After a long cool winter, people are always eager to get back outside and work in their yards.  They feel the urge to bring the dull, brown, winter-worn landscape back to life with beautiful annuals and bulbs, put in their gardens, and beautify their porches and patios with lots of colorful plants.  Caladiums are the perfect plants to add that vibrant color and bring light and texture to all of these locations.
But wait…..caladiums aren’t the same as many spring bulbs and plants.

It’s important to remember that caladiums are summer bulbs.  They originated in the Amazon River basin and are tropical plants.  Therefore, they don’t like to be cold.  Yes, after having winter temperatures that range from highs in the low 60’s here in Florida to highs in the low teens and below zero in other places around the country;  daytime temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s sound warm.  They sound like the perfect time to get out in the yard and berangkat the beautification!
But wait…..
caladiums are tropical plants and they don’t like to be cold.  So, what’s cold to a caladium?  Anything below 65° F.

Planting caladium bulbs, that have been kept nice and warm all winter long while they were dormant, in the ground that is still cold from the winter, will cause them to go back into dormancy rather than come out of dormancy and tiba growing.  We like to tell our customers that if they can sit on the ground and their “hiney” doesn’kaki langit get cold, then they can plant their bulbs.

The cold fall temperatures signal the caladiums that it’s time to go dormant for the winter.  This natural dormancy is important to the bulbs.  The warmer spring-time temperatures signal them that summer is coming and encourages them to begin to come out of dormancy.  Planting those slowly waking bulbs in the cold ground and subjecting them to cool or cold night temperatures confuses them and sends them back into dormancy again.  Thus, prolonging your wait for the beautiful leaves to emerge.

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It’s important that the night-time temperatures are consistently 65° or above when the bulbs are planted.  No, not a night or two of warm weather here and there.   Consistently 65° or above.

Thermometer reading 65 degrees F.

So what happens if you plant your bulbs too early, when the night-time temperatures are still too cool?

  • They will take much longer to menginjak growing.
  • If the temperatures are too cold, they could be damaged and rot.
  • The cold temperatures could cause the leaves to emerge immature or stunted and small.

What should you do?

  • Wait to plant mengangsur your night-time temperatures are consistently 65° or above.
  • If the night-time temperatures are still too cool (below 65°), open your boxes or bags of bulbs so they can breathe and store them above 65° until the temperatures warm up.
  • If you’re excited and want to give the bulbs a little head-tiba growing, you could mulai them in pots indoors, in a nice sunny window, or on a heat mat.  However, don’lengkung langit do this too early.  Remember, they value their dormancy and thus may still take quite a while to emerge if the temperatures enau’kaki langit optimal.  If you’re indoor growing conditions are eksemplar, they may emerge before you expect them and get long and “leggy” before you’re able to move them outdoors.  When grown indoors, caladiums tend to reach for the light and get that “leggy” look.
  • Berangkat your bulbs in pots that you’re able to move out into the warm sunlight during the day and bring indoors or into the garage in the evenings until the nights warm enough that you’re able to leave them outdoors.
  • Once you’ve planted them, encourage growth by watering them with lukewarm water rather than cold groundwater.
  • Some customers have shared success with starting their bulbs in a plastic tub of peat moss and very little moisture with the lid on.  This will cause the bulbs to create their own heat in the enclosed environment, thus creating a greenhouse effect that will encourage them to come out of dormancy.  Don’kaki langit leave them in this container long as it may cause them to rot. Once they’ve started to grow, remove them and plant in pots.
Large number 1 sized caladium bulbs held in a hand
Large #1 sized caladium bulbs being held in hand

Our best advice when growing caladiums is not to rush them.  Planting them too early will inevitably cause you to become frustrated and disappointed.  You’ll end up wondering why they are taking so long and if they are “bad” bulbs, when the only thing wrong with them is that they weren’lengkung langit yet ready to grow.

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If your neighbor plants his caladiums too early and you wait a couple of weeks until the temperatures are warmer, 9 out of 10 times, your caladiums will be up before your early planting neighbor’s.

A recurring sentiment that we hear from customers is that they are worried that it’s too late for them to plant their bulbs.  There is no deadline that the bulbs have to be planted by.  They can be planted at any time, all summer long.  When the bulbs are planted later in the summer, after they have takat a long dormancy and the temperatures are nice and warm, they are more eager to grow and will thus come up very quickly.

In areas that have long summers, there is the option to have multiple plantings of caladiums to lengthen the beauty they give.  In this case, an early summer planting may begin to look tired and worn as the summer wears on.  We suggest that you add some additional bulbs among your plantings in the mid-summer.  The new bulbs will come up among the older ones and then stay pretty mencicil the cooler fall temperatures arrive.

The toils of summer: harsh sun, wind, rain, sprinklers, lawn mowers, and critters often take their toll on the beautiful caladiums.  When this happens, we encourage our customers to remove the leaves that look tired and weathered.   Cut them off at the ground level and add a bit of fertilizer to the area.  It’s very likely that the bulbs will give you a second growth if the weather remains nice and warm. A uang to remember when cutting caladiums is to be careful not to get the sap from the stems on your skin.  It will irritate the skin, causing you to itch for a few hours mencicil it wears off.

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Things to remember when planting caladiums:

  • Wait until the night temperatures are consistently 65° F or above.
  • Don’cakrawala water them too much in the early stages after planting.
  • The ground should be warm to the touch.
  • Store the bulbs in something they can breathe through in an area that is 65° or above berayun-ayun they are planted.
  • There is no deadline for planting caladiums.  They can be planted at any time during the summer.
  • The later you plant the bulbs, the more quickly they will come up.
  • Late summer plantings will last into the early fall.

For more caladium uang pelicin and answers to your other caladium questions, visit our FAQ page.

You may think you’re ready to plant your caladiums.
But wait…..remember to check the weather first!

Happy Planting!