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Caladium is a popular ornamental plant among gardeners. Among the many cultivars, White Christmas Caladium is one favorite that attracts attention because of its unique leaves. Instead of pure green, white color dominates the leaves with contrasting dark green veins. Because of this uniqueness, you have to know some tips about White Christmas Caladium care before trying to plant it.
Furthermore, it would be best to consider some planting factors, including lighting level, temperature, humidity, watering schedule, soil conditions, and more. Looks complicated? Don’t worry. We have prepared some White Christmas Caladium care tips to keep your precious plants healthy and happy. Check them out!
What Is White Christmas Caladium
Before jumping into White Christmas Caladium care, let us introduce you to this plant. White Christmas Caladium is one of the cultivars of white caladiums, which is very popular among ornamental plant lovers. This is because they have striking variegated leaves with white color and a touch of dark green on their veins.
Moreover, many people are attracted by the White Christmas Caladium plant because of its size too. Its size can reach approximately 45-60 cm with a stalk height of about 18-24 inches. Besides being planted in large pots, they are also suitable as decorations in hanging baskets and adorn your garden beds. Others also prefer Caladium White Christmas as an indoor plant. In addition, this plant grows well in the US hardiness zone 8, 9, 10, and 11.
After getting acquainted with this decorative plant, it is time for you to learn about White Christmas Caladium care. Although the maintenance is relatively easy, you need to understand what factors influence the growth of the White Christmas Caladium plant. Without any further ado, let’s dive in!
How To Care White Christmas Caladium
Talking about White Christmas Caladium care will not be separated from the factors that affect its growth. Some examples are light intensity, air temperature and humidity, soil conditions, watering frequency, fertilization, and propagation.
Therefore, understanding these factors is crucial before planting caladium bulbs to ensure healthy plants. Now, let’s discuss these factors one by one!
1) Light Intensity
Like other garden plants, this caladium also needs sufficient light for photosynthesis and to maintain its variegation. But the difference is that they don’t like the direct sun because it will scorch their stunning foliage, leaving them with a damaged pattern. In addition, the maximum sun exposure allowed is around two to three hours to prevent such sunburn.
So, how to provide them with lights but not too much sun? You can grow them in partial shade, allowing some sun to shine on the plant leaves. It is essential to hold their exquisite pattern. Considering this matter, avoid placing them in deep shade.
Besides, you can introduce them to containers and place them on your patio. Choose a north-facing area where the sun does not directly shine towards the White Christmas Caladium plants.
2) Temperature And Humidity Requirements
In addition to lighting levels, temperature and humidity are critical to support the growth of White Christmas Caladium. As a cold-season plant, it requires a minimum temperature of around 15’C.
However, it prefers cool weather, which has a temperature range between 18-24’C with a minimum humidity of 50%. Humidity is important to keep the water on the soil surface from drying out too quickly.
Unfortunately, it does not tolerate extreme weather shifts, such as a severe cold that may lead to leaf frosts in colder areas. Therefore, it is possible to take your caladium plant inside when the temperature falls below 15’C to protect them from frost damage.
Meanwhile, when summer brings the heat waves, provide shelter to prevent brown blotches on the leaves from sunburn. Moreover, high temperatures make the soil dry quickly due to fast evaporation. In this case, you must maintain the moisture at least 60% by adjusting the watering schedule.
3) Watering And Drainage
Caladium plants mostly thrive in subtropical and tropical regions with high rain intensity. No wonder these lovely plants love water so much! Therefore, watering is a significant factor that influences their growth.
We recommend watering your White Christmas Caladium plants once per two days to keep the soil moist. For those growing in dry and hot areas, watering your caladiums every day will help them thrive. In addition, you can also add water once every three days if the rain is lacking.
Other than watering, drainage is also an essential matter in terms of White Christmas Caladium care. White Christmas Caladium plants do not like waterlogging since it can make their roots and bulbs rot.
And for that reason, take your plants inside when it rains too hard, which can potentially create puddles in their pots. Furthermore, if you plant it in the garden, ensure good drainage, such as making holes near the beds. You can also prevent this by raising the beds before planting.
4) Soil Conditions
Still discussing White Christmas Caladium care, these beautiful plants are not fussy about the soil conditions as long as they are well-drained. They generally perform well on acidic, neutral, or alkaline soils. Nonetheless, they will be happy if you can provide slightly acidic ones with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.
To create potting soil, you can prepare loamy, slightly acidic, well-drained soils. Make sure they are rich in organic material to provide some nutrients. Some examples you can add to the potting mix are wheat straw, peat moss, and worm castings. Also, moisture-retaining materials like mulch and sawdust will be great to add to keep the soil moist.
