Caladiums are shade-loving tropical plants that can brighten up any corner of your garden or living room.
Gardeners prefer growing Caladiums for their ornamental leaves in patterns and shades of pink, green, red, and white.
They are grown in shaded gardens, landscapes, and pots. They will complement every other plant in your garden, and there are approximately 1000 cultivars to choose from.
I have tried growing Caladiums with ferns in a hanging basket; they create a magnificent view together.
These colorful plants love high humidity, temperature, and some fertilizer. But what fertilizer will suit the growing conditions of a Caladium?
This guide answers this question; we have some recommendations for the best fertilizers for Caladiums.
- 1 Best Fertilizers for Caladiums
- 1.1 Azalea, Camellia, and Rhododendron Plant Food by Miracle-Gro – Best Overall Caladium Fertilizer
- 1.2 Indoor Plant Food by Miracle-Gro – Best for Budget Caladium Fertilizer
- 1.3 Annuals and Perennials Fertilizer by Jobe’s Organics – Best Granular Caladium Fertilizer
- 1.4 Outdoor and Indoor Plant Food by Osmocote Plus – Best Control Release Caladium Fertilizer
- 1.5 Premium Bulb Food by Dr. Earth – Best Bulb Fertilizer for Caladiums
- 1.6 All-Purpose 20-20-20 by Jack’s Classic – Best Water-Soluble Fertilizer
- 1.7 Soil Acidifier by Espoma – Best Acidifier for Caladiums
- 1.8 Shake n’ Feed by Miracle-Gro – Best Caladium Fertilizer for Weed Protection
- 1.9 Bone Meal Fertilizer by Down to Earth – Best Bone Meal for Caladiums
- 1.10 Azalea Food by Nutri Star – Best Slow Release Caladium Fertilizer
- 2 Caladium Fertilizer Buying Guide
- 3 Feeding Guidelines for Caladiums
- 4 Conclusion
Best Fertilizers for Caladiums
Azalea, Camellia, and Rhododendron Plant Food by Miracle-Gro – Best Overall Caladium Fertilizer
You might have heard that if the soil suits your Azalea plants, it will suit the Caladiums. The same applies to fertilizer.
This product is dedicated to the acid-loving varieties of houseplants. Caladiums also prefer slightly acidic growing conditions. Miracle-Gro claims that this fertilizer will feed, ironize and acidify.
This formula by Miracle-Gro helps your Caladium by creating an optimum growing environment. The foliage color and growth rate improve with regular application every 7-14 days.
It will show instant results because it directly feeds the roots of the plant. I would recommend using this fertilizer if the foliage on your plant looks dull and the color is fading.
The NPK ratio is 30-10-10. It also contains significant percentages of iron. Its best applied using the Miracle-Gro garden feeder, but I have also used it with my regular watering can.
So you can choose whatever is available easily.
This fertilizer is used after mixing in water. For indoor plants, Miracle-Gro recommends using a half teaspoon of fertilizer in 1 gallon of water.
This 1.5 lbs. package can feed up to 600 sq ft. It is safe to be used on young, mature, or newly transplanted houseplants with no burns if you follow the instructions on the label.
Miracle-Gro values customer satisfaction, so if you are not satisfied with the results in 6 months, you can apply for a refund.
- Instant feeding and instant results
- Can save a dying Caladium
- Six months satisfaction guarantee
- Suitable for acid-loving varieties including Azalea, Hibiscus, Orchids, etc
- Water-soluble nature ensures easy application
- Enhances the foliage and blooms
- Overdose can kill young plants since it has a high percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium
You can buy this fertilizer on Amazon by clicking here.
Indoor Plant Food by Miracle-Gro – Best for Budget Caladium Fertilizer
If you are growing Caladiums in pots in your house or, I would highly recommend buying this liquid plant food by Miracle-Gro. It will save you time and money.
This product is the easiest to use and delivers quick results. You can directly apply this plant food to the soil or dilute it in water before application.
Apply this formula every week to make sure the potting soil is always rich in nutrients. Use one pump for pots less than 6 inches in diameter. Use two pumps for bigger pots.
There is a tiny lid in front of the pump to avoid spilling or wastage. This product will never burn your Caladiums; it has an NPK ratio of 1-1-1.
- The pump makes the application easy
- Suitable for foliar, flowering, and edible plants
- Gives instant nutrition
- Economical choice for potted Caladiums
- Not recommended for Caladiums growing in garden beds
Better take a look at this incredible caladium fertilizer here.
