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Strap Leaf Caladium Care — What They Don’t Tell You!

Strap Leaf Caladium Care — What They Don’t Tell You!

Strap Leaf Caladium is a plant variety known for its striking foliage. These plants have arrow and heart-shaped leaves that come in various colors. 

This plant is native to the subtropics within central America and thrives in warm areas.

Strap Leaf Caladium comes in many different varieties, and this variety of Caladium is a little smaller in size. This plant looks great in the mass planting area and even around trees. 

Strap Leaf Caladium can be paired up with ferns, impatiens, and begonias to make your home or offices look even better.

 

Strap Leaf Caladium

Strap Leaf Caladium needs the usual care provided to any Caladium plant. However, in terms of sunlight, they require direct sunlight exposure of at least 6 hours. Humidity levels should range between 60 to 70%. Keep the temperature between 70°F to 85°F (21°C to 29°C). Use a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10.

 

Soil

Strap Leaf Caladium thrives in soil that is well-draining. The best soil mix for this plant can include:

  • Chopped leaves or mushroom compost
  • Damp peat
  • Organic matter

Strap Leaf Caladium needs to be kept in soil that is neutral or slightly acid. Thus, the pH should range from 5.0 to 7.0.

 

Water

Strap Leaf Caladium needs to be kept in moist soil throughout its growth. The addition of mulch can help your Strap Leaf Caladium retain moisture for a longer period of time. 

The best time to water your Strap Leaf Caladium is when the top two inches of the soil have become dry.

Make sure your Strap Leaf Caladium never goes dry as the leaves will start to become yellow, and they may even become droopy.

 

Light

Strap Leaf Caladium can thrive under partial shade. However, the plant grows best when it’s provided with daily direct sunlight exposure of at least 6 hours. 

Morning sunlight is the best for this plant as the sun’s rays are not too harsh.

 

Temperature

Strap Leaf Caladium are grown in warm areas and thus grow well indoors with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 85°F (21°C to 29°C). 

This plant is also slightly more frost-resistant compared to other Caladiums. But it is best to never leave your Strap Leaf Caladium in temperatures lower than 32°F (0°C)

 

Humidity

Strap Leaf Caladium like high humidity levels as it grows in tropical forests. 

Generally, humidity levels ranging from 60 to 70 percent work best for Strap Leaf Caladium.

 

Fertilizer

Strap Leaf Caladium needs a lot of potassium and phosphorus to grow well. They also require a lot of moisture and need several feeding sessions during the summer season. 

Fertilizing your Strap Leaf Caladium will help it produce better tubers for next year.

In order to fertilize your Strap Leaf Caladium, use a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10. 

Take one tablespoon of fertilizer per square foot of your Strap Leaf Caladium. Fertilize it every four to six weeks during its growing season.

 

Repotting

Strap Leaf Caladium does not need to be repotted often, just like any other Caladium plant. Repotting can be necessary if the plant’s soil gets infected with southern blight or other diseases. 

When you wish to repot your Strap Leaf Caladium, follow these steps:

  • Repot your Strap Leaf Caladium only during the spring season and use sterilized tools.
  • Spray insecticides on it to prevent the spread of insects such as aphids.
  • Place your Strap Leaf Caladium in a soil mix that is the same as the previous one.

 

Pruning

Pruning is an amazing way to make your Strap Leaf Caladium grow more. Strap Leaf Caladium should only be pruned after three weeks. 

Usually, it is suggested that you prune your Strap Leaf Caladium when:

  • Your Strap Leaf Caladium has many dead leaves.
  • Your Strap Leaf Caladium has grown larger than your preference.
  • When there are some infected leaves.
  • When you want to cut off older and larger leaves.

 

Propagation

Strap Leaf Caladium can be propagated in two ways: the stem separation method and the other is through the bulbs within the soil. 

To propagate your Strap Leaf Caladium through stems, follow these steps:

  • Flip the pot upside down to remove the plant from it.
  • Then tap the outsides of the pot as this will make the compact soil loosen up. Once the soil is loose, the plant will start to slide out.
  • Take the Strap Leaf Caladium and place it in a clean area.
  • Your Strap Leaf Caladium will have divided stem groups that have their own root system.
  • Just remove one of these stem groups gently from the rest of the plant.
  • Put back the original plant in its pot.
  • Take a new pot and plant the new Strap Leaf Caladium into the pot.
  • Add the soil into the pot. Make sure the soil contains damp peat and organic compost.
  • Then water your Strap Leaf Caladium so it can settle into its new pot.

The second way to propagate your Strap Leaf Caladium is through bulbs. 

If you wish to propagate your Strap Leaf Caladium through bulbs, follow these steps:

  • First, you will have to remove your Strap Leaf Caladium from the pot. 
  • Once your Strap Leaf Caladium has been removed from its pot, you will notice the soil has some balls in it.
  • These soil balls are bulbs and can be used to propagate your Strap Leaf Caladium.
  • Take a few bulbs and place them aside.
  • Take another pot and fill it up with soil. The soil mix should be similar to the one used for stem propagation.
  • Then put the bulbs on the soil. After this, slightly push the bulb into the soil so that half of it is under the soil.
  • When placing the bulb on the soil, keep the flat part of the soil and the point part facing upwards.
  • Then water your plant, and provide it with the same care as the other matured Strap Leaf Caladium.

