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Caladiums, Tropical Mix

Short Description

Large showy leaves brighten shady spots.

Full Description

Caladiums exude exotic allure. The colorful foliage - harmonious splashes of red, white, pink, and green on large, heart-shaped leaves - adds a tropical feel to a garden. Mixes well with begonia, impatiens and coleus.
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Caladiums, Tropical Mix
Caladiums, Tropical Mix, , large
Item #: 84009
12 Bulbs
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Product properties

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Shade, Part Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

12-18 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

12-15 inches

Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.

Beds, Borders, Container

Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.


Growth Habit The genetic tendency of a plant to grow in a certain shape, such as vining or bush like.


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Annuals Tour #1
Annuals Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite annual plants in a garden setting. In this video- Zinnia, Angelonia, Marigold, Petunia, Celosia and Vinca.
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  • Caladium

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30

Planting Caladium Bulbs

  • Plant caladium bulbs outside after all danger of frost has passed and daytime temperatures remain above 70 degrees. Caladiums are tropical plants and cannot tolerate any frost and only emerge when the soil is warm.
  • Select a location in shade or part sun with a good rich moist organic soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Plant bulbs 8-12 inches apart. The knobby side should be up as these are the growing points.
  • Cover with 1 inch of soil.
  • Caladium bulbs may be started inside 6-8 weeks before all danger of frost has passed. They require a warm soil in order to emerge so consider using a heat mat.

Growing Caladium in Your Garden

  • Keep weeds under control during the caladium growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep elephant ear plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots. Caladiums benefit from a granular fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.
  • Monitor caladiums for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Many gardeners remove any flower stalks that develop to keep the strength in the plant.
  • Caladiums are only hardy in zone 10. In other locations in the fall before frost or when the foliage begins to die back, dig up the bulbs with the soil and tops clinging to them. Let bulbs dry inside, out of direct sun with plenty of air circulation. Remove the leaves when they are easily tugged away from the bulb, shake off the soil, do not wash. Store bulbs in dry peat moss, perlite or vermiculite. Do not store the bulbs below 60 degrees.

Caladium Varieties Available at Burpee Seeds


  • Caladiums are great for brightening, shady areas.
  • Caladiums are ideal for containers, including windowboxes.
  • Caladium foliage adds drama to cut flower arrangements.

Introduction to Growing Annuals

Full Shade, Part Sun
12-18 inches
12-15 inches
Ornamental Use
Beds, Borders, Container
Life Cycle
Growth Habit
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Flower color
Green, Pink, Red, White
Caladiums, Tropical Mix is rated 1.6 out of 5 by 9.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful! I found these late in the planting season but my caladiums are gorgeous! Planted in a shady area and breathtakingly beautiful. I ordered a total of 25 bulbs and every one came up. My only regret is I did not order more of them. I live in the southeast and this climate must be perfect for them.
Date published: 2018-07-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from None of the 12 planted bulbs emerged. Upon investigation, I found the bulbs had rotted. Followed all instructions, so am very disappointed. Other Burpee products are doing well for me, so wonder what the issue was with the caladiums.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Rotted in the pots. All of the 10 bulbs I got rotted in my pots (I do container gardening on a terrace). The coleus (watermelon variety) plants I got in the same shipment are doing beautifully. I have a great deal of experience and did not overwater the caladiums, which is often a problem with starting bulbs.
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not sure The add said tropical mix. I received one large bulb. It is a nice bush about 2 feet tall, loaded with green leaves 2 in wide by 3 in long. The leaves are purple on the bottom side. It looks nothing like the picture in the catalog, or the picture for the review. I don't know what I have, but its nice and growing well. Delton
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not Happy I bought these awhile ago, but received them just 6 weeks ago. I planted them according to your instructions and nothing grew. Four of them rotted into mush in the soil.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from What is this again? I can't see them. I purchased these (for zone 9) and planted them in mid-April. It is June 19 and I have nothing even peeking above the soil. Thought other reviewers were possibly trying to plant in areas where they wouldn't do well. Wondering how Burpee got the pictures of these plants!
Date published: 2017-06-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from These caladiums I ordered never came up! My astilbe and heuchera did well.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Never came up. Very unhappy I planted these when I was supposed to and they never came up. I didn't plant a couple of them so I just threw them away. No sense in it if they were going to ROT underground too! Will not be buying from y'all again. Unsure of the zone. (Question below)
Date published: 2016-09-15
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