One of my things to do before the frost was to make sure that my caladium tubers were dug up and brought indoors for the winter. But as luck would have it, I hurt my back this fall, at the time I normally do this. I was laid up for a few weeks waiting for it to recover. I have had this happen on an off my whole life, so it wasn’t a big deal, except for the fact that the timing wasn’t so great for my garden efforts.
Caladiums grow from tubers, not bulbs. See my article to help understand the differences between bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers.
Caladium Tubers are Easy to Overwinter if you follow these easy Steps.
I had a few lovely clumps of caladiums that were just gorgeous, but it is too cold here to leave them in the ground. I had read that caladiums like the temps to be above 55 degrees, so I knew I would need to get them out early in the fall.
Alas…out went my back and they got forgotten. “Oh well…I’ll just dig them up and hope for the best when my back gets better, I thought.”
I went out this week to tackle the project. It’s been in the 40s at night for weeks here. I looked in the bed and there was not a caladium to be found…not a shriveled leaf…not a shriveled stem. Just a plain patch of ground.
I knew roughly where I had planted them so I dug where I thought they might be. I did manage to find a few and brought them inside. I put them in a box with peat and misted the peat. I will store them in my laundry room. It is not heated but I think it will keep a high enough temperature for the winter. Fingers crossed anyway.
Here are some pictures of them in bloom:
I won’t get that many next year, since I can’t find the rest of the bulbs and it did get cool but hopefully, I have saved some.
These two photos show the the flower of a caladium. Looks like some sort of jack in the pulpit! Flowers are more common in plants with larger tubers, since they have more energy to sprout blooms. Plants that do produce blooms grow a thick spike called a spathe. It is just gorgeous. I had one plant flower this year out of about 20 caladiums.
Update: 2013. These are the caladiums that I have growing this year.
This white and pink variety is my favorite, I think. I have it in a shade garden on the side of my house.
Deep red and green in the setting sun.
Green white and pink variety.Green and pink variety.
One thing I know is that I will get these babies dug up before the frost this year! I did learn one thing last year….when they say 50 degrees, they really do mean 50 degrees.
Here is a YouTube video showing how to store caladiums over the winter.
Do you bother to overwinter your caladium tubers, or do you just buy new plants each year? We’d love to know. Just use the comment section below to tell us your experiences with these lovely plants.
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