Too bad we don't have a forum just for caladiums

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I hoped (and searched) for a forum just for caladiums. If there is one and I missed, please let me know.

Marcia

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

I've even been interested in starting a Caladium Society but haven't found any interest from others concerning that idea. Considering how many people around the world must grow Caladiums, that is a real surprise to me!

LariAnn
Aroidia Research

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

i have tried growing caladiums..with lousy results..
i dont know if i bought cheap tubers.. to small..
i understand they need HEAT to grow..and if here in utah i just
dont have enough warm weather to get them going before
pulling them out in fall..
??
anyone else in the "north" :) grow caladiums sucessfully???
id love to grow them..they would fill in areas real nice below all my
tropicals.. and add some nice colour...
???
thanks...

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

IMHO, to grow them in the "north", you'll have to plan to keep them as houseplants during the latter part of their growth cycle. Mine start in March and some of them are going dormant now in late August, which is about a 6 month growing season. Some varieties grow longer, up to 8 months. So if your growing period is less than 6 months, you'll need to grow them inside for the rest of the period. At first you'll just have to bring them inside for the night, as the daytime temps would still be warm enough.

Another key is fertilization. Some information on the internet is erroneous, indicating that Caladiums do not need fertilization. You do need to fertilize them if you wish to have success. I start with time release fert in the soil mix (retail name Dynamite) and supplement with 1 tsp/5 gallons water of regular Miracle Gro at least once per week. Later in the season, switch to bloom booster Miracle Gro to help grow the tuber.

If you feel really ambitious after having success growing Caladiums, consider breeding your own! My article about this is at http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/869/ .

Hope this inspires you,
LariAnn

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

My climate is probably a bit warmer than yours, and the growing season a bit longer, but I still cannot grow caladiums outdoors. It is just not warm enough early enough in the season

I start them indoors (generally in early March) in a generous container at least 12 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep with at least 4 bulbs evenly spaced. I use packaged potting soil and probably add a littler perlite or vermiculite and keep it moist. Packaged soil is enriched with osmocote or something similar.

It generally takes a few weeks if they are kept in a warm room; longer if the temp is below 70. When I started them on the floor where it is cooler, they took longer. Once they start poking through the soil, I put them in a window. When it is warm during the day, I take them outside and bring them inside at night. When the nights are warm, they stay outside. I keep them in containers and move them around as it suits us. It takes a couple of months before they become full plants.

The deep pink and green (Carolyn Whorton variety) came from Wallyworld and grew fine. I don't remember the size of the bulb. When you order online, they ship later, depending on your area.

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Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

LariAnn, I thought it was a great article when I first read it a few months ago! :)

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

It's my first time ever growing them. I bought a red one called cinnabar. It's only about 3" high. I've been growing elephant ears for years and thought it was time to give these a try, and how could you pass up on the beautiful red leaves.. I agree it would be nice to have a place to go with questions

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

thanks all.. i have my next yr want to try growing list.. its growing..
bamboo is one,more gingers,cordyline(ive had moderate luck so far) and
then caladiums..
tropicals i have so far are great for foliage and size!!!
btw your portodoras are doing super lari ann!!!
thats why im thinking more cordylines and id love to see if
i can grow caladiums ..the colours are super!!!
hope more post thoughts here...
thanks...

DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

My caladiums live in the ground year round here. They usually go dormant around late October. I water them frequently but as far as fertilizer goes they just get a top dressing of chicken poo, and over the winter a good blanket of leaves that fall from the Oak trees.

Here's one of my favorites.

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DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

here's a few more

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noonamah, Australia

Most of my Caladiums are dormant through winter but some still do put out a few leaves. A lot of them are in the ground and I've got some mixed in with Alocasias in a large pot (over half a metre wide).

This one's been growing for over a month now, from the middle of winter.

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noonamah, Australia

A new leaf unfurling today.

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cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

heres my first and only I've had it for 20 days now and its has grown a bit since this picture.. its call "cinnabar".
jen

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Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Jen,

Very nice plant, that "cinnabar". Where did you get it - I've not seen any like that available around here. Mjsponies, chicken poo is fine so long as it has been composted. I like that intense red Caladium - is it a named variety?

Tropicbreeze, sometimes I have one or two Caladiums that insist on staying up in the winter - the Thai Caladiums want to but cool or cold weather kicks them back into the ground. I'm hybridizing the Thai and the Western Caladiums - I'm calling the progeny "Thaibrids". This will be my first year having Thaibrids large enough to observe their winter behaviour.

