Caladium bulbs - when to take in?

ourfamilygarden(6)October 30, 2008

Hi! I have a Caladium and Elephant Ears (well, as I understand it, Elephant Ears are Caladiums, also. We have a smaller Caladium, and the large Elephant Ears).

From what I've read with bulbs, you need to wait until the plant dies back before you cut the leaves. For our Star Gazer Lillies (for example), I wait until the leaves are completely died back before I cut them off. What do I do with the Caladium?

The small Caladium wilted this week, and the Elephant Ears are beginning to yellow. The nights are now dipping to the low 30s.

I'm getting mixed information. One source tells me to just dig them up, now, and cut the plants from around the bulb.

A book I have says to wait until the top growth is killed by frost (as this will "send the tubers below the soil into dormancy). Once the foliage dies, bring the bulb indoors.

Both of these plants are NOT in pots, but were planted in the ground over the summer.

Has anyone done this, successfully? Thanks!

Thanks for the info!

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

taken from the link below...
Caladiums are very intolerant of cold earth and will begin to show signs of decline as the soil cools. When they begin producing leaves that are small and pale you should gently dig them up, being careful not to damage the tubers. Spread the plants on paper in a well-ventilated indoor area to dry for a week or two. Then remove the foliage, pack the roots in a sphagnum moss, sawdust, or vermicultier and store them in a location that will not drop below 50 degrees F.

hth

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Preserving and storing your caladiums

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:09PM
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