Starting Caladiums Indoors

killerv(Macon)April 14, 2008

I wanted to get a jump on caladiums this year because I love them so much and want to experience them as long as possible. Here's what I did after doing some online researching. I would appreciate any input or suggestions before I do the rest of my tubers.

I took a Coke flat, you know the ones that hold all the bottles, lined the bottom with newspaper, moistened some potting mix, added about 1 inch to the flat. Placed 25 tubers on the mix, added about 1 inch of moistened potting mix on top of them. I set them in our sunroom, right now it stays around 75 degrees during the day. I plan on setting it in the driveway before I leave for work in the morning and in on the dryer whenever clothes are getting done. Am I on the right track? Do I really need a heating pad? I have 75 more tubers I would like to start early also but want to wait to see how the "test" flat does. When the time is right, I'm going to plant them in a shady flowerbed that gets some filtered morning sun and the sprinklers can hit when I'm watering the lawn.

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opal52(z7b GA)

I started some caladiums inside to get an early start several years ago. Followed Walter Reeves instructions. I planted them in good potting soil in a regular container and kept them in a very sunny window. They came up just fine, grew nicely and I planted them outside at the same time I set the other tubers in the garden, I think about end April that year. Everything went fine and I did have some early caladiums to enjoy, but in short order, the tubers planted directly in the garden caught up with them. I did not use bottom heat, just a had them in lot of sun in front of our patio door. I'm no expert but I would be careful setting them outside in the driveway for the next couple days. They like to stay warm.

Hope all works out well with your test.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 6:06PM
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thanks, sounds like I'm on the right track. Yeah, I haven't started setting them out on the driveway yet during the day because of this cold snap. If they come up well, I will get one more flat ready and save the rest for going straight in the ground. I'm curious to see if it's worth starting them early or not like you mentioned also and if they do as well in the long run.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 2:04PM
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Nell Jean

I had the same experience as Opal. The time and effort that I spent getting the caladiums to sprout early was not worth their being overtaken in short order by those planted directly, but only when the ground is warm enough to assure they'll won't rot.

I have a belief that caladiums are day-length driven or otherwise affected by seasons. I have no documentation except personal experience, but they seem to know when to 'start.'

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 4:59PM
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They are starting to sprout! I've been spraying the flat with water from a spray bottle to help keep things moist. Fun to try anyway even though I know the tubers I plants directly in the ground will probably catch up in no time. I'm curious to see just how quickly they catch up.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:09AM
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