Strap Leaf Caladium needs to be propagated with equipment that is sanitized. You can do this by placing your tools in bleach for thirty minutes and then washing them. 

You can also sanitize the tools by cleaning them with rubbing alcohol.

 

Blooms

Strap Leaf Caladium does have blooms, unlike other Caladiums. Their blooms are white in color. 

However, this plant is not grown for its blooms, and they are a rare sight when this plant is grown indoors.

 

Growth

Strap Leaf Caladium has leaves that are smaller and pointier than other Caladium plants. This plant grows in an abundance of short leaves. 

Strap Leaf Caladium leaves grow at a much slower rate than other Caladium plants.

Generally, Strap Leaf Caladium leaves can grow six to eighteen inches tall. Their leaf size ranges from four to ten inches in length.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Common Problems for Strap Leaf Caladium

 

Caterpillars

Caterpillars are insects that love feeding on the leaves of many plants. They often times end up consuming the whole leaf or part of a leaf.

You can spot caterpillars easily as they are quite large in size.

However, if you are uncertain whether the damage being caused to your plant is by caterpillars or another insect. 

You can simply check for fecal deposits on the leaves, as caterpillars often leave those behind.

It’s important to control the spread of caterpillars as they multiply extremely fast. You can control their spread by adding low-level light around your plant. 

This is because adult caterpillars are attracted to bright lights.

Low-level lighting also reduces the chances of female caterpillars from laying their eggs near your Strap Leaf Caladium. 

Also, remember to remove any weeds surrounding your plant, as this will also reduce the chances of female caterpillars from laying their eggs near your plant.

 

Aphids

Aphids are a hindrance for many plant owners as they tend to target almost every plant. Strap Leaf Caladium is no exception to these pests either.

If not taken care of early on, aphids can damage your plant considerably. They do this by leaving a sticky honeydew behind once they have fed on your plant’s sap.

This sticky honeydew then invites ants and fungal diseases. If you wish to get rid of aphids, you will need to prune your plant to get rid of infested leaves. 

You can also use diluted neem oil on the leaves as it can kill the aphids.

If neem oil was used, make sure you spray your plant with high-pressure water to get rid of any extra aphids left on it.

 

Snail and Slug

Snails and slugs can easily damage strap Leaf Caladium because its foliage attracts these animals to it. The leaves of Strap Leaf Caladium are not as large as other heart-shaped Caladiums. 

But they are available in abundance and are larger than the average leaf.

Snails and slugs are capable of causing a lot of damage to your Strap Leaf Caladium tubers and leaves. The damage can then reduce your plant’s growth and can even cause it to die.

Strap Leaf Caladium needs to be protected against snails and slugs. This can be done by copper wire, diatomaceous earth, and crushed eggshells in your plant’s pot. 

These things act like a barrier that can fight against slugs and snails.

Baits also work well against these animals. The best baits to use against snails and slugs are melon rinds or even a can of beer. 

Once the animals are stuffed, they won’t move for a while and can easily be thrown away the next day.

To further avoid surrounding your Strap Leaf Caladium with slugs and snails, you should reduce the number of moist things around it. 

Slugs often love to stay in moist places, so removing anything moist can help reduce this issue.

Mulch is very useful for Strap Leaf Caladium as it helps the plant retain moisture. But make sure that the amount of mulch being used is not in access since this also attracts snails and slugs.

Another way to stop these animals from reaching your plant is by keeping your plant on a higher level than the ground. Remove any weed surrounding the plant. 

Rocks close to your plant should be turned over every day so that one side can dry up.

Natural predators are also another great option to get rid of slugs and snails. You can keep toads or non-poisonous snakes near your Strap Leaf Caladium. 

These animals only eat small animals and will thus target snails and slugs.

 

Tips for Growing Strap Leaf Caladium

Strap Leaf Caladium verities are slightly different than other plants within the Caladium genus, but they require almost the same type of care. 

Here are some of the tips you can follow to grow healthy Strap Leaf Caladium:

  • Keep the humidity levels at 60% and above.
  • Water your plant often. Make sure the soil is always moist.
  • Keep the soil well-drained.
  • Provide either direct sunlight or indirect sunlight.
  • Do not over-fertilize.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Strap Leaf Caladium

 

Does Strap Leaf Caladium like partial or full-sunlight?

Strap Leaf Caladium prefers partial sunlight the majority of the day. But they can also survive under direct sunlight for up to 6 hours a day.

 

Should I leave my Strap Leaf Caladium pot outdoors during winters?

Strap Leaf Caladium is a tuberous plant. This means that it needs to be kept indoors as tuberous plants are frost-sensitive.

 

When’s the best time to plant my Strap Leaf Caladium?

Plant it during the months of March or April. It’s because these 2 months are the peak growing months.

 

How long does Strap Leaf Caladium stay alive?

On average, a Strap Leaf Caladium can live up to three to four years. But this can vary depending on its surroundings and the care given to it.

 

Conclusion

Strap Leaf Caladium is a stunning plant that is not found easily everywhere. Their unique features can catch the eye of any plant enthusiast.

Strap Leaf Caladium is one of the best investments to make as they are not high maintenance. 

This plant can be the perfect addition to your plant collections as you can never go wrong with them.