Caladium bulbs come in various sizes: #3, #2, #1, Jumbo, and Mammoth, but what do the sizes really mean?
When we harvest the caladium bulbs there is always a wide range of bulb sizes that we reap, no matter what variety it is. We often use the smaller bulbs as seed for the next season’s crop and sell the larger bulbs. Depending on the season, more often than not, the Jumbo and Mammoth bulbs are not as abundant as the smaller sizes.
In caladiums, the bulb size has no bearing on the size of the plant leaf or the height of the plant. The size of the bulb only has a bearing on the number of leaves that will grow per bulb.
Bulb sizes from smallest to largest:
|Bulb Size||Bulb Diameter|
|#3 (Seed)||less than 1”|
|#2||1” – 1 ½”|
|#1||1 ½” – 2 ½”|
|Jumbo||2 ½ “– 3 ½”|
|Mammoth||3 ½” – 4 ½”|
The caladium variety that you choose and your growing conditions will determine how large the caladium leaves will be and how tall the plant will grow. Larger bulbs do not equal larger leaves, they equal more leaves. Therefore, when smaller bulbs are planted, they should be planted closer together than when larger bulbs are planted.
Here are our recommendations for nice quality looking plantings:
Number of Bulbs Per Container:
|1 or 2 #2 sized bulbs|
|1 #1 sized bulb
|10” pot or hanging basket|
|10 – 12 #2 sized bulbs|
|5 – 6 #1 sized bulbs|
|3 – 4 Jumbo bulbs|
Spacing of Bulbs in Landscaping for a Full Look or Border:
#2 4” apart
#1 6” apart
Jumbo 8” apart
Of course, you can always plant clumps of bulbs in areas to get the “mounding” effect. When doing this, we suggest 4-5 #2’s, 2-3 #1’s or 1 Jumbo in an area to give a nice look. If you would like larger clumps of color, just add more bulbs to each spot.
The thing to remember is that if you would like to have large showy leaves, you need to choose a variety that grows large showy leaves. Some examples would be: Red Flash, White Queen, Brandywine, Carolyn Whorton, Summer Pink, Tapestry, White Christmas, Florida Fantasy, Postman Joyner, Aaron, Fannie Munson, Galaxy, Hearts Desire and Florida Elise. If the conditions are right, some of these varieties could get 2 ½ feet tall with leaves over a foot across. Planting smaller bulbs in these varieties will even give you large leaves if your growing conditions are optimum. With smaller bulbs, you will just need to plant the bulbs closer together to get the same great look.
If you prefer smaller leaved varieties that aren’t too tall, you might want to choose any of the Lance or Strap Leaved varieties like Dragon Heart, Florida Red Ruffles, Florida Sweetheart, Lance Whorton, Miss Muffett, White Wing, Cosmic Delight, Passionista, Candidum Jr., Gingerland or Sizzle. Each of these varieties has a beautiful ruffled leaf that stays shorter and more compact than the large Fancy Leaved varieties. The Lance or Strap leaved varieties are also perfect for use in hanging baskets or window boxes because they tend to droop over the edges of the container. Mix them with sweet potato vine or annuals for an amazing look in containers.
There are also Fancy Leaved varieties that tend to stay small to medium-sized in height and leaf size. Those varieties include: Festivia, Fire Chief, Florida Cardinal, Freida Hemple, Tom, Candidum, Florida Moonlight, Kathleen, Mrs. WB Haldeman, Pink Beauty, Pink Cloud, Rosebud, Cranberry Star, and Royal Flush.
So, the moral to the story is; though the larger sized bulbs are often impressive, it’s not vital to have them to get a beautiful display in your garden. Plant smaller bulbs closer together and larger bulbs farther apart.
The 2019-2020 growing season has been amazing for our caladium crop, so we are able to offer the most beautiful high-quality bulbs in #1’s and Jumbos. Check out our selection on our website www.happinessfarms.com/shop or feel free to call us to ask questions or place an order over the phone. We are here to help! Our business hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:00 – 5:00.
If you’re in our area, stop by the office to purchase your bulbs. We have a wide selection of varieties and bulb sizes available, even Mammoth bulbs! You will be able mix and match your varieties and purchase them by the piece, by the dozen or by the box. Click here for directions to come and visit us a Happiness Farms Fancy Leaf Caladiums.
