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Longfield Gardens Blog

Why Landscape Designers Like Caladiums

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on Feb 2, 2015

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If you want to know which plants provide the most color, for the longest time and with the least amount of effort, ask a professional landscape designer. Their livelihood depends on hard-working plants!

When we asked several commercial landscapers and landscape designers in the southern half of the country, which plants they count on for dependable summer color, almost everyone mentioned caladiums. Today you’ll find caladiums being planted in gardens from Houston to Minneapolis. Here’s why:

  • There are lots of plant choices for sunny gardens, but many fewer ones for shade. For continuous color in a shady or partly shady location, you just can’t beat caladiums. 

 

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  • Caladiums are a “plant it and forget it” solution, so landscapers don’t need to worry about them. Like other summer-blooming bulbs, once the tubers have been planted, they know exactly what to do and need no encouragement to come up and start growing. 
  •  In hot and humid weather, most plants slow down to conserve energy. Caladiums take the opposite approach. The more tropical the weather, the faster they grow. This means there’s not a lot of waiting for the show to start.

  • Some caladiums will tolerate full sun as well as full shade. These varieties are ideal for yards that have varying amounts of sun and shade. The sun is more intense in the south than it is in the north, so sun tolerance varies by location. The most sun tolerant caladiums include: Aaron, Carolyn Whorton, Florida Cardinal, Florida Sweetheart, Red Flash, Rosebud and White Queen.

 

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  • Caladiums don’t need flowers to look good so there’s never a down time. Week after week and month after month, the plants just keep getting fuller and more beautiful. When gardens look good, clients are happy and it’s good for business!
  • Caladiums also grow well in containers, so they’re an easy way to add all summer color to a deck or patio. Big-leaf varieties such as Aaron or Red Flash are ideal companions for other dramatic tropical bulbs such as elephant ears and canna lilies. Dwarf caladiums such as Gingerland and Miss Muffet perform beautifully in hanging baskets. 

 

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So if you have a shady or partly shady area in your yard or garden, why not consider growing caladiums? We offer 17 different varieties in a wide range of color choices. You can see all of them HERE. For planting and care suggestions, check out our Growing Guide for Caladiums.

Topics: Foliage Plants Shade Plants Summer Blooming Bulbs

Kathleen LaLiberte has been writing about gardening for more than 30 years from her home in northern Vermont, where she tends a half acre of flowers, vegetables and fruit. She has been working with Longfield Gardens since 2011.

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