Elephant ears & Caladium

sami46(centralmass)September 19, 2011

Good morning

Having a brain cramp, lugged in all the house plants from their summer home in the shade garden, but can't seem to recall if I need the frost to nip the leaves of the elephant ears & caladium before storing, or dry and store them before the frost gets them,

Can anyone help fire up the aging brain cells?



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I've got a similar question. I've got a large, handsome, and heavy, glazed stoneware planter of caladiums on my patio. Some gardening friends suggested that rather than digging up the bulbs and trying to store them in bags, I could bring the pot in, stop watering it and let the plants go dormant, then put it back out next season. Would that work, without the bulbs rotting? It would certainly save some effort.

I've about decided to give up trying to start the bulbs inside to give them a jump start. It doesn't work, they seem to take SO long to come up I might as well just put them out in their designated spot after frost, it doesn't seem like it would take that much longer and would be a lot easier.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 7:42PM
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scpearson(5 NE CT)

Last year I didn't get my elephant ear bulbs in before frost. Lost them all. Very sad. They add so much of a tropical feel around the pool and are so impressive! Didn't have the money to purchase them this year. They did very well when I dug them up in prior years, before frost. I stored mine in sawdust in a bag in a cool area indoors, and labeled their sizes so I could put them where I wanted the next year.
Lovesummer, on the other hand, I forgot about some caladiums at my Mom's and they came up this year, to my surprise! I agree with you, they are so s l o w to get started, you wonder if you put anything there... kind of reminds me of kids that do things at their own pace!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 12:00AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Susan: How cool was your "cool area"? I have some elephant ears (alocasia/colocasia) that I've kept alive indoors over winter for a few years as houseplants, but they weren't happy in my conditions. They're in pots outside now and I'd like to just let them go dormant and put the pots somewhere, but my coolest spot is about 55 degrees. Do you think this temperature is reasonable for dormancy?


    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:00AM
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Susan: I would like to know too. I have had C. Illustris for a couple of years, but it is not a bulb. It has fibrous roots. I keep it non-dormant in the unheated basement under fluorescent lights. I would rather let it go dormant and keep it in the dark. I overwatered it last winter and lost some of mine.

I bring in several potted amaryllis's and keep them dormant in the dark in the basement in the pots until I am ready to force them to flower.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 3:04PM
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scpearson(5 NE CT)

Just getting back, sorry for the delay... it was a
cool, unheated garage area for the bulbs that I stored. Not exactly sure of the temp there but probably stayed about 40-55 at the coolest range. I didn't lose any that were stored this way. I don't think I mentioned that the bags were old potato sacks and old pillow cases, tied up with twine.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 4:38PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Thanks, Susan; I'll have to mull this over. My cellar is probably a bit too warm at 55 degrees and I may keep them growing for another winter.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 4:49PM
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