Even though the White Christmas Caladium plant grows well without fertilizer, there is nothing wrong with offering nutrient-rich fertilizer to encourage their development. When is the best time to give them this nutritious fertilizer? The answer is in spring or late summer!
You can give it NPK fertilizer which usually contains essential minerals and other microelements, such as calcium, potassium, and nitrogen. Nitrogen, for example, is chlorophyll’s main component, a crucial pigment needed to carry out photosynthesis.
Meanwhile, calcium encourages cell tissue production and helps them grow. But remember to not over-fertilize them as it can make your caladium droop. Do it once every two weeks in a month of their growing season.
After talking much about White Christmas Caladium care, now you have to understand the proper propagation to ensure a healthy caladium plant.
- Prepare a good potting mix, large pot, knife, reusable plastic bag, and water.
- Carefully and gently pull the mother of White Christmas Caladium out from the container. Do not over-pull them to avoid damaging the roots.
- Choose the healthiest stem indicated by strong growing roots, then cut it with your knife.
- Next, fill the reusable plastic bag with a soil mix of organic compost, such as pea moss, worm castings, and wheat straw.
- Create a hole in the plastic bag, and put the stem in the hole while ensuring you fit the roots in. Make sure that the roots are widely and evenly spread.
- Afterward, place the plastic bag inside the large container you have prepared.
- Add some extra soil mix when the stem seems upright.
- To provide additional moisture, you can give more water and sawdust.
- Finally, place it in the deep shade until the roots start growing.
- Do not give any fertilizer for the first two weeks.
White Caladium Care Tips
As promised, we would like to tell you White Christmas Caladium care tips for indoor and outdoor plantings. Some differences exist in maintaining the plants in your garden, patio, and living room. What are the differences? How do you keep them thriving indoors with limited sunlight exposure? Kindly read them below!
1) Indoor Care Tips
There are some tips to grow your White Christmas Caladium indoor to ensure they are thriving and growing happily.
- Provide a large container to allow their development.
- Watering is the key! Make sure you give water from time to time, at least once a week. You can also spray the leaves with water during the summer heat to keep the moisture.
- Location is crucial! Choose the filtered sun area, like a north-facing window location, to allow the sun to shine on the plant yet not directly and brightly.
2) Outdoor Care Tips
When you think it is the best way to plant White Christmas Caladium outdoor, do not ever miss these tips! So you can have these beautiful caladium last longer.
- Provide good drainage, especially if you are growing them in the garden. It will prevent water-logging that can lead to root and bulb rot.
- Allow them to experience the rain but provide shelter if it is too much.
- Avoid direct sun. Better to keep them on your patio. Or, you can place the pot under shade trees.
- Take your caladium plants inside in the fall or winter months to prevent leaf frosts.
- Since growing caladium outside is prone to pests, like caterpillars and aphids, you need to do pest control to remove them. Spray soapy water to get rid of aphids and use Bacillus thuringiensis to escape caterpillars.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do you take care of potted white Christmas caladiums?
White Christmas Caladium or Angel Wings Caladium is best planted in 6” or larger containers. Make sure you place them in a partial shade area as the excessive sun heat will scorch the ornamental leaves. In addition, provide moist, well-drained soil but do not let the soil dry out too fast.
How tall do White Christmas caladiums get?
Do you know that White Christmas Caladium plants can reach 22 inches in height and width? Yes! They are one of the garden plants that will do great in pots and garden beds.
However, due to its tall growing habit, you must consider planting White Christmas Caladium plants in large pots. If you want to grow them in your garden, give a 16 inches space between one another to allow growth.
Why is my white Christmas caladium turning green?
There are two reasons why your White Christmas Caladium plants turn green, which are lack of sun exposure and genetics. Lack of sunlight can cause the leaves to be unable to maintain their variegation.
To hold the beautiful pattern without damaging the leaves, put them in a partial shade or filtered sun area.
Can white caladiums take full sun?
Unlike other plants that love full sun, some white caladiums, like White Christmas, cannot withstand such light exposure. It is because the intensive sunlight will burn the leaves.
However, Aaron and White Queen cultivars can take full sun pretty well. So, if you have these types of Caladiums, you can choose a sun or light shade area to grow them.
Does White Christmas caladium like rain?
Considering it likes moist soil and water, White Christmas Caladium loves the rain because it can meet its growing conditions perfectly. However, you must pay attention to the ground because the bulbs can rot if waterlogging. Provide shelter if it rains heavily
Are White Christmas Caladiums hard to care for?
Generally, White Christmas Caladium care is pretty easy. You only need to provide their growing conditions, such as partial shade, moist soil, watering once every two days, and cool temperatures.
Regarding the propagation, divide the tubers before potting them. Applying fertilizer once in a while (4-6 weeks after planting) is necessary to keep the plant nourished.