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Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

Posted by rolacoy 8 East Texas (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 28, 10 at 10:04

Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

I post this question in the Lily forum and was told to ask the question in this forum.

I do not know much about plants, but I am trying to grow flowers in my garden. I was at HomeDepot and saw packages of Caladiums, I think there were 18 in the bag for about $10.00. I did some checking and found out that in our area they would not come up the second year. But that I could dig them up and store them to replant the second year.

Now I already told you I don't know what I am doing ! How about if I get some plastic cups, make a bunch of holes in the cups, plant the bulbs in the cups in my greenhouse and then put the cups in the garden at the proper time. Then at the end of the season I can see the rims of the cups, pull them up, take the bulbs out of the cups and store the bulbs.

Two things came out of these questions:
One, that these bulbs are very small and will not produce very big plants.
Second, is that if I planted them in plastic cups they would out grow the cups.

I do not have a large budget so if I have to buy larger bulbs they will cost more. I can buy the smaller bulbs and wait a year longer for them to produce larger leaves if I can dig them up and replant them again next year.

We moved into a house that we remodeled about two years ago. I have been building the garden structures for about 18 months. They are nearly done. This year I would like to get some color into the garden this year. You can see my garden at:

http://www.waskomtexas.com/garden_pics/

Any suggestions will help me.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

I would plant them in pots for the season. You could even use plastic garden containers set in your garden, the foliage will hide it. Once frost has hit, lift them out and let them dry for a few hours before storing them in a paperbag in a cool, dark place for the winter.

Just remeber the bulbs can not be stored in soil, they must be dry or they will rot.

If you are planting them in the ground, same thing, just make sure you get to them after your first frost when you can still see the foliage.

Does that help?


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

That is what I want to do, I guess I was wanting permission from someone that knows something about plants. I had suggested that I could use some of the cheap plastic drinking cups, but some one said that I should cut the bottom out and that the bulbs would fill the cup up by the end of the Summer. I just want to be able to find them and not damage the bulbs when I dig them up.

Also I don't want to spend $50.00 to $75.00 for the bulbs and just get one year out of them. I planted Azaleas around the base of two big Oak trees that dominate the back yard, but they were dyeing after one year so I dug them up. Would the Caladiums grow around the tree base?


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

I grow about 30 caladium bulbs a year in pots, in the ground and in pots hid in my gardens (on top of the soil).

No, I would not put them in cups, they will be over/under watered and be stressed with the lack of space. I have never damaged a bulb from digging them up. I use a large shovel, not a hand trowel and dig straight down about 5" from the foliage. This has worked for years for me. I have about 3 acres that are 75% gardens, I have not 'lost' one yet or forgot about them using the above method.

But never the less, if you are determined to use something I would use a one gallon black nursery pot and cut the bottom off. In either case, the roots will grow out the bottom so you won't be able to just pull the cup out with bulbs in tow. The bulbs/roots will stay connected to the soil and you will just pull up an empty cup.

Oak trees are tough to plant under because of their deep shade. It would depend on how thick and shallow your oak's root system is. I think it would be fine, my hostas do great under mine.

Keriann~


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

From what I am hearing I need to forget the cups or pots and just plant them in the ground.

When you dig them up how much of the root system do you keep on the bulb?

She shade is almost total right next to the trees. Hostas might work good for me. I don't know much about them, but I have seen them.


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

0 root system.
I cut it all off and dry them before storing the tubers/bulbs only.


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

hey fellow Texan
I see you say east Texas...are you one of them that has great soil for acid loving plants like azaleas, magnolias and pine trees?

I see you are zone 8. I'm in DFW area. Do you know the Texas rules about planting caladiums in May or Mother's Day? You want the soil to be warm. My favorite time to plant is June.

