How can I get a second year out of Caladiums ?

rolacoyFebruary 21, 2010

I do not know much about plants, but I am trying to grow flowers in my garden. I was at HomeDepot and saw packages of Caladiums, I think there were 18 in the bag for about $10.00. I did some checking and found out that in our area they would not come up the second year. But that I could dig them up and store them to replant the second year.

Now I already told you I don't know what I am doing ! How about if I get some plastic cups, make a bunch of holes in the cups, plant the bulbs in the cups in my greenhouse and then put the cups in the garden at the proper time. Then at the end of the season I can see the rims of the cups, pull them up, take the bulbs out of the cups and store the bulbs.

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Rolacoy, someone here may (unlike me) have experience with storing caladiums, but you are more likely to get cogent advice at the bulb or aroid forums.

Kevin : )

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 1:07AM
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Not gonna work :-) Caladium bulbs (tubers really) will get quite large during the growing season and blast right through a plastic cup. If you want to try this method, plant them up in at least a gallon sized nursery pot (one tuber per pot), grow them on until after last chance of frost, then sink the pots in the ground.

But I think you will find you'll get better results just planting them directly into the ground and then digging, cleaning and storing for winter.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:33AM
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I did not realize that they would grow so large. Then if I can dig them up, clean and store them for next year and replant them, will the leaves be the same size? Or will they just produce more leaves. I am trying to learn about plants, but I have a long way to go.

The bulbs or tubers that are being sold in plastic bags at HomeDepot and Lowes are about the size of a walnut.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:36AM
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The larger the tuber, the large the plant and its foliage. Personally, I wouldn't waste money on caladium tubers were that small to begin with - they will produce very small plants the first year. Better nurseries and most bulb dealers will have larger ones available that will make much more of an impact. Look for ones that are about 2" in diameter, minimum. A mature caladium tuber should be about the size of a softball or larger.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 8:54AM
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I did not know about the size. So how much would larger ones cost at a better nursery. Cost is important to me, because of a limited budget. If I can get them for about 50 cents at HomeDepot small and get them thru the Winter then Next year they would be bigger.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 9:45AM
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I wouldn't start with anything smaller than a #1 sized bulb (about 2 - 2.5" diameter). You can find these online for about a dollar per bulb but they are typically sold in quantities of at least 10. Because of my location and shorter growing season, caladiums here are most often sold as potted plants and therefore the price goes up substantially.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 10:15AM
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Thanks a lot for your advise.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 11:09PM
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