So you want really bright, gaudy leaves? Caladiums are among several related plants called elephant ears due to the large, heart-shaped leaves. Nurseries always used to sell caladiums as tubers in springtime to be planted in shade for summer color. Over time, sales of anything in bulb form have declined to the point that many have stopped carrying them that way. Now you can find them growing in 4-inch pots in early summer.
Like coleus, these give a lot of colorful bang for the buck. The flowers, which are inconsequential, just look like miniature calla lilies (caladiums and callas are in the same plant family). And like coleus, they can be grown as houseplants in a bright window. But their real impact is outdoors, and the colorful leaves show off even in fairly heavy shade.
The Sweet Spot for Caladiums, Lake Placid, Florida and Happiness Farms Caladiums. See the story in Fresh From Florida, The Journal of Florida Agriculture.
Happiness Farms Caladiums has been growing and selling Fancy and Lance Leaf Caladium Bulbs since the early 1960’s in the Caladium Capital of the World, Lake Placid,Florida. The beautiful, rich lake-bottom muck soil, perfect climate and growing conditions attribute to the success of 90% of the world’s supply of caladiums being produced here. We truly are the “Sweet Spot for Caladiums”! Caladiums can be planted in late spring and all through the summer and will give you easy, beautiful color in your yard and containers all summer long.
Danielle Daum knows what it takes to grow a successful caladium crop. Since 1964, her family has been producing the plants in Lake Placid, and today, the fourth generation is involved in the operation at Happiness Farms. Daum says it’s one of the best places in the world to grow caladiums.
“Lake Placid grows approximately 90% of the world’s supply of caladium bulbs. The rich lake-bottom muck soil on the southern shores of Lake Istokpoga, along with the long summer days and warm nights, are ideal for the production of bulbs.”
Terri Bates, co-owner of Bates Sons & Daughters in Lake Placid, agrees. “The extremely acidic pH of the mucky soil combined with the favorable temperatures make Lake Placid the sweet spot for growing caladiums,” she says.
Bates’ farm grows 100 acres of caladiums, including 45 commercial varieties, some of which have been bred using University of Florida or private breeder genetics. Bates Sons & Daughters has been family owned and operated since 1945, when Bates’ grandfather planted the farm’s first crop.
Crazy for Caladiums
Caladiums are becoming increasingly popular, partly due to their low maintenance requirements. Daum says the brilliantly colored ornamental foliage grows easily in the sun or shade and is a great option for landscaping, pots or hanging baskets. In Florida, plants grow in the summer, go dormant in the winter and then come up again the following summer.
“We find that schools often like to plant caladiums in their gardens because they are easy for students to care for,” Bates says.
In addition, caladiums require minimal fertilization once they’re planted.
Of the nine commercial caladium farms operating in Highland County, all but one are still family owned and operated. Most are third-generation farms. And while these growers are competing for much of the same business, Bates says the caladium growers in Lake Placid are a tight-knit group who are always willing to help each other out.
“What’s really neat about this business is that the caladium growers always come together. It’s a small town and most people have been here for a long time, so we support each other,” she says.
See more: The Flora Grows Better in Florida
The city also rallies behind its caladium growers. Each summer, Lake Placid holds the annual Caladium Festival in July. Festival attendees can purchase bulbs and plants, go on grower-guided bus tours where they learn about the caladium industry, and visit a home site that has been planted extensively with caladiums. It’s a unique opportunity to celebrate the history and success of Lake Placid’s caladium industry.
Click here to order your very own caladiums from our family farm in the Caladium Capital of the World.
Keep up to date and learn more on our informational Facebook page
To read the original article click on this link https://www.farmflavor.com/florida/florida-ag-products/lake-placid-the-caladium-capital-of-the-world/
Caladiums are great in floral displays! They will last for weeks in a vase. If you’re interested in learning tips for using caladiums in your floral displays you might want to attend this workshop that will be hosted by the Poinciana Garden Club of Fort Myers.
Growing Caladiums and Conditioning for Floral Design
Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 from 09:00 am to 11:30 pm
Location: The Poinciana Garden Club of Fort Myers Florida, 2166 Virginia Ave., Fort Myers, Florida 33901
Across the street from Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers.
Agenda: Karen Maxwell, Master Gardener at Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL, will share her tips on growing caladiums and conditioning caladiums for lasting longer in floral displays. You don’t have to be a member of the garden club to attend. You are also invited to participate in their plant exchange that will be held during the event. To participate in the plant exchange, bring a cutting or plant with you.
