Help me grow caladiums! I WANT them!

linnea56(z5 IL)March 10, 2010

I checked out a different Home Depot today. This time I canÂt even pretend it was on my way to anything. Though I did justify the trip by returning one dahlia that no longer went with my evolving color scheme, plus doing a little practical shopping afterward. (heyÂwhatever works!)

This one had all the same lilies, fewer dahlias, and what they did have for dahlias those was the same as the other store. But: what was different was lots of varieties of caladiums. This time I did get them. What tipped the balance was seeing that the tubers (corms?) were much larger than the duds I had before. Most are around 2 inches, some are larger, though irregular.

I bought a bag of 18 White Christmas (white and green), and 7 "John Peed", (green and red). I am planning on red and white tuberous begonias in some of my deck pots; I think the caladiums should look fantastic with them. Some were actually a bit sprouted already, which I found encouraging. I bought a Black Magic Colocasia (elephant ear) too: pretty pricey, but as long as I can keep it over, I can justify it. Those bulbs were much smaller than the green kind, but I guess the plant is shorter too.

I bought some peat pots to start the caladiums inside. Or am I better of laying them in a flat of potting soil? Should I allow like a month? Memorial Day is our usual planting-out date in this zone. Sometimes I do it a bit earlier. I usually start the dahlias in Mid-April.

If anyone has some good advice for me, let me know. I really want this to work this time!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

I have really good luck with my caladiums each year. They like WARM soil, so I plant mine early June in pots. You can start them inside on a heat mat or ~75 degree room. I use a good, well draining potting mix and that is it. No baby-ing mine to get a beautiful show.

They will look great in your containers!

I would stear clear of peat pots because they retain moisture. I would start them in a flat or in a 4 x 4 pot around April with your dahlias.

I hope that helps.

Happy gardening.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks! IÂm actually really short on pots. ThatÂs why I bought the peat pots. I have enough for starting my dahlias (which are usually big enough to need a larger pot ) and thatÂs it. SOMEONE (not me) around my house throws out pots! I had a lot squirreled away, and now have only 15.

So too much moisture is bad for these? The alternative is to get some Styrofoam or paper cups, or use foil trays. My house is always cold: I thought of maybe putting them on top of the refrigerator. If you start yours in June, do they get big fast?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

Your flats would work, I just thought of pots because they are smaller. Flats may work better because they would stay warmer... hmmm good idea!

I get the soil moist, like seed starting moist, and then wait until I see the leaves emerge before I water again, because of rot issues.

Because I start mine in June outside they really don't do much until July. I would love to start them inside but I just don't have the room. You could even start them now, just keep them warm, A sunny window would work if they only get diffused light.

They are so beautiful and their color is great in the shade. I actually keep them in nursery (black pots) to keep the roots warm, and tuck them in between my hostas in the yard. I always catch myself moving them around and creating unique 'spaces' with them.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Linnea, the size of the bulb makes a big difference in caladiums. Especially, I would think, in a colder climate. I always buy mine from a bulb company here and they are called "jumbo" or "premium" or the like. Also, if you pinch out the center growth bud, the bulbs will make significantly more leaves. I have only planted mine in the ground: warm ground, though I do mulch. They get mostly shade (I should think yours would like more sun that far north) and the ground is on the dry side due to the trees they are planted beneath. I don't ever recall fertilizing them. They are incredibly easy here.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I purchased caladkums this year and started them indoors. They are about 12 inches tall and NO COLOR... they look like regular green tall slender leaves. Is this normal? They package showed beight pink, white and green.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I haven't come across this situation, Caladiums start showing their colors from the very first leaf, but very small tubers (less then a cm) show the colors from 3rd leaf, below is the pic of my caladiums last year, just sprouted:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The one constant message in this thread is the words "warm and heat". On top of most refrigerators is not very warm. For caladium tubers to start growing I would look for temperatures over 75 degrees, eighty five would be even better. For starting tropical plants I have an old incubator I can crank up the heat to 85 degrees and it makes a world of difference. Al

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hope it's okay to bring this to the top, because I need some advice. I purchased some caladium bulbs this summer (supposed to be three, but it's five...yay!) and just checked them now to get ready to put them away for winter storage. Contrary to all reason, the silly things, all of them, have put out sprouts! Should I take those off, or just store them with the sprouts on?

Thanks for any help!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Are your bulbs maybe spring leftovers? Typically they should be planted in the spring, grow all summer, and store for winter.... I don't know if they will last till spring in storage if they havent had a chance to grow and renew their energy stores since last year.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

if they have sprouts - they want to grow. you probably can delay for a few weeks, but it's best to plant and grow them indoors over winter in a very warm sunny window, but not next to glass, where they can get chilled overnite. basically they missed the summer growing season, that's why they have sprouts.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:39PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Frozen Glad Bulbs
I screwed up. Dug up my gladiolus bulbs, but left them...
Snowdrops in the green...
Does anyone know of a source for purchasing snowdrops...
Crocus Bulbs in Fridge
I fell behind in the fall and ordered some crocus bulbs...
Ideas on Bulbs
Hello everyone, I was thinking of getting a bulb for...
Daffodil foliage emerging
I'm not one to panic when spring bulb foliage appears...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™