Caladium Tubers

opheliathornvt zone 5October 12, 2010

I dug up my caladiums this afternoon. I've never had much luck with them, but this year, most of them sprouted and they were lovely all summer. The slugs even left them alone. The variety is Gingerland, and I think I got them at Costco. I used a spading fork to dig them up, as I do for my gladiolas, but the soil in this bed seems more compacted than in other areas of my garden, and I ended up breaking quite a few of the tubers until I switched to a hand trowel and had better luck. My question is whether the broken pieces are still any good, and if not, what people do to dig theirs up without ruining them?

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

If the pieces have an eye (a raised bump with a point on the tip), they should be alright, though small, next year. Was your ground extremely dry? Mine sure is right now. That may be why you had such a time getting them up. Personally, I dig caladiums with a shovel. I put it into the ground about six inches away from the outer stems of the clump, and cut a circle around the plant before I pry it out of the ground. If it's dry, it's not a bad idea to water the area well the night before you dig.

Spread your dug plants out on newspapers in a cool but frostfree, dark place for a few days. When the leaves and stems turn brown and dry, break them off and discard. Then put the corms into a cool, dark, airy place for the winter. I usually store them in a cardboard shoebox without a lid in my basement.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:43PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

Thank you so much for the response, donnabaskets. I'll store them this winter and be more careful next year

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 6:58PM
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