LariAnn

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I got it from florida hill nursery..
jen

DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

I know Agristarts has been distributing the Thai hybrids. Cinnabar is one of them. The Thai hybrids I've seen are pretty nice but I'm partial to one called Green Pearl.

LariAnn, Yup, chicken poo very well composted before use.
I've had that Red Caladium for 4-5 years now. I don't remember where I got it even, it's in a big bed with others. I think this year I'll dig around down there to see how many babies there are there.

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

I have a Thai that looks just like the Green Pearl except that in between the green veins is a salmon color. The most spectacular Thais are not yet on the market in the USA, but all of the Thais are more finicky than the Western Caladiums we are used to. So my goal in mixing the two types up is to get the deep and interesting colors and patterns of the Thais into more durable plants like we are used to growing.

If you want to drool all over the keyboard, go to the following link:

http://www.siamadenium.com/Other%20Plants/Caladium/index.html

LariAnn

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Drooling....

noonamah, Australia

Thanks for that link LariAnn, all I need is another plant obsession :O(

DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

Oh my gosh, this one is outstanding !

http://www.siamadenium.com/Other%20Plants/Caladium/index.html

and so are many others. I wonder if they would be hardy here thru the winter. I don't do the digging up thing. I will give them a blanket of mulch tho.

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Thais are not very tolerant of cold. They form much smaller tubers than the Western types and they may rot away in cool or cold wet soil. So be forewarned - best to keep them in the greenhouse if you have one, or inside, out of the cold, if you want them to live from year to year.

LariAnn

DeLand/Deleon Spring, FL(Zone 8b)

umm, that might preclude me from growing more than one or two then. I'm trying ( she says) to not have so much to bring in during the winter.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Quote from LariAnn :
Another key is fertilization. Some information on the internet is erroneous, indicating that Caladiums do not need fertilization. You do need to fertilize them if you wish to have success. I start with time release fert in the soil mix (retail name Dynamite) and supplement with 1 tsp/5 gallons water of regular Miracle Gro at least once per week. Later in the season, switch to bloom booster Miracle Gro to help grow the tuber.


LariAnn, I am fascinated by caladium and have quite a few in my yard. My favorite is the still hard-to-find Pink Cloud - and of course, Galaxy. I am new to DG and am intrigued by your fertilization recommendation. I have never fertilized mine before - and now I'm going to. I want to make sure I understand your recommendation: one teaspoon regular MiracleGro per five gallons of water? Why do you reduce the rate so drastically? I think the rate on the side of the package - for most plants but certainly not all - is one Tablespoon per one gallon of water. Why do you apply it so weakly? Is it because you are applying it frequently (weekly)?

Carol


This message was edited Apr 1, 2012 1:02 PM

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Carol,

Yes, my low usage rate is correct - at this strength, you could water them with it every day, or several times per week, but since I also use controlled release fert (Nutricote/Dynamite) in my soil mix, I apply the Miracle Gro just once or twice a week. My experience has shown me that this low rate works best for plants that have the controlled release fert in the soil mix. However, if I had no fert in my soil mix, I might apply at a somewhat stronger rate. The idea is to provide a constant but mild feed to the plants, rather than periodic bursts of high concentration, which can be a shock to some plants.

Do you have a picture of the Pink Cloud? Reason is, I want to see if I have one like it. I do have the Galaxy.

Kind regards,
LariAnn

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Thank you so much for the fertilization details. I'm implementing the program! :)

Here is a link to a good picture of Pink Cloud. What makes it easily distinguishable from most other pink varieties is its white veins. http://www.caladiumsonline.com/images/lrg/Pink-Cloud.jpg

Carol

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Carol,

Thanks for the link to the Pink Cloud picture. I do not have one of those so I think I need to get some for my work. The white veins are the real show stopper - I can see possibilities for breeding with that characteristic. I found that Caladiums 4 Less has the Pink Cloud available.

http://www.caladiumbulbs4less.com

Use their search function to find Pink Cloud - I tried copying the URL for the actual page but it didn't work when done that way.

LariAnn

noonamah, Australia

Having a look at that link there's quite a variety in "Pink Cloud". Makes me wonder if these ones of mine could be included even though one doesn't have any pink in it.