Small bulbs are fine and make some lovely plants. For us, the most difficult part of raising these is the looong, hotttt, dryyyy summer. They don't mind hot but they don't like dry. If you plant in pots make them big ones. I plant in ground in front of my azaleas and under the canopy of pecan trees. I plant in pots in more sun and I have to water them daily or almost daily. A little more sun does make a happier prettier plant.

A woman here in ARlington has her hubby cut the bottom out of her pots so the plants look like they are in pots, but the roots can reach deeper.

I tried to grow under a live oak, but as already mentioned that's a tough place to plant anything. Those buggers gobble up everything they can get and it's really hard to dig.

Don't worry about finding the bulbs at the end of summer. They will still have foliage on them when you pull them up.

Go for it and enjoy them. But until the soil warms up keep them in a cool dark place. Not the fridge (they aren't from Holland). I keep mine in bags near an inside wall in the garage. There are some in a cardboard produce box in the middle of the garage where heat from the dryer and washer keep it a little warmer than it might be.

enjoy


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

I live over near Shreveport so we get a little more water than you do in the DFW area. As I stated I am new at growing stuff and don't know hardly any of the names for plants yet. I like to build things, when we moved into town it gave me a much smaller area to work with, I had 10 acres in the country, so I decided to make garden.

I am a commercial artist retired, I did a lot of product illustration on my computer. I make a 3-D computer model of everything that I build. So my first step was to make a rough layout of the yard. I am nearly done with most of the structures in the backyard and ready to see some colorful plants growing.

You indicate that Caladiums will not be pretty till mid Summer, What can I put out that will give the garden some color in the early spring. I have better than 60 Encore Azaleas planted across the back of the garden. They are about 24" around. They did pretty well last year and bloom often. I also have about a dozen smaller ones that I had around the Oak trees before I dug them up. I would like to plant them in the front of our house soon.

Here is pictures of my garden:

http://gallery.me.com/Rolacoy#gallery

Any suggestion that anyone have, please feel free.


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

Your gardens look beautiful.

I love all of your hard scape!

You could start your caladiums early in pots to give them a head start on the season.

Low growing, Spring flowering plants in my garden are creeping phlox, creeping veronica and forget-me-knots. They all produce beautiful waves of color and because there are less leaves on the trees in Spring, they get plenty of sun to bloom.

Keriann~


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

That is the color that I am looking for. Are the plants that you suggest, creeping phlox, creeping veronica and forget-me-knots, perennials? Do you just plant the seeds in the flower bed or in pots in the green house?

I need something that does not grow tall to plant in the flower beds around the garden room. I have them on my list to buy the next time I am in town.

I wondered what to call the structures that I have build, "Hardscape", then the flowers would be "Softscape" ?


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

Yes you are correct hardscape refers to anything not living in your garden and softscape is your flowers, grass, shrubs and trees ect.

And Yes, the mentioned plants are all perennials. I buy 2-4" pots in the Spring and plant them directly in the garden. I guess you could grow them from seed but I have not. Creeping phlox and creeping speedwell (sorry not veronica) will get about 12" round and 5" tall this season and next season the phlox will be 3-4 feet round and both about 6" or less tall.

Forget-me-knots are more bushy and will spread to about 2-3 feet tall and wide.

Creeping phlox and speedwell can be divided every season. They will spill over rocks and creep into pathways. If you plant them now they will bloom for 2-3 months and then stay green throughout the season. It blooms in cooler weather so you should get another flush of blooms in the fall.

I have them all over my cottage garden but they are too informal for my formal English garden because of their free form growing habit. I think you will be really happy with them.

For your caladiums I would suggest keeping them in -1 gallon nursery pots and tucking them underneath and next to your shrubs in the shade. You wont be able to see the pots within a month and then you can just shake off the dirt and cut the roots and foliage off in the fall. And you can move them around for more of an effect or see where they are most happy.

I hope that helps. I am very jealous of your hardscape. Every great garden starts out like yours, wonderful hardscape!

Keriann~


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Love your gardens!

