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How to Winterize Caladium

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How to Winterize Caladium

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Mature Caladium leaf image by Forest & Kim Starr:commons.wikimedia.org

Overview

Caladium are a family of tender tropical perennial plants grown from underground corms for their dramatically veined and colorful foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 9a through 11, caladium requires a warm climate and is grown as an indoor plant or stored overwinter in cooler climes. Caladium corms can successfully be dug and stored in the fall, provided that their temperature while in storage remains between 65 and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Harvest your caladium corms from the soil in the fall just before or just after the first light frost. Leave the top foliage intact to act as a locating tool, and using a cultivating fork or trowel, loosen the surrounding soil and lift the corm out.

Step 2

Cut the top plant foliage from the corm and brush off any soil that clings to the corm. Lay the corm or corms out in the open air and sun to dry out for 2 to 3 days.

Step 3

Prepare a shallow storage container filled with clean sand or peat moss. Prepare enough storage space so that the corms can nestle into the storage medium without touching and without being laid more than two layers deep.

Step 4

Burrow the clean and dried corms into your storage medium of choice so that they are just covered and do not seal the container. Place the corms in a dimly lit space that will be kept warm throughout the winter at a temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Remove the bulbs from storage and plant in the garden soil in the spring after the ambient and ground temperatures remain consistently above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the corms back in the soil root side down and sloping side up 2 inches from the soil surface. Water the corms well at replanting and new growth should appear in a matter of weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel or cultivating fork
  • Clean sand or peat moss
  • Shallow container

References

  • Iowa State University
  • University of Minnesota
Keywords: caladium corm bulbs, winterize, dig overwinter store

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo by: Forest & Kim Starr:commons.wikimedia.org