How to Start Caladium Bulbs


The easygoing caladium is a large-leafed tropical plant that is ideal for adding a splash of color to a shaded area. And caladium borders and gardens are easy to start under trees or near houses. The plant grows from a bulb that is easy to plant in a variety of soil types. If the soil is virgin, consider conducting a soil test before you plant. The results of this inexpensive test will let you know if you need to add any nutrients to the soil to support healthy, happy caladiums.

Step 1

Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 inches, using a hand tiller or rototiller. Remove any rocks, weeds, roots or other debris and break up any large clumps of soil. If your soil test recommends any amendments, spread them over the soil at this point. Till the soil again, to a depth of 6 inches.

Step 2

Dig holes for your caladium bulbs, using a trowel. Each hole should be slightly wider than your caladium bulb and deep enough to allow 2 inches of soil to cover the top of the bulb when it lies in the bottom of the hole. Space neighboring holes 6 to 8 inches apart (10 to 12 inches apart for giant bulbs like elephant ears).

Step 3

Plant each caladium bulb in its hole with its eyes (they look similar to the eyes on a potato) facing upward. Use your hand to gently fim the soil down around them.

Step 4

Moisten the soil to the depth of the bulbs. Continue to keep the soil moist until the caladium bulbs produce new growth in a few weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand tiller or rototiller
  • Trowel


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Keywords: start caladium, caladium bulbs, plant caladium

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.