How to correctly pollinate caladiums?

emiliasgarden(PR)May 28, 2006

Hello! Most of my Caladiums are in bloom. I have been pollinating them, but i think i am doing something wrong, becuase after several days, the flower stalk fade and the place where the female flowers are just turn in something black or brown.

I have been pollinating plants that have female reseptive flowers with pollen of other plants. I read somewhere that female flowers are receptive when the spathe is still clossed, but it starts to change coloration (white blotches appear in the spathe, or the border of the spathe becomes white).

Now, here are my questions:

Is correct what i mention above about when female flowers are reseptive?

How cani know for sure when female flowers are reseptives?

How do i recognize if the female flowers were correctly pollinated?

How do caladium seeds look alike?

Do you have any specific technique to pollinate caladiums that you can share?

Can anybody give me some links or webpages where i can read more about Caladium and other aroids pollinization?

Thanks for any help,

Jorge Joel...

Emilia's Garden

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lariann(z10 FL)

Last season I had such success in setting seed in Caladiums that I had hundreds of tiny plantlets started. The female parts are receptive before the inflorescence opens, so either you need fresh pollen available on another inflorescence at that time, or you need to save pollen for use at the right time.

How did I know when to pollinate? By watching the inflorescences develop, I noticed that a day or two before it opened, the spathe expanded or "poofed" a little, and the color of the spathe also lightened up a little. That is when, in the morning, I cut open the spathe around the pistils and put pollen on them. If you wait until the spathe opens, you are too late.

You know it has worked when you see whitish berries developing. The pistil area swells noticeably until you can see it as a cluster of berries tightly squeezed together. You need to put a little stocking bag over them when they are near ripening because they all fall off and you can lose them. The seeds within the berries are very small, smaller than pinhead size, and are a job to clean, but it can be done.

The following link has detailed information on breeding Caladiums; scroll down to near the bottom of the page where you will find a four part series on this.

Hope this helps,
LariAnn Garner
Aroidia Research

Here is a link that might be useful: Caladium breeding (near bottom of page)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 1:33PM
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Hello LariAnn! Thank you very, very much for your help! I really appreciated.

Now i have another question. So you say that i can know if the pollinization was succesful if:
"You know it has worked when you see whitish berries developing. The pistil area swells noticeably until you can see it as a cluster of berries tightly squeezed together."

But, if the pistil looks brownish, like this:

Basicly this has been my problem, that all pistils become brownish and some of them fade, but others keep on swelling but with a brownish coloration. The one pictured above has keep on swelling and it is like 2 weeks old. It has not faded and keps on growing, but iti s brown. Is this normal, or correct?

Thank youvery much, once again,
Jorge Joel...
Emilia's Garden

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 10:55AM
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so... any success from that "brown and growing" pistils? did they bore seeds?... I am too trying my hand at Caladium pollination... any reply will be quiet helpful for me to do so in a successful manner.



    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 2:51AM
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Hello Izhar! Sorry, but i did not have success with that Caladium, nor had with any, so I stopped my tries many years ago. I never developed a method to be successful. So I do not have any hints that can help you. Maybe other of the forum's guys can have good advice for you and for me;0)


    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 8:51AM
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LariAnn's advice is dead-on accurate but this info with photos written primarily by aroid expert Julius Boos may help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aroid pollination

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 7:46PM
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hey thanks for info... there is a guy in Barbados who did it quite successfully check his Caladium pics at

well i have just received my tubers (20 in total), will plant them at this weekend or so... i am thinking probably it has something to do with humidity and temperature of surroundings...

Well I am planning to try my hand on pollinating Aglaonema commutatum and Zantedeschia elliottiana too...



    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 1:38AM
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