Are my stored caladiums alive?

linnea56(z5 IL)March 18, 2011

I dug them up last fall and saved them in a cool dark place, in paper bags.

How do I tell if they are alive? By the time I find out, it might be too late to find (or start) replacements.

I had some planted in pots with tuberous begonias. Someone on here (I've forgotten who) suggested just storing those pot and all. But I'm not sure how to start them again: bring them up to warmth and daylight, or just water the pots, or both?

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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I threw out my caladium bulbs today. They seemed light and dry and when I cut up a few they crumbled more than cut. I did something wrong in the fall. Maybe I should have cut off the leaves when I dug them. I think the whole plant dried and died instead of the energy going back down into the root.

I would repot the ones from last year, but only because I'm a poker and can't leave well enough alone and would have to see the bulbs rather than have the faith something is going on underground. In theory warmth, light and water should wake them up, and it's probably the more responsible approach.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 9:55PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Kato, the ones I stored in bags, are like yours! All dry, light, and crispy. That leaves the ones that were left planted, but I doubt they are alive. The soil is very dry in those pots.

I DID cut the leaves off mine. I did that first, then dug them a few days later. They were declining anyway, as fall temperatures got colder. I figured they had already gotten the signal to go dormant.

They must be more easily dried out. The paper lunch bags (put inside a larger cardboard box) work well for my tuberous begonias. I will have to find out what is the right way to store these.

Now I have to find more.

Menard's had them at 4 for $5.50; that seemed like a lot to me. IS it? Plus they were packed in wood shavings in a blister pack, and you could not tell how large or small the corms were. If caladiums dry out that easily, I'd think wood shavings are not the way to go. Plus I really love the green and white ones I had last year, and Menard's did not have those. Home Depot, where I bought the White Christmas in a bulk pack of 18 last year, did not have them. HD had nowhere near the quantity/choices of summer bulbs they had last year.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 1:19PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I'm not sue what the deal is with them. I did almost just like you except I left the leaves on the bulbs while they dried.

I didn't run into this last time I grew them. Actually one winter I left the tubers bare in a dish near the windowsill all winter (due to laziness) and still it came back as good as ever the next spring. Go figure.

I wouldn't worry about the wood shavings. I bet they are fine. Somehow those bulb sellers are just better at storing bulbs and keeping them from drying out.... it's like they make their living that way or something, lol!

All I see around here are mixes, I'd get them but never know what to do with the green and red ones (which I don't like). If I could find the white and green ones with the pink blush in the center I'd be happy!

4 for 5.50 sounds high, but not if the tubers are big. I got a pack at SAM's last year, 60 for 15 dollars.... the bulbs were about the size of the tip of my pinky finger. This year I saw the bags labeled 30 bulbs for the same price. I think I'm passing on those, even though they did work out eventually...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 9:43PM
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