Growing caladiums in South Texas can be a rewarding experience, bringing vibrant colors and lush foliage to your garden. These tropical plants thrive in the warm, humid climate of South Texas, and give you gorgeous foliage color throughout summer. Here are some tips on how to grow caladiums successfully in this region.


Soil and Water Requirements for Caladiums

Caladiums prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A mix of garden soil, peat moss, and compost works well to provide the nutrients and drainage these plants need. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral (around 6.0 to 7.0), and the peat moss helps achieve that. Creating this soil mix before planting, will boost caladiums fertility and improve moisture retention.


Caladiums require consistent moisture, especially during the hot summer months. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged, to prevent the tubers from rotting. A good rule of thumb is to water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and keep the roots cool.


Light Exposure and Fertilizer Requirements for Caladiums

While caladiums are known for their shade tolerance, they can also thrive in partial sun. In South Texas, it’s best to plant them in a location where they receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Too much direct, intense sunlight can scorch their delicate leaves, so providing some protection during the hottest part of the day is essential.


To keep your caladiums healthy and vibrant, feed them with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. A 10-10-10 ratio fertilizer works well. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of the vibrant foliage colors.

Foliage Color

Storing Caladiums

As the growing season comes to an end and temperatures begin to drop, it’ll be time to dig up and store your caladium tubers. This usually occurs in late fall, before the first frost. Carefully lift the tubers from the ground, being gentle to avoid damage. Allow them to dry in a warm, shaded area for about a week. Once they are dry, remove any remaining soil and store them in a cool, dry place in peat moss, vermiculite, or sawdust. Keep them at a temperature between 50-60°F to ensure they remain viable for the next planting season.


By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the stunning beauty of caladiums in your South Texas garden year after year. Happy gardening!

~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy