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On Gardening: Heart to Heart Christmas a grand idea in the making

Norman Winter, Tribune News Service on

Published in Gardening News

The floral world has been turned upside down in 2020 and thankfully not by COVID challenges but by an idea long in coming to fruition. I’ll call it a Heart to Heart Christmas. Indoor decorating for Christmas 2020 has been given a new jolt and that appropriately involves a plant that has long been known as the Heart of Jesus.

Proven Winners probably didn’t know what they had created when they debuted the new series of Heart to Heart caladiums. So beautiful,in their design and colors, they have already sparked a fire or revival of this South American tropical. But the challenge and success in creating a floral work of art for Christmas will be like everlasting ripples from a tsunami.

The Heart to Heart Christmas initiative took Proven Winners, the greenhouse industry, and the artistic vision of some of today’s leading garden influencers. When you look at the varieties of Heart to Heart you see immediately the colors of Christmas, rich vibrant red, shades of pink, luscious green and pristine white.

You’ve got to be thinking, Christmas is the dormant or sleep season for caladiums. That is particularly true in the Northern Hemisphere. But just as the industry can force daffodils or hyacinths, or provide artificial dark for poinsettias and Christmas cactus, they can do the same with caladiums.

Even as a caladium lover I admit I had some skepticism. Then I watched the videos of Jenny Simpson at Creekside Nursery in Dallas, North Carolina, and Laura LeBoutillier the star of Garden Answer and I was immediately sold.

Bountiful containers of Heart to Heart caladiums will allow you to do just about anything you can do with a poinsettia, cactus, cyclamen or rosemary topiary. A few weeks ago, I wrote about frosting your poinsettia with Diamond Frost euphorbia. That will always be a good idea. But wait until you see how Jenny combined Heart to Heart Snowdrift white caladiums, with green veins and margins, and a red poinsettia; as I like to say this is a "holy wow" combo!

 

Laura at Garden Answer demonstrated their beauty several ways, using them in a festive look in proximity to the Christmas tree and in a celebratory fashion with three colors of caladiums on a table with stacked books, a lamp and a molded crown.

Her stand-alone container of Heart to Heart Fast Flash in an Old World style urn literally takes my breath away every time I look at it. It looks priceless and you have no problem imagining it being in a prominent place in the queen’s palace.

Then there is a container that shows the power of white used indoors with White Wonder the Proven Winners National Caladium of the Year for 2021. It brightens the room and clearly demonstrates the increased leaf count one gets with a lance or strap-leafed variety.

The indoor caladium has the same enemies as all other Christmas plants: heat, low humidity and darkness. Like you have learned to succeed with those and build family traditions, you’ll learn to manage your Christmas Heart to Heart caladiums. East or West facing windows are ideal, but like you, I’ll put some on the mantle and use them throughout the house. I’ll watch the water and like you probably get busy and forget some.

The Heart to Heart series of caladiums has 20 selections offering a color, and texture for everyone’s garden including sun or shade. Those you’ll find for your holiday décor promise a Christmas joy long remembered.

©2020 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
 

 

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