Caladium Moonlight is a fancy-leaf caladium. Moonlight or Florida Moonlight is a caladium variety developed by the University of Florida’s breeding program in 2002. A hybrid of a cross between Caladium ‘Aaron and Caladium ‘Candidum Jr’. White luminescent leaves have a thin green margin. Large heart-shaped leaves are light and papery thin. Veins are white to light green. They have proven to produce a superior number of leaves that emerge sooner than other white cultivars. This goes for tubers that are forced in pots and when grown in outdoor landscapes. Perfect for brightening up any shady spot in your garden or patio.
Caladiums are native to the tropical regions of South America, primarily Brazil. These plants have been a part of American and European gardens since the mid-1800s. Currently, there are approximately 16 different species commercially available. Read more about the many different Caladium varieties here.
Place your Caladium Moonlight in bright, indirect sunlight. Moonlight Caladiums may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves, without ample sunlight. Make sure you acclimate your caladium before putting it into direct sun. Too much sun too soon could cause leaves to scorch and dry up. A few hours of morning sun is a perfect start. Then, gradually increase the amount of full sun your Moonlight gets. Indoors, place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth. Sprouts in 32 days in spring and more quickly in summer months.
Water your Caladium thoroughly and make sure that the soil is evenly moist. If the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch, then it is time to water. Allow water to flow through the pot’s drainage holes. Avoid overwatering your plant as it will bring about root rot problems.
Plant your Florida Moonlight Caladiums outside after any danger of frost has passed. The ideal temperature range for caladiums is between 70°F – 75°F (21°C – 23°C) during the day and 60°F – 65°F (15°C – 18°C) at night. Caladium plants are not tolerant of cold temperatures. Be sure to bring inside as a potted plant when temperatures drop.
Like most caladiums, Florida Moonlight grows best in fertile, well draining soil. Be sure to not use soil that is too compacted or heavy. This can result in prolonged periods of water retention, resulting in root rot. Improve the texture and fertility of your soil by adding compost or top soil at planting time.
During the growing season, caladiums will appreciate an occasional dose of liquid fertilizer. When your caladium is ready for repotting, be sure to add some fresh potting soil. This will replenish the caladium’s nutrients. Repot your Moonlight Caladium after it doubles in size, or once a year (whichever comes first).
Caladiums are flowering plants that go by many common names: Elephant Ears, Angel wings, Heart of Jesus and many more. There are over 1000 named cultivars of Caladium bicolor from the original South American plant.
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