Several ladies from the Poinciana Garden Club of Fort Myers make the trip to visit us here at Happiness Farms to purchase their caladiums each year. We are happy to help spread the word about their event! We would like to encourage you to make a day of the trip and visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates while you’re in the area. Each year, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates plants caladiums around their grounds and often hosts events pertaining to caladiums.
Click here for more examples of Floral Arrangements
Christmas, the time of year that brings families and communities together as we rejoice and celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As we enter the Christmas Season and reflect on its true meaning, I am humbled to realize that the crop my family has been growing and sharing with the world for over 65 years, is likened to the Heart of Jesus.
Caladiums, with their perfectly heart-shaped leaves in varying colors of red, pink and white are fondly given the names Heart of Jesus and Angel Wing plants. Though their true name is Caladium they are also commonly called Elephant Ears. These beautiful, tropical, ornamental leaved plants grow from tubers that originated in the Amazon Basin of South America. There are many varieties with variations of color that are striking when used in landscaping and container gardening, all summer long. They require a moderate amount of water and can be planted in areas of shade to full sun, depending on the variety that is chosen. Even the sun-loving plants will perform beautifully when planted in shaded areas. The varieties that are happiest in the shaded areas are the ones that have more delicate leaves that will sunburn when subjected to extreme temperatures and excessive sunshine. These amazing plants may be grown in most planting zones if they are not planted until the night- time temperatures are above 65 degrees F. They will naturally go into dormancy for the winter months when the night-time temperatures once again drop below 65 degrees F. In areas where the ground temperatures drop into the 40’s or lower or may freeze, the bulbs must be taken up and stored above 65 degrees F in something they can breathe through for the winter.
When these simple directions are followed, anyone is can grow these beautiful Heart of Jesus plants. Caladium bulbs make a great gift for Christmas, birthdays, housewarmings as well as thank you gifts. We make it simple for you to share the Heart of Jesus, Caladium bulbs with those that you love. Visit us at https://happinessfarms.com/shop/ to purchase bulbs or gift certificates. We gladly mail a nice gift card to each recipient of a gift, letting them know to expect your gift at the proper planting time for their area.
As I look forward to this Christmas Season and the New Year, I am reflective of our many blessings and excited and hopeful for the future. What a blessing it is for us to share the Heart of Jesus, our beautiful Caladium bulbs with so many people around the world!
The flower garden around the Oakwood Village Welcome sign was my grandsons’ (Thomas) Eagle Scout Project. I buy caladiums from you every year. This year I bought the most and gave them to a few friends. I hope to spread the Happiness. Thomas T.
Preparations to honor fallen Officer Kaliloa are evidenced in Puna. Michael Brant, officer Kaliloa’s friend and supporter says the goal is to line the highway with floral tributes as Kaliloa’s funeral procession passes by on Saturdey afternoon. Floral contributions have come from many sources, bothlocal and mainland. Colorful caladium leaves from Happiness Farms Caladium fields in Florida, golden yellow “Doris Duke” pagoda flowers from Oahu’s Shangri La estate, dwarf red heliconian from Pahoa Feed, and dark blue hydrangeas from Victor at Sacred Heart Church, along with anthuriums and tropical rhododendrons from Mt. View Anthuriiums and Olaa Tropical Nursery grace the tributes, with canna flowers from Hana of Kalapana’s canna fields.
Although many local flowers have been damaged by the volcanic eruption and acid rain, you can almost hear the surviving flowers say “Take me, Take me” according to Glagton Bodger, Ph.D. , pomologist emeritus of Nani Mau Botanical Garden. Bodger says we line the procession route witth flowers to show respect and mourning. Kaliloa glorified The Father while here on earth, labored for a kikngdom of love, and entered eternal life. We mourn because we are human, we rejoice because we are Christian, and thank The Father for the gift of Kaliloa’s life and we celebrate the power of Jesus’ resurrection.
Audrey Walther sent us these photos of her Pink Fancy Mixed Caladiums she put in a in kiddie pool; she made holes in the bottom of the pool to make sure excess water can drain out. Great Idea!
I just wanted to share a photo of the beautiful Carolyn Wharton caladiums that I ordered this year. I am a first time customer and plan to be a returning customer in the future. Beautiful plants from healthy bulbs, thank you. The photo was taken on my front porch in Buford, Georgia.
Joanne G. said, “I had fun experimenting with some new colors combinations this summer. We were in the Harvey flood resulting in leaving our beautiful home and yard flooded. ……. now everything is back to normal………with your caladiums”