How to Propagate Caladium
Caladium plants are unique and beautiful plants to add to shady locations in your landscape. Although caladium plants are not likely to bloom, what they lack in blossoms they more than make up for with their rich foliage. After several years of growing caladium plants in your landscapes, the underground tubers will expand with new growth. You can propagate caladium plants by digging up the tubers in the spring and carefully cutting them apart.
Dig up the caladium tubers in the spring as soon as the soil is warm enough to work. Extract the tubers from the soil and remove the excess soil so you can see all of the eyes (the growth nodes) on the tubers.
Cut apart the tubers into smaller pieces so that there are at least two eyes on each tuber section. The eyes are the sites from which new growth will originate.
Dig new holes for the divided caladium tubers. Space the small tubers 6 inches apart under 2 inches of soil. Try to place the tuber eyes facing upwards but this is not mandatory. The caladium tubers will sprout upwards regardless of how you plant them under the soil. Cover the tubers with soil.
Water generously immediately after dividing and transplanting. Keep the soil evenly moist for the first month while the newly planted caladium tubers establish in the soil.
Fertilize six weeks after the caladium plants begin to grow for the season. Mix the fertilizer with water according to package recommendations and pour the fertilizer onto the soil around the plants. Do not splash fertilizer onto the plant foliage.
Divide caladium plants in spring. Slide a garden fork into the soil at the base of the plant and lift the tuber clump out of the garden bed. Cut the tubers into 1- to 3 1/2-inch sections, using a knife. One-inch tubers will result in smaller plants. Each section must have at least one "eye" or growing point. Dust each tuber section with fungicide to prevent them from rotting in the ground. Use a horticulture fungicide as directed on the package label. Cover the tuber with soil and smooth down the area. Caladium plants need consistent moisture but will rot in wet, poorly drained soil.
Caladium plants need warm weather to germinate and grow.
- Caladium plants need warm weather to germinate and grow.
- Caladium tubers
- Utility knife
- Water-soluble fertilizer (6-6-6)