Yes you are correct hardscape refers to anything not living in your garden and softscape is your flowers, grass, shrubs and trees ect.

And Yes, the mentioned plants are all perennials. I buy 2-4" pots in the Spring and plant them directly in the garden. I guess you could grow them from seed but I have not. Creeping phlox and creeping speedwell (sorry not veronica) will get about 12" round and 5" tall this season and next season the phlox will be 3-4 feet round and both about 6" or less tall.

Forget-me-knots are more bushy and will spread to about 2-3 feet tall and wide.

Creeping phlox and speedwell can be divided every season. They will spill over rocks and creep into pathways. If you plant them now they will bloom for 2-3 months and then stay green throughout the season. It blooms in cooler weather so you should get another flush of blooms in the fall.

I have them all over my cottage garden but they are too informal for my formal English garden because of their free form growing habit. I think you will be really happy with them.

For your caladiums I would suggest keeping them in -1 gallon nursery pots and tucking them underneath and next to your shrubs in the shade. You wont be able to see the pots within a month and then you can just shake off the dirt and cut the roots and foliage off in the fall. And you can move them around for more of an effect or see where they are most happy.

I hope that helps. I am very jealous of your hardscape. Every great garden starts out like yours, wonderful hardscape!

Keriann~


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

Wow! talk about a man with a plan and tenacity to make it real! I love your construction.

I'm assuming azaleas and caladiums mean you are looking for fairly low growing color in shade or part shade. That's my challenge too.

If you are willing to start from seed and make annuals you might look at torena. Some begonias are easy to propagate from one hanging basket and would look great here and there. They might be hardy for you...I don't know. They are pretty tough.

I have one variety in my greenhouse where other plants froze all around it and it is still covered with its fuzzy green leaves that have burgundy brown undersides. It bloomed all summer for me haning from the branches of a big old pecan tree.

Persian Shield is one of my favorites, but it can get about 2 ft tall. I did mine up and haul it in for winter. Inevitably my greenhouse gets too cold and I am transplanting what looks like dormant roots in spring. They come back beautifully. Soooo, it may be happy to live in your landscape year round.

I love the lollipop or shrimp plants. Again I have to haul them in and out...but they come out looking like sticks and come back to life. Again, they aren't really low growing but they may have relatives that are.

pink polka dot plant is in the same category for me...might be hardy for you.

I plant anemones and pansies and tulips in the fall where I had caladiums in summer. They need sun but I have sun until the trees leaf out. Don't forget amaryllis! They aren't just for Christmas anymore and they make a great show in spring while the soil warms for the caladiums.

Certain daffodils and crocus return for me too. ranunculus are tubers and you can lift them when they are done blooming, allow them to dry and replant. Same with anemones. Some return on their own if unlike me you aren't always digging.

I plant Sun coleus in part sun. It stays smaller an less color, but they root easily and one plant makes many if you're willing to take the time.

I also plant pentas in several hours of sun. of course there is turk's cap, a returning staple for me is salvia black and blue and argentine skies. (I want to say that are gargantua...or something like that). Yes, you get more flowers in more sun but they are lovely with the tall red turks cap behind them and yellow lollipops in front. All this for a few hours of sun.

what else...purple peppers are less purple in less sun but are surprisingly interesting with black to red ornamental peppers. Easy to save seeds or allow to reseed. Again a little sun goes a long way.

rambling on as usual. If you've never seen Persian Shield search for it online. It loves the shade.

will you promise you will keep posting pictures as your passion evolves????

Oh check out the Texas Garden forum if you haven't already.


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

Boy you name a lot of plants, I don't know what any of them are. lol I will look them up.


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RE: Tell me about keeping Caladium bulbs for next year.

I know this is an old post but I have some caladiums that were planted this spring and are starting to wither so I will be digging them up. How did your planting go in Shreveport? I would have liked to see your Garden structures but the link is no longer active. If you have some up to date pictures please post them.


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