Q:

What are some good ways to store caladium bulbs over the winter?

A:

Quick Answer

Gardeners can store caladium bulbs by digging up, drying and storing the tubers. Gardeners may also move caladiums indoors as houseplants. If the bed where the caladiums are growing stays undisturbed, unfrozen and well-drained during winter, caladiums may survive in the ground.

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Full Answer

Caladiums grown in partial shade or sun in evenly moist beds enriched with organic matter should be well-developed by autumn. Gardeners can use these large tubers to grow caladiums the following year, but low-quality tubers may be too small to grow successfully in spring.

If a gardener chooses to store caladium tubers for replanting, the first step is to dig up the plant when it begins to wilt and turn yellow, generally between late September and mid-October. It is important not to wait until all caladium foliage wilts or falls, as this makes the tubers more difficult to find. Gardeners should use a garden fork or shovel to lift the tubers from the ground without damaging them.

With the foliage attached, gardeners should brush off the soil and lay the caladiums in a dry, sheltered location. Gardeners must then allow the tubers to dry until the foliage is brown and papery in appearance, making them easy to separate from the tubers. Gardeners should brush off any remaining dust and place the tubers in a mesh sack, nylon stocking, cardboard box or paper bag for storage.

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