Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

i've noticed the grade 2 bulbs are smaller and cheaper...

is it worth getting the smaller one [more for the $$]
or is it not worth it because the plants will be smaller / less leaves ??

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Fewer leaves but for the volume of bulbs it just might not matter to you. Of course you could do a comparison test so you'd know for the future and buy a bag of #1 or even a bag of the huge ones.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

for fertilizer -- has anyone bought Bill's mix, or do you just get some from the store... and what's a good ratio?

gonna google it now...

looks like a 6 | 6 | 6 or 8 | 8 | 8.

This message was edited Mar 29, 2012 10:12 PM

Northeast, IL(Zone 5b)

Finally! Three of the eight pots of caladium bulbs I dug up last fall are showing signs of life. Two + weeks after potting them up. Some of the bulbs were pretty small but I potted them anyway. I was not certain any of them were still alive. I tossed them onto a cardboard piece in a corner of the basement for the winter, and they looked pretty shriveled before planting. Now to hope that fungus, over- or underwatering doesn't do them in. ;)

This year they will stay indoors until Memorial Day weekend. Last spring, I set them out too soon and they did not like that at all.

Also bought a few new caladium bulbs: two packs of 3 size 1s, nice and large; and a pack of 16 size 2s, much smaller. The sizes are according to the packages. Got 'em at Home Depot so not a big outlay of $. They were planted in pots last weekend, still no sign of leaf buds.

Hobart, IN

Goldenberry - nice to know there's still hope for my shriveled bulbs.

Northeast, IL(Zone 5b)

Never give up, Cindy! Isn't that our rallying cry as gardeners? :D

Hobart, IN

Absolutely right!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

the bulbs I saves from last year, and planted in the ground in mid june, are finally peeking up.
not sure how many made it, and they are about half the size as last year.... but they are popping up.
there are a few that are in a rail planter that have started to open, the rest are just breaking soil.

hopefully i;ll get some pics this summer.

my new ones -- the White Queen is open, about half the bulbs....

with such a weird year this year, I was not sure what to expect. but last year this time, mine were all up and looking stunning.... i'm still waiting for that.

I have also found... the ones in the ground are weeks behind the ones in pots.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

We got a lot of surprises as a result of the weird winter with a lot of bulbs that don't usually make it. Caladiums are tropical plants The soil needs to be at least 60 degrees at night for them. It takes too long for my soil to warm up, so I start them indoors in containers. Even the ones I started outdoors are in containers. My White Queens are almost all red.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

tcs - I've found the exact same thing: those in the ground have been slow to emerge while those in containers have done very well but it took time. Those in two shady window boxes have been the slowest.

Marcia - I wonder why your White Queens are almost all red. Any thoughts on that?

Hobart, IN

I had given up on last year's bulbs after trying to get them started indoors (nada after 6 weeks) and I threw them in the compost pile. Two weeks ago I was sifting compost and noticed some caladium sprouts. Did rescue them and planted them in the ground - probably cooler for their roots than planting in pots. Somehow I ended up with a white/green one when all of the ones I got last year were pink/green.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Pirl, I know why they're red—full/part sun. Half of the caladiums have been moved to an area where they get morning sun. I put the White Queens, which often have red and dark pink veins in a very large container with a Shanghai Heuchera in the Center. I've rolled them a bit to an area where they get less sun, but the container is very heavy even with a false bottom. I'll try to post a photo (having lots of computer problems).

On the plus side, they look lovely at the edge of the driveway. Just next to them with a bit more shade are Miss Muffett and Brandywine. To boost curb appeal, I lined the driveway edge in the front with containers. At the other side are Gingerland and Fannie Munson, together with multiple containers of Coleus and Ipomoea Batabas. The lovely sedum you suggested last year is just blushing with light color on the tips of the buds. The sedum in the back yard seems to be the victim of another night visitor (Bambi?).

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Oh, Bambi and family love sedums, Marcia. Odd how they will eat one down to a foot tall but leave the identical same cultivar a few feet away. So the heuchera is happy in morning sun? The heuchera I have all seem to prefer morning sun and only Chocolate Ruffles, Palace Purple and one other one (name escapes me) can tolerate more sun.

