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Re: Caladium bulbs shrinking ?

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: Caladium bulbs shrinking ?
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@email.msn.com>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 15:47:31 -0500 (CDT)

-----Original Message-----
From: Lester Kallus <lkallus@earthlink.net>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2000 12:19 PM
Subject: Re: Caladium bulbs shrinking ?

Dear Les,

Just different points of view---here in Florida I can and do buy tubers
directly AT the growers offices in Lake Placid for a very small sum, and
plant them in the ground here in W.P.B., and do enjoy them all summer long,
wish you could see them out side my house in beds NOW!!!    BUT---comes
fall, and I want to plant Impatiens of some other 'winter' annual in these
same beds.    You BETTER dig up the Caladium tubers, or when they feel the
effect of fert. and water in any warm period of our 'winter' between say
Oct. and May/June, (when the Impatiens begin to melt in the Florida heat),
the Caladiums will begin to grow BETWEEN the Impatiens or other winter
annuals, and what a horrible sight this makes!   SO---I dig my tubers up in
say Oct., which is a quick and easy job here due to the nature of my sandy
soil, put them in labeled paper bags in my unheated garage, and forget about
them till around May of the following year, and when the Impatiens begin to
look bad, I remember my Caladium tubers, check them out, and invariably they
have begun to 'sprout', and in the beds they go!!

Different strokes for different folks, based on local conditions and needs!



>Yes, there's great advice here from many who suggest ways to make your
Caladium tubers increase in size or at least remain equal in size but I
suggest you keep one thing in mind:

Before you choose to dig up large numbers of caladiums and store them over
the winter consider the amount of time involved and the quality of the

I grow 100-125 ordinary Caladiums around my garden and then a handful of
special ones.  I define "ordinary" as those which can be obtained at a
price like $15 for 25 medium sized tubers.

My first year with large numbers of Caladiums, I dug them all up, washed
them, dried them, dusted them with fungicide (which I had to purchase),
placed them in new vermiculite (which I had to purchase), and then stored
them on a shelf in a warm part of my house.  I believe that I had about a
60% save-rate.  The digging and washing and drying and storing and...  took
4-5 hours.  It would have cost about $60-70 to just replace those Caladiums
(the ones which survived).

A friend brought reality home.  I don't have that kind of time to spend (or
rather to waste).  I'd rather just purchase new ones and use the efforts to
save any special caladiums and other garden plants.

The advice by many to just replace your caladiums isn't purely a
money-grubbing one.  For many of us who have little free time, it's more
logical to simply replace the ordinary plants and devote what little free
time we have to more difficult (or more expensive) to replace plants.

If anyone here is in the New York area and wants to put in the time, you're
welcome to come take all my tubers before the cold sets in.  If you have
the time, the tubers are yours.  I wouldn't be losing all that much compost.


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