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How to Care for a Caladium Plant in the Winter

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How to Care for a Caladium Plant in the Winter

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Overview

Caladiums are tropical plants that are grown for their brightly colored foliage. Caladiums are commonly grown in containers or outdoors as bedding plants and mass plantings in shady spots. Typically growing 1 to 3 feet tall, caladiums have mixtures of white, green, pink and red leaves, with contrasting leaf veins and edges. The foliage colors vary among the different species and cultivated varieties. Caladiums are frost-tender plants, so they require special care in order to survive the winter months in regions where temperatures drop down to or below freezing.

Step 1

Dig up the caladium tubers in fall, before the leaves have lost all their color and before the first frost.

Step 2

Spread out the caladium tubers onto a tray or paper towels, and allow them to air-dry for one week. Keep air temperatures warm and no colder than 40 degrees F.

Step 3

Cut the dried foliage from the caladium tubers. Brush off the dried soil gently from the tubers, and clean them with a dry cloth.

Step 4

Place the caladium tubers in a cardboard box, and pack them in dry perlite, vermiculite or peat moss. Pack the tubers so that they aren't touching each other.

Step 5

Store the caladium tubers in a cool, dry place where the tubers are out of sunlight. Keep temperatures above 50 degrees.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beware that stored caladium tubers don't usually produce the same foliage quality the second year. White-leaved caladiums tend to keep their foliage color year to year better than other types of caladiums.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or garden trowel
  • Tray or paper towels
  • Scissors or pruning shears
  • Cardboard box
  • Perlite, vermiculite or peat moss
  • All-purpose fungicide (optional)

References

  • Clemson University Extension: Caladium
  • Aggie Horticulture: Caladium

Who Can Help

  • DoItYourself.com: Providing Winter Care for Your Caladium
Keywords: caladium plant care, winter caladiums, grow caladium tubers

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.