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Oh yeah, I know where to find them. :) I just meant that you do not yet commonly find them in the Big Box stores where they have plenty of bags of Aaron, Blaze, Candidum, Whortons, Elise, Joyners, Hemples, etc. I hesitate to even write that they are my favorite, because I don't want to fight anyone else to get them!! LOL! I think, not taking size, health, etc. into consideration - only coloration, Pink Cloud, Galaxy and Rosebud are the most visually appealing. But that's just me - I'm sure there are folks who love the reds or whites, too. Yes, try to breed some with white veins!

Carol

This message was edited Apr 3, 2012 1:41 PM

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Mangogirl, with regard to fertilizing, it seems that most if not all of the packages recommend a feeding that is excessive for all plants. In good gardening, less is more. We use less fertilizer and dilute more and use it less often for most plants.

A nursery may do things differently as they are in the business of selling plants (and fertilizer). We never want to burn tender roots with too much fertilizer, either.

LariAnn, I love what you do. If it does not warm up here quickly, I'll have to move to make room for the plants. Last year's caladiums, which have been in pots since I last year, are all growing, and the Carolyn Whorton is going to bloom (under fluorescent light). The Galaxy needs its own zip code as the leaves are about 10-12 inches long.

This year's new bulbs have mostly been planted, and they are also starting to grow. I just received a couple of Thai Hot Lips that arrived as plants even though I was expecting bulbs. I'll wait till they acclimate to my home temperatures before anything else. Since they are obviously finnicky, I'll treat them with kid gloves.
Marcia

This message was edited Apr 3, 2012 11:06 AM

Thumbnail by cathy166 Thumbnail by cathy166
Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

This winter was unusual in that the Caladiums, by and large, never went fully dormant. I had a few leaves on many of them all winter long, then when the night temps really warmed up, they all shot out leaves about a month early. The fert has really made a difference, as most of the plants are throwing extra-large leaves and many blooms. Last year I did so many Caladium crosses that I was overloaded with, perhaps, thousands of seedlings. So this year I'm being much more selective in my breeding so I don't get overwhelmed.

So far, the Thaibrids are behaving just like regular Western Caladiums, which is exactly what I was hoping for. That means that the unique colors and patterns I've developed will be on plants as easy to grow as the ones everyone is used to.

LariAnn

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Cannot wait to see the photos....

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

OK, here are some teasers to show you what i have going.

Picture 1 - I call this one my "Pink American Thai"

Thumbnail by LariAnn
Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Picture 2: - if you are familiar with the series, "Dexter", you will understand why I might call this one "Dexter"



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Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Picture 3 - Should I call this one "Easter Confetti"?

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Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Picture 4 - I might call this one "Event Horizon" because in real life, the center is almost black.

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Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Picture 5 - "Spring Blush"

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Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

Picture 6 - "Moon Mystique" - might be the flagship of my Thaibrids.

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Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Great photos, interesting results—all of them. The Pink American Thai is especially interesting, not a strap leaf, if I've got the lingo correct. Like them all, but I absolutely love the Moon Mystique. I am sure you are patience personified. Glad you have a background in botany. How long have you been propagating caladiums?

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

I started hybridizing them about 4 years ago, but have been growing them for longer. Once I got wind of the Thai Caladiums, I knew I had to add Caladiums to my breeding programs. Last year I did crosses with one I call Dark Chocolate Thai, and that is no joke - it is about the color of dark chocolate! Just wait until you see the progeny of that cross. I also worked with one I call the Black Thai, which is about the color of licorice. These progeny are all still too small to really show their colors off. Some of the names I'm thinking about should give you clues, like "Pink Blizzard", "Red Nebula", "Strawberry n' Lime", and "Spring Flurry".

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I ordered from McClure & Zimmerman, and they were out of Thai Beauty, so they're sending Dark Chocolate. They already sent 2 Thai Hot Lips, and I'm sort of anxious to see what they become. They're in 3-inch pots and fairly delicate, so I might just be keeping them inside till they're adults. In the meantime at least 3 of the newly planted containers with Fannie Munson, Miss Muffet and Gingerland have all reared their heads , and a few others will be popping up soon and they are all looking pretty healthy. The Thai plants have a few leaves, mostly small, and that's it.

Do you breed other aroids? I got some Hilo Beauties, and apparently they are propagated by tissue culture, so I guess they would resemble the parent plant. Another curiosity purchase.... This morning it was 34 degrees, still too cold for my friends to play outside.

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