Caladiums are a stunning tropical foliage plant with large, heart-shaped leaves in a vibrant assortment of colors. Some are speckled, some are striped, and others have an airbrushed, ombré effect, usually in some combination of green, red, pink, or white. They love heat, so they’re perfectly suited to our warm Florida weather and can be grown as outdoor perennials!
Living Color has plenty of different Caladium plants for sale, so if you’d like to plant Caladium outdoors in Fort Lauderdale, you’re in luck! Here are four of our favorite varieties for Florida gardeners.
2 Dwarf Caladium Varieties For the Outdoors
Looking for something moderately-sized for your smaller landscape? These dwarf varieties should fit the bill.
Florida Sweetheart: The eye-catching leaves of this colorful cultivar look like juicy slices of watermelon: neon rose pink with a skinny green trim. It has a more mounded growing habit, so it’s excellent as a filler plant for container arrangements. If you’ve got a darker, shady corner of your garden, this shade-tolerant plant will certainly brighten things up!
Red Ruffles: This cultivar has a similar appearance to the Florida Sweetheart, but instead of a pink center, it features a rich, candy-apple red. Use it in hanging baskets, as a border plant, or for mass planting in the garden. Red Ruffles prefers full sun or part shade, but isn’t quite as shade-tolerant as its pink cousin.
2 Classic Caladiums For Outdoors
If you really want to make a bold statement with your landscape design, these jumbo Caladium bulbs will bring colossal color and visual impact to your outdoor areas.
Red Flash: The red centers of this variety’s leaves have a mesmerizing starburst shape, with bright streaks spreading out across an emerald green border and splashes of little pink speckles. Red Flash can grow up to three feet tall and two feet wide, so you’ll want to make sure your plant has plenty of space to grow! It doesn’t do well in direct sunlight, so try to plant it in partial sun or full shade.
White Queen: We love watching this variety grow, as its color transitions from soft pink to frosty white! Its veins will remain a vivid magenta hue, and a skinny green border trims it beautifully. They reach about two feet high with a two-foot spread and prefer shade over sunlight. You may notice its small flowers that resemble those of Calla Lily, but they’re quite inconspicuous and aren’t quite as flashy as its foliage.
How Do You Care For Caladiums Outdoors?
Generally, Caladiums like moist, humus-rich soils with excellent drainage. It’s important to ensure your soil is loose and not compacted, so all the water you give your plants won’t just end up sitting stagnant around the roots. As far as maintenance goes, these plants are pretty relaxed and don’t require much fuss.
With that being said, Caladiums are pretty heavy feeders, so it helps to apply a 5-10-10 fertilizer monthly during the spring and summer to increase leaf production. Don’t use a formula high in nitrogen, or the leaves won’t be as colorful.
While Caladiums are fairly resistant to pests, you may need to watch out for slugs and snails. If they’re a problem in your garden, place some shallow dishes full of beer throughout the garden, hidden underneath the large leaves.
Want to pick up some of these lovely leafy plants for your home garden? Give us a call! We’re happy to take orders over the phone and arrange for curbside pickup or delivery if needed.