Calladium - anyone growing them?

gardenklutz(NC 7)March 14, 2004

I live in zone 7 (North Carolina) and purchased some Calladium bulbs from Home Depot - just couldn't resist, was really needing a garden fix about a month ago :)

I potted them up and have them indoors. How long will it take before I see some action from them? It's now been 5 weeks and nothing is happening yet. Starting to wonder if the bulbs were bad - but I don't know the germination time for Calladiums. I haven't always had good luck with bulbs from HD - sometimes things grow and sometimes they don't.

Would love to hear from anyone growing Calladiums - I could use some good instruction. Thanks!

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I bought a bag of the mixed Caladiums from HD too. I potted up three (a few weeks ago) and I am just now seeing one of the three come up. I began to wonder if I planted them upside down or something. I has some last year that I treated as annuals but never started with just the bulbs (rhizome?) before. In my limited experience, it does seem to take some time.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 11:30AM
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CORRECTION - I meant "had" instead of "has". I hate typos.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2004 at 11:32AM
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Hi......Caladium like really warm soil before they'll be inspired to do much of anything. Two years ago I made the mistake of planting them out in the garden just after our frost date passed but before the soil had really warmed up: they rotted. Last year, I started them indoors, on my enclosed (but cool) porch, and they literally just sat there until around Memorial Day before they poked up out of the soil! In fact, I think it was June before the last of them put in an appearance.........THIS year I'm going to start them early again, BUT place the pots inside of my little plastic-covered, two-tier grow rack on top of heating cables, which should give them both bottom heat and warm air....It's good to keep in mind that caladiums are tropical........Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2004 at 4:18PM
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gardenklutz(NC 7)

Still no signs of life on my caladiums - 6 weeks now. Does it really take this long? By the time they start to grow I can probably buy them fully grown at the garden center - LOL.

I have the pots in the house in a warm area where the lowest temperature is 65 at night, 70 during the day. I keep the soil moist not wet. Maybe I planted them upside down and they'll never grow or maybe they were just bad tubers to begin with.

I just received my order from Brent and Becky's with more caladiums in the order. Would it be best for me to hold on to these until it warms up outside and then just plant them in the ground? I'm afraid to try the potting game again.
This is soooooo frustrating!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2004 at 8:11PM
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I found a mushroom growing in one of the ones that didn't sprout. I am probably sure that means it rotted. I probably overwatered it before it started to grow. I am going to check it out tonight.
If you have a warmer spot in your home, that is where I would move them or try your new ones at. They do like really warm soil temps (think that I read somewhere that it had to be around 75 degrees). Also, water sparingly. I bet you see some better results. Don't get too discouraged, I think they do take a long time to sprout.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2004 at 12:26PM
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I did a Google search & here is a website you might find helpful. It lists the dates at which you should plant for your area.
Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Instructions for Care & Planting

    Bookmark   March 18, 2004 at 12:28PM
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Just to update you, I checked on the Caladium that had the mushrooms growing in it's pot. It was not rotten or mushy at all. In fact, it had healthy white roots & the beginnings of two sprouts. I replanted it & I am sure it will be fine.
Perhaps yours will be coming up soon? Keep us updated.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 12:04PM
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Givem them good bottom heat (85 deg F if you can) and they will sprout in no time. Caladium is one of those odd balls which require consistently moist soil but which is also well draining (DOH !!!). Try mixing in plenty of compost and fir bark into the growing media. Mulch well and the use of watering crystals can come in handy, too.

Once ready to put outdoors, do not be in a hurry. Cold weather will kill them off.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2004 at 4:43PM
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gardenklutz(NC 7)

Update - these stupid calladiums are just sitting in their pot - doing absoutley nothing! I dug them up today just to see if they were rotten - one was, but the rest were as firm as the day I received them. It's a mystery to me why they aren't growing. I have moved the pot outside now because our temps have been really warm and I'm hoping something will start to happen soon. If not, I'm going to pitch them and just pick up a few that I saw at Lowe's yesterday, they were really pretty.

Think I've been patient long enough - LOL

    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 8:42PM
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Sorry to hear that. Instant gratification is worth it (especially since you have been waiting for so long).

Perhaps you can just 'forget' about the ones that you have been trying to start (like in a shady corner or something). They might surprise you when it gets warmer....

