Caladium Tubers – How to Overwinter them

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.

How to overwinter Caladium tubers

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.caladium tubers and elephant ears

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:

caladium tubers

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.

Caladium flower Caladium flower about to open

Update:  2013.  These are the caladiums that I have growing this year.

White caladium

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

Deep red and green in the setting sun.Pink and green caladiums

Green white and pink and pink caladiumsGreen 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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  2 comments for “Caladium Tubers – How to Overwinter them

  1. Debbie
    11/04/2013 at 6:09 pm

    I have tried to save mine before, but I think it’s too warm where I store the tubers. I don’t have a cool spot, either warm or freezing. I meant to get mine out to try saving again, but I think I’m too late. I use caladium in my ponds, they are in full sun but because they are in water, they grow wonderful.
    Debbie 🙂

    • admin
      11/04/2013 at 6:53 pm

      My laundry room is not heated and they seem to do okay there.

      I love the colors of them!

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