Annuals and Perennials Fertilizer by Jobe’s Organics – Best Granular Caladium Fertilizer
If you do not want to spend the entire season feeding your plants, go for granular fertilizer.
This plant food was initially designed for flowering species, but after testing it for other houseplants, most gardeners believe that it can be used for any annual or perennial in your garden.
Whether you grow Caladiums as annuals or perennials, this fertilizer will help in both cases. It can feed your plant throughout the season with few applications as it comes in granular form.
It’s rich in potassium and phosphorus, which is another reason for choosing it for Caladiums. The guaranteed NPK for this product is 3-5-4.
What differentiates this fertilizer from others in this list is the Biozome. Jobe’s created the Biozome using archaea, mycorrhizal fungi, and healthy bacteria.
Your Caladiums will grow vigorously and also resist droughts. If your soil lacks organic matter, this fertilizer will fix that because it includes processed manure.
It’s sold in three sizes; 1.5 lbs., 4lbs, and 8 lbs. I would suggest buying the smallest package to test it for Caladiums in your garden.
As mentioned earlier, this is a granular fertilizer, so you will need to reapply it after 4-8 weeks only.
Applying this fertilizer is best while planting the Caladium bulbs.
But if your plant is struggling later in the season or you forgot to add fertilizer while planting, this fertilizer can be used for young or established Caladiums as well.
This fertilizer is safe for your plants, pets, and kids. It is also an environmentally friendly fertilizer that not only provides food but also helps the planet.
- The soil microbes improve the garden soil’s quality
- Proven to resist common plant diseases and bugs
- Contains Feather Meal and Bone Meal
- Organic fertilizer listed by OMRI
- Can be used for edible plants
- Incorrect application will cause fungus and worm growth in the potting soil
- Has a stinky smell
Buy this caladium fertilizer here.
Outdoor and Indoor Plant Food by Osmocote Plus – Best Control Release Caladium Fertilizer
Since Caladiums are so gorgeous, gardeners end up growing them indoors and outdoors. This means you will need a single solution that feeds the Caladiums in both growing environments.
This Osmocote fertilizer is formulated for houseplants growing anywhere. This is a six-month plan, meaning you will repeat the application after six months.
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It’s rich in nutrients with an NPK of 15-9-12. Other micronutrients include zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, sulfur, and boron.
This is a controlled fertilizer and feeds the plant only when required. All the nutrients are locked in the granules coated with resin.
This unique resin is responsible for the smart release of nutrition upon watering.
Most growers feed their Caladiums with this fertilizer once every season. It can be used for potted and ground Caladiums; just add it while planting them.
For container plants, the quantity needed depends on the size of the pot. For landscape, mix it in the soil’s first 1-3 inches.
You can also use it while repotting any Caladium variety. Mix it in the new soil mixture to ensure nutrition for the newly potted plant.
Fertilizers sold in bags often have storage issues, but this product can be easily resealed and stored for later use.
If the fertilizer is stored properly and the granules remain dry, this fertilizer will last for up to 8 years.
I would suggest applying these granules in warm weather as nutrients are released actively in high temperatures.
Watering the soil also helps in releasing nutrients. This 8 lbs. package can cover 300 sq ft of landscape area.
- Minimum risk of fertilizer burns
- Consistent feeding with no growth spikes
- Contains 11 essential nutrients
- Suitable for cuttings, annuals, perennials, seedlings, and acid-loving plants
- Can be used year-round in the growing season
- Fulfills nutritional needs of any Caladium variety
- Comes with a resealable bag and a scoop
- The outer coating or shells will not dissolve, which is a long term hazard for soil
- Customers received opened bags with missing granules
Keep up to date, read on, and purchase this incredible fertilizer here.
Premium Bulb Food by Dr. Earth – Best Bulb Fertilizer for Caladiums
Dr. Earth is one of the notable brands that promote clean and healthy gardening. All their organic fertilizers are created using food-grade waste products.
Since Caladiums grow from bulbs, we have included some bulb fertilizer in this list. This is a dry fertilizer designed for ornamental or edible plants growing from bulbs.
You can use it when planting during the summer and winter seasons. The biggest concern with ready-made fertilizers is the chemicals or GMO-infested manure.
Luckily this fertilizer is free from both of them, so you can safely use it for all your potted, garden, or landscape plants.
In addition to the three main nutrients (in the ratios 3-15-2), this fertilizer also contains ProBiotic and mycorrhizae.
