The tropical houseplant, the caladium bicolor, also referred to as the Heart of Jesus, blooms in summer when planted outdoors.
Other cultivars bloom earlier or later. More than 1,000 caladium cultivars exist, so this article references the majority of the plants and their typical behavior.
When does caladium bloom?
Your caladium plant will typically bloom in summer, but indoors, they can bloom more often than that and sooner than in summer. It does depend on the cultivar, with a range of blooming times from spring to early autumn.
Caladium Blooming Schedules
The tropical caladium plant grows well in many areas outdoors, but you can cultivate it indoors in any location.
You will obtain multicolored heart-shaped leaves from this shade-loving plant year-round with small white flowers featuring a flowering spike referred to as a spadix.
A spathe surrounds it, a flower part that resembles a white curled leaf. In the summertime, you can see its breathtaking blooms.
That doesn’t mean the plant will look boring the rest of the year. Rather, its leaves consist of green, red, white, and pink, providing a spectacular view at any time.
Blooms Depend on the Cultivar
Your caladium, also known as Florida Red Ruffles, Red Flash, Strawberry Star, Elephant’s Ear, Angel Wings, Spathe Flowers, and White Dynasty, will bloom typically during July and August in USDA zones 10 through 12.
As part of the immense family Araceae, you can find varieties of this plant that will also do well in zone 13. You may not notice blooms on the caladium in its first few years in the ground.
They do not bloom immediately. Some varieties do not bloom at all, such as Blushing Bride, which nurseries note as “grown for foliage” when describing its bloom time.
While growing them outdoors requires a very warm climate with a minimum temperature of 65°F (18 °C) and shade, you can cultivate these indoors to enjoy their blooms all year long.
To successfully grow these plants inside, and have them consistently bloom, you need to create a mock environment of their native Brazil and South American habitats – a shaded rainforest floor.
They love humid, warm weather and expect it year around. When grown indoors, you can cultivate this flower as a perennial houseplant. Outdoors, it is an annual plant.
Encouraging More Frequent Blooms
You can encourage stronger growth and spur more blooms in cultivars that produce them by fertilizing your caladium bicolor. Feed it every two weeks during its regular growing season.
If you cannot find an appropriate fertilizer locally, you should order it online.
When grown in pots, the typical caladium plant grows to a height of approximately 24 inches or two feet. They also grow to that same width.
You can find dwarf Caladium bicolor cultivars, so you can grow this flower as a houseplant in smaller spaces such as an apartment and enjoy the foliage and blooms from spring to autumn.
Cultivars grown in Florida often produce flowers in July and August. You do not have to continually purchase new caladium to keep this plant in your garden.
In spring, you replant them and they will once again bloom for you on the same schedule – during mid-to-late summer.
Frequently Asked Questions about When Caladium Bloom
Why have my caladiums not bloomed?
When they grow as outdoor annuals, these plants rarely flower, so if yours did not bloom, that is normal. The perennial houseplant caladiums do not usually flower either. The foliage remains vivid and gorgeous all year though.
Is there a caladium that can grow and bloom in sunny conditions? In shade?
It is understandable if you love this plant and want to grow it in your garden but have no shade in your yard. You can grow strap leaf caladium! It loves brighter conditions. You’ll see it develop narrow with a tapered tip. You might spot these for sale listed as arrowhead leaves or lance-leaved. If you need one that grows in shade, try growing the fancy leaf caladium, because these lovely plants grow heart-shaped leaves of broad widths.
Can you plant an already grown caladium and still get it to bloom?
You could purchase a potted caladium, then transfer it to a large container or plant it in the ground and it will still bloom for you, typically after a few seasons. Most people grow these flowers from bulbs though. These tuberous roots or corms produce leaves when planted just a few inches deep.
What happens if you forget to dig up the caladium?
You will kill the caladium bulbs if you do not dig them up. These caladium plants and their bulbs cannot tolerate cold temperatures, frost, or freezes. Growing them as annuals requires digging them up from your garden at the end of the blooming season, which typically means the end of summer when the leaves begin yellowing as fall comes. You collect the bulbs, then winter them inside in a dark, cold room. If you have a basement, that is perfect. They will go dormant in the dark. Leave the foliage attached to the caladium bulbs. Once the roots dry, trim off the leaf stems. Brush off the loose dirt. Store them in a dry room at 50°F. When you re-plant them in the spring, you can count on them to grow bushy foliage and to bloom on their regular schedule.
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.