Good luck & happy gardening.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 10:24AM
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texas_eyes(Zone 7)

Sounds like you planted them upside down.......the flat side is the bottom, and the bumpy side is the top.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 12:55PM
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sheilaisom(z8 TX)

Don't know if this will help any of y'all, but I found some information at this address --
Since I'm in Central Texas and the sun gets blistering hot during the summer, I'm thinking the caladiums I planted in my front flower beds will not survive. Thought it was interesting that the red ones were more sun hardy. I'm really new at all this, but thought the information might help. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2004 at 9:21AM
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gardenklutz(NC 7)

Lo and Behold - these calladiums have finally started to grow! What a nice surprise. I decided to remove them from the pots that I had them in (because I needed these pots for other things) - and put them in my shade garden in and around my ferns, hostas, etc. AND, I actually forgot about them. About 3/4 of them are up and have leaves on them -

Next year I'll know better than to do anything with them until the ground is warm enough. I'm not even going to bother trying to start them inside - it really wasn't worth the trouble. I did however, purchase a few from Home Depot that are just beautiful and growing like crazy. This is probably what I'll do in the future - SO MUCH EASIER - LOL

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 3:05PM
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Caladiums are very slow to start from bulbs. Mine just started growing early June, but they're gorgeous now. I bought two varieties of the dwarf type at Home Depot. I planted them the second week in April, so it took two months almost for them to do anything. I love the dwarfs I got, though. Ruffled red leaves, and ruffled white with distinct red splotches. I may actually save these!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2004 at 12:24PM
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cnjones(z6 MI)

I bought my calladium last summer to put in a new garden, they were stunning all summer, I bought them as plants, not bulbs. Since they are considered house plants, I took them inside when the weather got cold and they eventually ended up dying off, I was so disappointed. I ended up putting the full pots of dirt in a spare room, covered them up and left them all winter. This spring I needed those pots for planting and when I took them out, there were sprouts coming up! I was so happy and they have been on my front porch all summer and all of the neighbors come over to ooh and aah over them. I really would like to keep them alive inside the house over winter, does any one know how to keep them as houseplants?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 9:34AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Caladiums require a dormant period of at least 3 months.
Doesn't have to be cool or dry or anything that I can determine.I use them as a yard plant here and the only thing I dislike about them is the dormant period. In a cold climate I'd dig them before a freeze and store them in a mesh bag until the temps stay above 40.
So they make a great garden plant but a lousy houseplant lol.
Gardenklutz. I'll bet what happened in your case was that the tubers had been stored too long.HD is a great place to get plants but forget about tubers until you learn to identify a fresh one.Some of these have been stored for years!! You can always dig up a tuber and check it for growth.Won't hurt it a bit.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2004 at 6:10AM
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cnjones(z6 MI)

Thanks Gary for the info. What a shame they don't make good houseplants, winter here in Michigan is long and cold and having color inside makes it less dreary. Anyone have any ideas for houseplants that give a lot of color? Have a friend who grows orchids quite successfully and she swore I could do it too.............took me two weeks to kill it! Anything houseplant that flowers, I will destroy. That is why the calladium are so appealing, I can handle foliage........

    Bookmark   August 1, 2004 at 3:18PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

cnjones, I agree winter is so long. I have really pretty succulents that help me with the winter blues.

Colorful succulents suggestions...
peperomia rainbow - Red/Green/Yellow leaves
Peperomia graveolens - Red/Green
Kalanchoe orgyalis - Pink/lime green

Pretty leaves
Purple Heart (Setcreasea Pallida)
Purple Passion
and endless color try some Coleus.

My fix for flowers I grow Armarylis.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 12:43AM
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cnjones(z6 MI)

marquest, thanks so much for the suggestions, I will look into succulents for some winter pick-me-up. I never thought of Amarylis, my friend who grows orchids has also grown amarylis and I thought they were just beautiful but I didn't want to chance another flower death! I feel so guilty when I kill them. I have a ficus tree that I have been growing for 17 years and I started it from a very small plant that had 4 leaves on it and cost me 35 cents!! It is now over 5 feet tall and so pretty..........just can't grow flowers in the house!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 9:34PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Armarlyis are easy they do not need any direct sunlight either grow it like a house plant. Put it outside or leave it inside let it grow. When winter sets in water once a month and it flowers.

I picked mine up for a dollar after Christmas 3 yrs ago it now has two babies next to Momma. I do not know why people put it in the dark for months it is not in the dark when grown outside in the ground.

Last winter this is what I had..

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 1:30AM
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