The soil microbes in ProBiotic ensure all the nutrients are broken down evenly into the soil. It’ll also help maintain the soil pH around 6.5.
If you use this bulb fertilizer regularly for Caladiums in the growing season, their drought resistance will increase. As the soil improves with time, the nutrients also last longer.
I have noticed a drastic change in the growth of my landscape Caladiums after using this product. It specifically improves the bulb size and the color of variegated Caladiums.
It’s best to feed container plants every six weeks to make sure the nutrients in the soil never deplete.
- Works for Caladiums in containers and soil
- Can be applied early or mid-season
- OMRI listed and recommended for organic gardening
- Adds life to your garden soil in the form of soil microbes and fungi
- Can also be used to prepare fertilizer tea
- Has a strong smell because of its organic nature
If you are interested in buying this bulb fertilizer, click here.
All-Purpose 20-20-20 by Jack’s Classic – Best Water-Soluble Fertilizer
I always prefer water-soluble fertilizers because they take less time for application and feed a large number of plants.
This all-purpose fertilizer is a great addition to your Caladium care schedule because it has lots of macronutrients and micronutrients. The NPK ratio is 20-20-20.
This innovative water-soluble fertilizer is designed to feed plants through the leaves and roots. So you can fertilize your Caladiums via the soil or foliar application.
You can easily apply it to indoor and outdoor Caladiums.
I would recommend repeating the application every 1 or 2 weeks if you want to keep your Caladiums happy and thriving.
The manufacturer recommends using one tablespoon for outdoor plants and ½ teaspoon for indoor plants. These quantities should be diluted in one gallon of water.
- The balanced dose of nutrients enhances the leaf growth and color
- Chelated ingredients dissolve better
- Helps in root and shoot development
- Can be applied easily in liquid form
- Dual feeding methods – soil and foliar
- Does not support hydroponic gardening
- Customers received tubs with missing lid
Purchase this product by clicking here.
Soil Acidifier by Espoma – Best Acidifier for Caladiums
We already know that fertilizers are applied after testing the soil for nutrients and pH. So what should be used if only the soil pH needs to be corrected?
The answer is a soil amendment such as this soil acidifier.
This product is a safe alternative for aluminum sulfate, which is toxic for plants in high amounts. This acidifier is created using elemental sulfur and gypsum; therefore, it contains 30% sulfur.
Like many other products by Espoma, this soil amendment is also safe for organic gardening.
Start applying it in spring and repeat the application every two months until you achieve the desired results. Spread it evenly within the drip line and water the area.
- Can safely adjust the soil pH for acid-loving plants
- The bag can be easily sealed using the zipper at the top
- Organic product
- Comes in pellet form for easy application
- The bag can be damaged during shipping which wastes product
Buy this Caladium fertilizer through this link.
Shake n’ Feed by Miracle-Gro – Best Caladium Fertilizer for Weed Protection
I came across this fertilizer while searching for weed killers.
This product instantly grabs your attention because it not only feeds but also prevents the weeds in the garden that might hinder the growth of the beautiful Caladiums.
This is all-purpose plant food, so it contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in equal ratios of 10-10-10.
I consider this product economical because it’s not only multi-purpose but also works for all plant varieties.
It’s best to apply this version of Shake n’ Feed before any weeds start showing up in your garden. After all, this fertilizer is mainly designed to prevent weeds.
A single application can prevent weed growth for up to 3 months.
I apply this fertilizer early in the season right after preparing the soil for planting. The sturdy bottle and lid make application and storage easy.
Never let it rest on foliage because when you water, the granules will melt and burn the leaves. The granules should be mixed in the soil before watering.
Apply 4.8 oz of fertilizer for 10 sq ft of area. A single bottle or jug is enough to treat 135 sq ft of area. Avoid using this fertilizer with flower seeds, lawns, or greenhouses.
- Can prevent weeds in garden covers, near trees, shrubs, and flower beds
- Works against most varieties of grassy and broadleaf weeds
- Plants are guaranteed to have better growth
- Can be applied directly from the bottle; no mixing is required
- Safe to use with edible crops like corn, beans, etc.
- Customer reported receiving bottle with a broken seal
- Incorrect application can burn plants
- Not suitable for use in lawn
Purchase this fertilizer by clicking here.
Bone Meal Fertilizer by Down to Earth – Best Bone Meal for Caladiums
Bone meal is another source of acidity in the soil. The NPK ratio for bone meal fertilizer is 3-15-0.
