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Updated: 03/27/2014 08:00:07AM

Garden Club impressed by versatility of caladiums

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“For instant color to your landscape, caladiums are your answer” was the message from Darlene Phypers, a member of the third generation family operating Happiness Farms, the largest family owned commercial caladium grower in the world. Phypers told the Arcadia Garden Club at its March 3 meeting that caladiums bring your home garden to life by accentuating flower beds, hedges, mailboxes, and fences with an explosion of color.

Caladiums were made popular in the mid 1900s in Central Florida by F.M. Joyner. By the mid 1960s, nearly 25 growers were involved in caladium growing. In 1964, the Phypers family entered the caladium business. Paul Phypers is credited with developing the Galaxy, one of the 50 varieties of caladiums sold commercially. Currently about a dozen growers, primarily family owned businesses, work the 1,200 acres of lake bottom land in the Lake Placid area. This land has 30-40 inches of muck and is ideal for caladiums.

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