Generally, caladiums are easy to maintain plants if you stick to their needs. The most important factor in keeping the plant happy over the long term, besides the location for your caladiums, is of course watering the plants regularly.
As you may have already read in the chapter around location for caladium plants, the plants need high humidity. This fact at first reads like the plants also need a very moist substrate. This is not so!
As with all other houseplants, most plant owners tend to overwater the plants rather than provide them with the right amount of water. But now what is the right amount of water for caladiums?
The right amount of water for caladium
- Soil: What kind of soil are you using? Is it a substrate that is also able to hold water longer due to its components, or are you using a substrate of “soil” that dries out quickly.
- Pot size: Of course, the pot size also plays a role in the amount of water. So logically you have to supply a large pot with more water than a small one.
- Plant size: If your Caladium plant has only begun to sprout, its water requirements are initially lower than a full-grown plant with many large leaves.
It is therefore difficult to say how much water your caladia needs. There is no basic amount of, say, 100ml that you should water every three days.
How to water caladium?
Caladium plants are best watered using the “bottom-watering” method. Since there is no blanket amount of water for the plants, it is difficult to define an exact amount of water for the plants. To counteract the problem of watering too much or too little, I’ve adopted bottom-watering for my caladiums, because it almost doesn’t get any easier than this. It’s important to note: this method only works for plants that are either in a plastic/clay pot, or the plants need to be in a permeable other container so they can absorb water from below.
Other than that, all you need for this watering method is a container like a large bowl and water. If you want to water a large amount of plants at the same time, you can of course use your bathtub or shower. All that really matters is that the water source is tight.
Have you filled your container with water, you now put the plant with its pot in the container. Depending on the size of the pot, leave the pot in the water for about 15-30 minutes. The substrate will then soak up the water and the plant can take the water it needs. If the time has expired, it is best to leave the plants again just as long to water which has collected in the pot to dry off as completely as possible.
Note: If you leave the plant in the water for the specified time and then leave it to dry for a bit, you don’t really need to worry about the substrate getting soggy.
How often to water caladium?
If you water the caladia with the soil irrigation method, it is enough to water the plant like this once a week.
Now you have your Caladium in a suitable location and water it regularly: all’s well that ends well? Well not quite, because the plants may well develop deficiency symptoms. Due to the fact that the leaves of most species have a particularly filigree structure, the leaves are particularly sensitive and sometimes also become very heavy. What kind of deficiency symptoms your caladium can develop and how you can counteract them, you will learn in the chapter around Caladium deficiency symptoms.