Tropical plants which are grown for the sake of their large, ornamental leaves; they are natives of South America and belong to the Arum family, Araceae. The leaves, which develop annually from tubers, are heart-shaped and richly colored and vary from 6 in. to 2 ft. in length; the flowers are interesting but of minor importance. The origin of the name is obscure. For Caladium esculentum see Colocasia.
Throughout their growing season, Caladiums need a warm, moist atmosphere. The minimum indoor temperature should be 75 degrees during the summer and 55 degrees during the winter. The tubers are started into growth February—March. They are shaken free from the old soil, set in a flat of leaf mold or peat moss and covered with similar material. As soon as roots are forming freely the tubers are taken out of the box and potted separately in 4-in. pots. After potting they are kept in a warm, moist atmosphere, shaded from hot sunshine, syringed and carefully watered until the roots reach the sides of the pots; then they are repotted in 5 or 6-in. pots, according to their size and vigor.
The best potting compost consists of loam, two parts, and equal parts of peat, leaf mold and dried cow manure. The remainder of the summer treatment consists in keeping the greenhouse moist by moistening the floor and benches frequently and by syringing the leaves of the plants in the morning and afternoon. When the pots have become filled with roots, liquid fertilizer may be applied with advantage twice a week. If the leaves become overcrowded a few of the weak or poorly colored ones may be removed. They are good window garden plants.
Towards the end of the summer when the leaves begin to fade, water is gradually withheld; finally the leaves dieRead more on backyardgardener.com