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'White Christmas'

CaladiumThese bulbs are unbeatable for color in the shady garden. Planted in groups, they definitely make a statement.

Their growing habit presents clumps of one to three feet.

All leaves are arrowhead-shaped, anywhere from two to twelve inches in length.

Christmas CaladiumThere are some new varieties that will thrive in the sun, but most like shade to partial shade.

The leaves typically are veined, speckled or banded with a contrasting color.

It is the best for color in the summer that does not require a lot of work. The plant performs best with moist soil, but must be drained. And, they like somewhat acidic soil.

They grow well in containers. Don't forget to water.

One can fertilize monthly, but cut back in the fall.


Bulbs generally are planted in the spring. Where they are left in through the year they can be divided in the spring.


When taking the bulb up for the season, dust with a fungicide. Store in a dry condition in peat moss or in vermiculite.

Caladium Festival

There is a wonderful Caladium Festival in Lake Placid, Florida (the Caladium Capital of the World) in August each year. The web site for the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce is www.lpfla.com and their phone number is 1-800-557-5224.


Emily: Are caladiums perennial?


Dear Emily: Are caladiums perennial or do they not come back each year--do you need to take them up in the fall?

A: Caladiums are bulbs. In zones 10 and higher they may winter over in the ground and return each summer season when the ground is well heated up. For lower zones (cooler zones) they need to be taken up for the winter, although it is borderline for zones 8 and sometimes 7. They should be dug stored in a dry cool place no lower than 50 degrees and then replanted in the early spring late fall.