an hour, removing the glass. Moisturize by spraying. The first shoots will be in 20 days.
Diseases and Pests
Like any other plant, caladium is susceptible to disease, so it is important to possess the necessary information:
- Most often phytophthora. This unpleasant fungus loves a warm and humid environment, so it is not surprising that he chose caladium. Disputes in heat and moisture spread quickly, so even at the first sign you need to remove the affected sheets and arrange an emergency transplant, completely replacing the soil. Be sure to carry out treatment with vitriol three times, every 10 days.
- No less dangerous is bacterial rot.. It arises from swamping. Plants are transplanted, rot is removed, treated with dry “Fundazole”.
- Aphids, mealybugs and spider mites are the most frequent “guests”. To combat them, insecticides are needed. Insects are collected and treated with Aktara: 20 g per 10 liters of water.
Possible problems with growing caladium
Very often, when growing caladium, there are various difficulties.
Here are the most common and tips for solving them:
- Mold. Perhaps the reason is excess moisture or drafts. It is necessary to change the watering regime and remove the plant from the blown place.
- Twisted leaves. The culprit is poor watering or too high a temperature. Change the watering to a more intense one and spray the plant with water.
- The leaves turned brown. The plant freezes, you need to remove it in the heat.
- The leaves are very pale. Lack of light.
- The plant is deformed. The reason is in aphids. An urgent need to be treated with insecticides.
- The tuber rots. Rot is formed from frequent watering and low temperature.
- Leaves dry, turn yellow. This is normal in autumn, the flower is preparing for bed. But in the active season, this is evidence of a poor drainage system.
- The edges of the leaves are dry. Excess sun, very frequent top dressing or excessive watering.
- The plant almost does not grow, the leaves are small. Lack of vitamins, light, poor watering, poor soil. It is necessary to introduce complex fertilizers, fix the irrigation system, change the soil.
Caladium and Homeopathy
In homeopathy, caladium is used for disorders of a sexual nature, chronic headaches, mental disorders and diseases of the stomach. The plant is very poisonous, and therefore only the homeopath determines the dosage.