Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
When picking your summer landscape color don’t overlook foliage plants today on Southern Gardening.
With all of the annual flowering plants being displayed in the garden centers you might be distracted and pass right by the gorgeous foliage colors of caladium. And this makes the caladiums feel bad. Caladiums are one of those misunderstood landscape and garden plants. Do you plant in the sun, shade or some kind of mixed sun and shade? Though we may have questions about where to plant caladiums, most gardeners know they need this plant in the landscape. And who can argue against the colorful leaves? The foliage is certainly distinctive and can be really shown off against a background of green foundation or screening shrubs. The colors range from solid reds, greens and whites to very extravagant combinations that include spots, blotches and stripes. Most garden centers have these plants readily to add instant color to the landscape. While most hard core gardeners enjoy perusing the catalogs during the winter months, buying caladiums already growing is so much easier than planting the tubers in the spring and having to wait for the plants to emerge. Even during the hottest periods of the summer season caladiums are colorful additions to the landscape. Consistent moisture is the key during these hot summer months. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil. Be sure to mulch caladium plants when they are transplanted to keep the soil moist and cool. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman of r Southern Gardening.