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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: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 12:31:10 -0500 (CDT)

-----Original Message-----
From: SelbyHort@aol.com <SelbyHort@aol.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2000 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: Caladium bulbs shrinking ?


Dear Donna,

I have a 'Florida Sweet Heart' var. here, it is becomming very popular in
this area, said to have been bred especially to withstand more sun-exposure,
and for me this certainly seems to be so.   It is THE most beautiful almost
florescent pink leaf, with a green border, slightly ruffled texture that
clearly shows parentage of both C. bicolor and C. schomburgkii.   Produces
and holds LOTS of lowish/shortish leaves.
What does Florida Calypso look like?

On the point of reproducing and increasing Caladiums from tubers, Dewey
sells plants of a C. schomburgkii collected YEARS ago in Venezuela by his
venerable partner and friend of mine Ralph, and if you want a Caladium that
will destroy your pots with beautiful HUGE new tubers every year, purchase
one of these!   It is an almost all-green plant with some obscure lighter
creamish markings, a typical lance-shaped C. schom. leaf with the two
'glandular'-looking areas at the leaf bases, but what a happy grower!!
When it eventually goes dormant, I`ve seen the tubers  left just sitting on
a bench, and they LOOK great all winter, some the size of a fist, and begin
to sprout in spring!!   It would make a GREAT parent plant for breeding
vigor into any strain!

Cheers,

Julius



>Just another point of view about growing Caladium in Florida: I tried
digging
up about half of my Caladium 'Florida Calypso' early last winter after they
went dormant. The other half I left in the ground. I kept the dug tubers in
a
single layer in my unheated garage all winter (just shook off most of the
sand and layed them out in cardboard flats, no fungicide treatment). When
they started to sprout in spring I took a sharp pencil and jabbed it into
the
primary shoot, thus forcing the tuber to produce new shoots from accessory
buds. Since I had about fifty of these tubers I asked my daughter to help me
and she thought I had gone mad. Then I planted them. The ones in the ground
emerged about three weeks before my "mutilated" ones. Once the treated
tubers
emerged they each had several leaves rather than just one or two, and filled
the bed out beautifully. Now after a couple of months growth I can't tell
much difference in the two beds. I am curious if the rough treatment I gave
the tubers will make them produce more (or fewer) offsets than the untreated
ones. At any rate, this cultivar has multiplied readily each year and if I
dig the tubers I can also collect many small tubercles which will all grow
out into separate large tubers the following summer. Now I have well over a
hundred or more sizable tubers of this one particular cultivar and I began
with about a dozen three years ago! Its a bit of a monster! I got them
originally from Dick Mansell when he was taking orders for Caladium through
the web site. He was the person who told me to dig the tubers in winter and
jab a pencil point into the new shoots each spring. He said this is what the
commercial people do to get nice full pots of leaves with just one or two
tubers.

'Florida Calypso' is very colorful, has a long growing season and can
tolerate a lot more dying out than many other cultivars without going down
(if some cultivars get one or two dry days they will immediately go to
sleep). It can even take a couple of hours of mid day sun which surprises
me.
I had heard that the "Florida" series was bred to withstand more sun than
other cultivars. Anyone know anything about this? It sure is one tough
Caladium.

Donna Atwood<<







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