Wordless Wednesday: Caladium


A few words: I love to photograph plants when they’re backlit by the sun. The illumination gives a whole new appearance to the leaf or flower.

One recent afternoon, as I was leaving the house, I thought I saw a flame from the corner of my eye.  When I turned to look, it was a caladium leaf.

I first planted caladiums in my New York garden, starting the bulbs in early March so that they would be ready for transplanting in May. They were a colorful tropical addition for shady areas.

Of course, the plants would have to be dug up before first frost and stored away for the winter.  In South Florida, though, caladiums are able to last all year.

I planted the bulbs last year, and the plants did well. They then disappeared by winter — and even managed to weather the sprinkler system installation. Earlier this year, new leaves emerged.

And now, there was this particular caladium leaf, growing a bit taller than all the rest so that it could be spotlighted like stained glass by the setting sun, as if to say, “Hear I am! Notice me!”

So I did what all gardeners would do. I listened.

6 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday: Caladium

  1. I love caladiums and became familiar with them many years ago when I lived in Houston. Last year I bought the corms online and looooovvved them. I dug them up and replanted them without luck. I will order them again next year and the year after that. I think St Louis may be as far north as they grow.

    • Hi Arch City. I think your winters may be a bit rough for these tenders. When I lived in New York, I would dig them before the first frost, let the dry for a few days, and then store them in a brown paper bag with peat moss or vermiculite. They would then be stored away in a cement bunker (don’t ask), but a cool, dry basement works just as well. I would restart them in pots, in March, in the greenhouse or a sunny location. Hope this helps. 🙂

  2. I love the fact that you’re growing plants in Florida that were a special effort in your Long Island garden and are much easier to grow in your new home.

    • Jean, it is the craziest thing to be able to purchase a houseplant, because that’s how it’s sold, and to have it grow outside. It’s also interesting to note that corms (like caladiums) and many of the perennials have a season even though it always feels like summer. They sort of manage that on their own. 🙂

      • It brings back memories of my first trip to Florida, when I was in my twenties. It was a revelation to realize that plants I thought of as houseplants grew outside in other climates.

      • Hi Jean. It’s still a wonder to me — especially when I see giant philodendron leaves climbing into the treetops! It’s like Jurassic Park. 🙂

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