Asked on Mar 22, 2012

Caladium alternatives for a sunny yard?

by Nikki
I L.O.V.E. caladiums! Unfortunately, my front yard where I want to plant them gets a lot of sun, which from my experience isn't the ideal thing for caladiums. I tried Florida Cardinals last year, but even those couldn't take the sun the front yard gets. Any suggestions for caladium look-alikes that can take the sun? I'm thinking coleus. Anything else?
My front yard wish
  23 answers
  • Johnny J Johnny J on Mar 22, 2012
    This plants prefers moist soil and shaded areas. A direct sun will wilt this plants. This palnts looks pretty
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 22, 2012
    If you are looking for colorful foliage and sun tolerance, coleus would be worth a try. This article from the Louisiana State University Ag Center identifies a number of cultivars that have done well in their trials:
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Mar 22, 2012
    several of the small elephant ear plants do well in full sun if hey are watered in summer
  • Melissa G Melissa G on Mar 22, 2012
    Your caladiums are beautiful, especially in such big groups. It gives me a great idea for my garden's own shady areas.
  • Nikki Nikki on Mar 22, 2012
    Thanks for the advice. I think I'll give the coleus a shot and search for some elephant ears. I'm also going to put in a different variety of sun tolerant caladium bulbs just to see what happens. Melissa, that's a picture of my front yard "wish." It's inspiration for the yard I want to have. :-)
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Mar 22, 2012
    I really like that. I planted caladiums sparsely around the side of my house and in the backyard. Didn't think about doing them in groups like that. I just might try it out! I like coleus too. Post pictures if you plant some and it works out for you!
  • Anne T Anne T on Mar 22, 2012
    I 've planted caladiums every year for ages. My plan was to try something different this season but this yard is so beautiful! Maybe next year I'll do something different. lol
  • Is there a larger leaved coleus that does well in Atlanta?
  • Linda Linda on Mar 23, 2012
    I LOVE caladiums also - they're beautyis so classic
  • Suzanne B Suzanne B on Mar 23, 2012
    depends on your zone looks like you're in zone 8 or 9?
  • Nikki Nikki on Mar 23, 2012
    Good question, HandyAndy! I'd like to know that answer as well.
  • Betty Betty on Mar 23, 2012
    also are caladiums perennial.
  • Louise Louise on Mar 23, 2012
    So, this photo is caladiums? And they're SHADE plants? My yard is nearly all shade. Can I plant them now? I'm in Norcross, GA (metro Atlanta).
  • Faidra at  CA Global Inc Faidra at CA Global Inc on Mar 24, 2012
    Costco has a great deal on caladium and elephant ear bulbs! Have shade and sun tolerant varieties and the product doesn't disappoint, mine were huge, full and lasted really long. I see the "ears" creeping up from the soil already, so I ran out in the rain yesterday and planted some more!
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 24, 2012
    @ Louise, those are caladiums in the photo, and yes, in general, they are shade plants. They like warm soil, at least 60 degrees, and I doubt you have that yet despite the mild winter. @Betty: They are a tender perennial so you will have to dig them up in the falll and bring them inside for storage, as you would dahlias. @HandyAndy and Nikki: "Atlas" has done well in trials and has a large leaves of deep purple with a contrasting center and edge of bright green.
  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Mar 24, 2012
    Nikki, According to Brent Heath of Brent and Becky's bulbs Caladium 'Red Flash' will take full sun.
  • Wendy B Wendy B on Mar 24, 2012
    the deer at mine! :( I still have elephant ears and they are in the sun and look amazing every summer!
  • Wendy B Wendy B on Mar 24, 2012
    ate...not at, sorry
  • Susan S Susan S on Mar 24, 2012
    Ha Ha - I read it as "ate" and didn't catch it until you made the correction. There have been various articles written about how we perceive words and even though things can be really garbled, if certain key letters are present we can still read and understand what's being said, Our brains can do interesting things. . . .
  • Louise Louise on Apr 08, 2012
    So when CAN I plant caladiums? And when will they look like this photo? Is the soil warm enough now? How long will they look like this, and do they come back next year? Should I put them where they'll get nearly no sun? Most of my entire yard is shade, but with some patches of sun here and there, now and then. Oooops, now I see above that they have to be dug up in the fall. That's a lot of trouble. Is there anything else this pretty that will give me lots of nice color for many months that won't have to be dug up?
    • See 1 previous
    • Lo Lo on Jul 11, 2015
      @Marianne Howley There are various deer repellent sprays. They work for me in my "lotsa deer" yard. My hubby sprays my caladiums and hostas. How much rain we have determines the spraying schedule. Usually every 2 weeks or so.
  • Louise Louise on Apr 08, 2012
    What about coleus? (sp?) How will they do in a shady yard? And how long will they last?
  • Erica Glasener Erica Glasener on Apr 08, 2012
    Louise for shade you can use lots of perennials like Carex (green and white looks like an ornamental grass), variegated solomon's seal, ferns and coral bells with colorful foliage. Easy and colorful. Coleus are great too but you will have to replant them each year as they are annuals.
  • Margie  Newman Margie Newman on Jul 11, 2015
    I have recently seen "sun" caladiums here in Home Depot and other garden centers; can't wait 'til next yard looks like a bomb went off. Totally redoing, removed a couple trees (grrr!!!) for the pool, making an island, new trees at fence line, new shrubs & alot of the sun caladiums......Tried the sun patiens when they came out and now I love them, so hoping the caladiums are the same!!! Good Luck!!!