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RE: Overwintering colocasia, caladiums, and other aroids

  • Subject: RE: Overwintering colocasia, caladiums, and other aroids
  • From: "Andrew Lietzow" alietzow@myfamily.com
  • Date: 2 Sep 2003 08:10:57 -0600

Dear Ray Weigand and others interested in these genera,  

Here's are a few links to sites with extensive info regarding overwintering caladiums, colocasia, and other Aroids.  

This one offered what may be the magical key that I have been missing - dusting the tubers with Captan and Sevin.  

I have attempted to overwinter Caladiums twice, without success.  Here in Iowa, the number one issue appears to be a fungus (Botrytis Blight?) that attacks, then rots, the tubers, even with above average care--low humidity, 30% or less moisture, in peat moss medium, dark environment, etc.    I see that one commercial grower recommends keeping them at 70 degrees and stored in flats during winter--this is news to me but maybe they would know!?!    

I think this year I'll try the Captan and Sevin application and just lay the tubers in open flats to see if that doesn't help.   It's a shame to invest lots of money in these plants only to have to replace them every season.   That's a large part of why I love Hosta--the "investment" tends to remain intact over the winter, and even produce large dividends each spring!   

One personal observation--it appears that the growing season and climate/microclimate that is ideal for colocasia, caladiums, and other aroids is quite different than what is preferred by Hosta.  They may not grow "well" side by side as caladiums like soil temps closer to 70F.    Aroids like Florida, Hosta like places closer to the tundra, as in Iowa, Illinois, and especially Minnesota ... :-).  

Stated another way, where my Hosta are flourishing, my caladiums and Elephant Ears are actually dying.   

(If you have read this far, you may want more info on Botrytis.  Here is a fairly technical article about Botrytis Blight from the U of IL, U-C.  http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/pdf_pubs/623.pdf ) 

Hope some of this info helps, Ray.  I think the bottom line is that in our region, Aroids are annuals and Hosta are perennials!  
Andrew Lietzow

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