Caladiums are tropical foliage plants grown from tubers. Their leaves provide a bright splash of color in shade gardens. Caladiums will grow in moist, shady spots where most other plants will not survive.
Choose a site for caladiums that is in partial shade or filtered sunlight, like the type of sunlight beneath a large shade tree. The soil should be rich and well-drained. Caladiums grow best in moist soil, as long as it is not prone to standing water after a rain.
Improve the soil. Add 2 to 4 inches each of peat moss, compost and well-rotted manure to the surface of the soil. Turn over the soil with a spade to incorporate the amendments. Rake the planting bed smooth.
Plant caladiums in late spring after all danger of frost has past, about the time you plant tomatoes and peppers. Dig individual holes approximately 3 inches deep and 8 to 12 inches apart. Place 1 tbsp. of bone meal into the bottom of the planting hole and mix it in with a garden claw. Set the tubers into the holes with the growing eyes facing you. Back fill the hole and firm the soil over the top of the tuber.
Water individual planting holes thoroughly with a watering can to settle the tubers into the ground. Thereafter, provide caladiums with the equivalent of 1 to 2 inches of rainfall per week.
Mulch the soil in the planting bed with at least 4 inches of an organic mulch, such as hay, shredded bark, wood chips or buckwheat hulls.
Cut off faded foliage in autumn when it dies down. Dig up tubers and store in a frost free location over winter at temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the tubers in damp peat moss in plastic bags with holes poked into them.