This fertilizer is recommended for all types of ornamental plants, including Caladiums.
I have been using this product for newly transplanted Caladiums as it helps them adjust to the new soil.
It will help the plant in fighting transplant stress and growing new shoots and roots. The soil absorption also increases, so your plants can easily absorb water and fertilizer.
- OMRI certified
- Ideal fertilizer for planting bulbs
- Encourages fast root development
- The fertilizer’s bag is made with a papery material, so it can damage during shipping
Don’t miss out on this fertilizer by buying it now here.
Azalea Food by Nutri Star – Best Slow Release Caladium Fertilizer
This is another popular fertilizer for plants that love acidic types of fertilizer. You have to use it while planting the bulbs in a container or ground.
It will instantly feed the plant, but some of the nutrients are stored to be released over a period of few weeks.
This slow-release fertilizer has been a top choice of experts for the past 30 years. The first application for my garden Caladiums was in the spring season.
After that, I repeated the application every month in the active growth period.
The guaranteed analysis for this slow-release fertilizer is 9-13-11. The nitrogen in this fertilizer is extracted from three different sources. It also has iron extracted from four sources.
This product will also help in creating an acidic soil environment as it lowers the soil pH using multiple acidifying sources. In short, this product contains nutrients from diverse sources.
It has cottonseed that ensures your plant is fed slowly but consistently. Cottonseed also reduces the risk of fertilizer burns.
You need half a cup of fertilizer to feed 10 sq ft of the landscape. For container plants, the quantity depends on the size, and it’s printed on the jar for convenience.
Water the area thoroughly after application. This will avoid fertilizer burns.
If you regularly feed your plants with this, you do not need any other soil amendment for the soil.
- Recommended for all acid-loving plants and evergreens
- Eliminates iron deficiencies
- The nitrogen perks up the color of green Caladium varieties
- Increases the size and drought tolerance of the plant
- Release nitrogen slowly to avoid burns
- The lead can break during transit
This fertilizer can be purchased by clicking here.
Caladium Fertilizer Buying Guide
Organic fertilizers will nurture the microbes and other living organisms in your soil. Organic fertilizers are an ideal choice for the container, landscape, or any other form of gardening.
This type of fertilizer rarely causes fertilizer burns or growth spikes because the nutrients are released slowly in a natural process.
These fertilizers can also improve the availability of nutrients within the soil.
Organic products are plant and eco-friendly. They do not harm the environment, and plants can absorb or digest them easily.
Feeding Guidelines for Caladiums
The two important requirements for growing a Caladium are water and fertilizer. Caladiums are not forgiving in terms of watering or feeding, so choose your fertilizer carefully.
It should not only fulfill the current nutritional demands of the Caladium but also improve soil health.
Regular feeding is also necessary to achieve the best bulbs for the next season. The exact application rates depend on the instructions by the manufacturer.
But it’s best to perform a soil test before fertilizing to get a clear picture of the nutrients or deficiencies in the soil.
Fertilizing Caladiums at the planting time will improve the soil quality and give a good start to your plant.
Following are few key points about fertilizing Caladiums.
- Caladiums are not drought tolerant, so choose fertilizers that enhance the drought tolerance.
- If you are using dry granular or powdered fertilizer, avoid leaving it on the foliage.
- Caladiums love feeding on potassium and phosphorus, so opt for a fertilizer rich in these two macronutrients.
- Liquid plant food needs to be applied more frequently, so feed the Caladiums with liquid plant food every two weeks in the growing season.
- Caladiums prefer their soil pH to be between 6 and 6.5, so make soil amendments accordingly.
- Overfeeding Caladiums will result in discolored foliage. Some growers have also reported that leaves developed holes after over-fertilizing. So even if the extra fertilizer does not kill your Caladium, it will definitely ruin the appearance of the plant.
- The reds, whites, and pinks will start disappearing from the leaves after an overdose of fertilizer.
- A pruning sessionis recommended in late summer for Caladiums to get rid of the dead foliage. You should also fertilize after pruning to help the plant grow new and colorful leaves. This summer application will ensure your plant develops lots of leaves before dormancy.
The right fertilizer will help these ornamental plants produce the best foliage.
This buying guide is created to help Caladium lovers choose the best fertilizer for Caladiums. We have listed different options from well-known manufacturers.
All the fertilizers mentioned are suitable for any Caladium variety.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.