Caladium tuber cultivation instructions

Caladium tuber cultivation instructions

Do you finally have your precious Caladium tuber in your hands?

And now what do we do with it?

When do I plant it?

The first thing to do is to be patient, we start planting ideally from the end of winter, beginning of spring, the better it is, the faster it will grow, the best of the best? germinate it between April and August…

Little tip if you are not too impatient, the later you start planting the tubers in the summer, the more persistent they will be in winter.

The caladium needs light and heat to be able to grow peacefully... The more it has, the faster it grows!

So if your apartment is not very bright and there is little heat, wait until the days get longer and the light is a little more present.

If you are really impatient or want to grow them out of season, don't panic, several tips can help you, horticultural lamps, heating mats and small greenhouses can help you...

If you store your tuber before planting it, take care that it is stored away from light, in a ventilated, dry place and never below 15 degrees, if these conditions are not respected, your tuber risks not to survive.

The tuber

Once the favorable conditions are met, it is very important to ensure that your tuber is in good health, this is the first guarantee of a good crop!

If you ever feel a soft part on the tuber, do not hesitate to cut it, then let the healthy part heal for a few days with a little cinnamon powder, which is an excellent natural anti-bacterial. You can culture it once the scar is completely dry. If your tuber is healthy, you can first soak it for a few hours in a glass of water to rehydrate it before germinating it.

The choice of container

The choice of container is very important. You will not need a container that is too deep to germinate your caladium, adapt the size of the container to the size of the tuber.

A plastic pot will be perfectly suitable for germination, it will allow you to maintain a slight humidity which your caladium will need, it is imperative that this pot is pierced at the bottom to ensure good drainage and not to rot your tuber. A little advice, if you want to be able to observe the evolution of the roots of your caladium, you can turn to transparent plastic pots, very practical to indicate that it is time to repot them or quite simply to admire the root system !

The substrate

During our tests, we tried several types of substrates to germinate caladiums, we obtained the best results with:

  • Sphagnum moss alone, which allows the tuber to leave quickly and which easily leaves us to take care of slightly lifting the sphagnum moss to be able to control the progress of germination. Be careful, however, not to be too heavy-handed when watering;
  • compressed coconut fiber, which is very light and allows good air circulation, is also a good start for plants.
  • A mix of 2/3 horticultural soil + 1/3 heather soil + a nice handful of perlite.

The direction of tuber growth and planting

Once the choice of substrate has been made, examined your tuber, you will see that it has one or more small "eyes", it is this part that we will install upwards, the other side of the tuber being slightly flatter , It is not always easy to recognize the direction in which your tuber was planted, but don't panic even if you made the wrong direction during the germination stage, all you have to do is turn it over and its growth will resume normally.

Never plant your tuber too deeply, it should be covered with a thin layer and protrude slightly from the substrate.

Maintenance during germination.

It is imperative during the germination of the tuber, that your pot benefits from a warm place, the heated germination mats are really favorable to this type of culture, allowing your substrate to dry slightly and thus avoid excess water and rot. of the tuber which can be fatal. Don't have a heating mat? It doesn't matter, wait until the days have warmed up considerably and put the pots as close as possible to the window.

Install your pot in a bright location and always check your substrate, watering it only when it begins to dry out.

Light, heat and humidity are the three secrets of good germination. Once these elements are assembled, you will see, it is child's play.

Using a small plastic greenhouse is extremely practical for maintaining heat and humidity during germination. There is a more artisanal method, which consists of attaching a freezer bag around the pot, this is also very effective. Remember to ventilate the inside of the bell from time to time to prevent humidity from concentrating too much on the walls.

After that ?

After a little patience, after a few weeks, you should see a small point emerging from the substrate! At this point, this means that you have successfully completed all the steps mentioned above!

Once the first leaves have unfolded, you can repot your plant in a larger pot and give it a more suitable, well-drained substrate.

We also have the option of leaving the caladiums in sphagnum moss. However, be sure to offer your plant a larger pot and to anticipate the very rapid drying of the sphagnum moss in mid-summer and to add fertilizer to the watering water in order to enrich the sphagnum moss throughout the beautiful season.

For repotting the Caladium will need a well-drained substrate. We keep in mind that caladium appreciates a light soil that remains fresh. We absolutely avoid potting soils that are too heavy, which become too heavily saturated with water. At the risk of the roots no longer being able to breathe, which leads to rapid rotting of the tuber.

A mixture of half special indoor plant potting soil, half peat and a good handful of perlite will suit it perfectly.

We adapt the size of the pot to that of the tuber and generally plant it in a terracotta pot with a base of clay balls.

It is entirely possible when repotting to combine several tubers in the same container. You just need to make sure that each of the bulbs has enough space to spread its roots.


Due to its tropical origin, the caladium loves heat and humidity, so it is very important to offer it a bright location, avoiding too direct sun which could burn its foliage.

The more light, the larger the leaves, the brighter the colors and the more compact the shape!

As Caladium requires high humidity, take care that the air is not too dry, spray the foliage regularly with non-calcareous water so as not to damage the leaves or install an air humidifier nearby.


Caladium is a water-intensive tropical plant! Above all, you should not wait until the root ball is completely dried out to water again, but keep the root ball slightly moist, but never soggy.

The rate of watering will be dictated by the stage of germination, the substrate chosen, the season, the amount of sunshine, etc.

We always keep in mind that the hotter and drier it is, the closer the watering should be and we will slow down the pace with the arrival of autumn so as not to drown your tubers which are preparing for wintering.

If you install cups under your pots, be very careful to never leave stagnant water.


During the vegetative period, you can add special liquid fertilizer for indoor plants to your watering water, diluted in the watering water.

Be careful, do not let the fertilizer come into contact with the leaf to avoid possible burns, and be sure to respect the dosage indicated in your instructions, excess fertilizer could be fatal for your plant.