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The Caladium Seems to Appear Everywhere

It seems that the colorful caladium has become this summer’s popular garden plant.

A local box store still offers dozens for sale in 5 inch pots.

There you will find about 200 potted plants of caladium, now selling for the reduced price of 3 for $10.

This tropical plant, according to garden historian Denise Wiles Adams’ wonderful book Restoring American Gardens, first appeared in 1773 in America as a desirable garden entry.

By the 1920s horticulturist Henry Nehrling was cultivating 1500 named varieties of the fancy-leaved caladium in Florida, according to Adams.

So it has been an important plant for American gardeners for a long time.

There is a renewed inrerest in this plant for today’s garden and containers.

Notice that the grower Proven Winners offers several varieties in its caladium series called ‘Heart to Heart’. [below]

Nineteenth-century Rochester, New York seed company owner James Vick wrote about caladiums.

His article appeared in the 1878 issue of his magazine Vick’s Illustrated Monthly.

He said “The Caladium or Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant, and requires a high temperature and a long season to pass through all its stages of growth.”

He was right. He told the gardener to be patient.

The caladium bulb takes a long time to break through the summer soil with that first leaf.

But once it comes you will enjoy the floral treat of those colorful leaves in reds, greens, and whites well into the Fall.

A plus for this plant that I love is that it can take a great deal of shade.

This Post Has 3 Comments

    1. Hello Victoria, yes there are many varieties of the caladium from which you can choose. Have fun doing so and enjoy this wonderful summer plant.

      1. Thank you, and I will! Will try my luck with over-wintering in the basement too! I’ve been lucky there!

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