Your driveway must look lovely with all the various containers. Caladium and coleus are so much easier than flowers - not much deadheading to do and in this heat (and the heat to come this week), it's a very good thing as Martha would say.

I do find it amusing that we both love the veins that show up on so many caladium but probably not what may show up on our own legs!

1. Stardust is delightful - early morning sun only.
2. White Christmas is stunning in almost all day sun.
3. Florida Fantasy goes so nicely with the red impatiens but with this heat they need water daily - all day sun.

All were leftovers from a sweet friend who sent them to me.

Did you hear impatiens have developed a mildew that may be the end of them in America? They are already banned in England.

Thumbnail by pirl Thumbnail by pirl Thumbnail by pirl
Hobart, IN

Wow - tell me more about the impatiens mildew. That's my main summer annual in the shade.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

i have it on my Peony.

2nd yr in a row. I just cut it all back.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Cindy - John van Bourgondien is one of our neighbors and we were at a party together on Saturday. His father was the founder of van Bourgondien's Nursery (bulbs) in America. He knows all the inside stuff on plants and he's the one who told me about it. All plants are being destroyed, hence there will be no seeds for next year. Inspectors are going from nursery to nursery inspecting and if even one is found to have the mildew then all plants must be destroyed. One nursery in Virginia lost 17,000 plants.

Northeast, IL(Zone 5b)

How sad about impatiens mildew! The area where I live has so many mature trees and so much shade that they are a garden staple. Personally, I prefer begonias because they don't droop so badly in the heat of summer (and boy, have we had plenty of heat!!!). But to think that impatiens could be banned altogether is awful.

Sorry for the lack of photos (am at work and haven't taken any pics lately) but a caladium update is in order: Most of the bulbs I saved from last year did eventually sprout and are going strong. It certainly required a lot of patience, however. The new ones I bought in a big package were equally slow to grow. They are so nice to have, in a year when many flowers bloomed and faded early. Caladiums and coleus are keeping my garden looking alive this summer.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news on impatiens. Read this for more details:

Hobart, IN

I did read this morning that it's quite a problem in FL as well. Hope they come up with a remedy or at least some shade bedding plant replacements. Mine are taking a beating this summer but it's a wilting thing. One bed that has traditionally been planted with them is now getting too much hot sun since I took out my trees last year. Will have to plant something different there next year. Browallia - another of my shade favorites - takes forever to bloom from seed so while I do grow some, they're not my main bedding plant.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Tcs, the mildew stuff you see on peonies is to be expected, and it is not a problem. Take a look at the peony forum for more info.

Pirl, Bambi struck again, and I lost 4 tomatoes, the best one left half eaten on the ground. I was told to try deer scram granules.

I've added the White Queen caladium photo. You'll see a couple of white caladium leaves. This package was from Sams, so I wasn't surprised to find something that did not belong. The Shanghai Heuchera is in the center, but I'll put it elsewhere after this season. You can see Miss Muffett at the edge. She is in more shade or becomes blanched.

I planted all the indoor bulbs, which is most of them, around the same time. However, they did not sprout and grow at the same time. Some were in the same container, that is, I planted Miss Muffett bulbs with Brandywines. Miss Muffett sprouted long before the Brandywine caladiums. Gingerland seemed to take a while, but not as long as the Brandywines. The varieties grow when they want to. So, if it is taking a long time for your caladium plants to grow, be patient and have faith; it may be a smaller bulb or a variety that is a later bloomer. If my understanding is correct, the bulbs need at good 6-8 weeks or more to rejuvenate and grow again. If your plants did not die down as early, they started their dormancy period later.

The reason my caladium plants wintered so well is that I did not pull them at all. Grown in containers, I just brought them into my office for the winter and kept them watered. They died down when they were ready, went dormant and restarted their growth. When I first started planting indoors, I was fairly certain that they would not grow, but eventually was pleasantly surprised by the miracle.

Thumbnail by cathy166
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We used to use only impatiens for our rear garage window boxes but this year I decided to try caladiums. They were slow to take off but they're finally showing some color. It will still be awhile before they look as good as the impatiens did by July.

Marcia - Bambi is no longer adorable/sweet or innocent! We bought the huge container of Deer Scram and it didn't work for us. It's not just spreading it around your property but in lines 3 or 4' apart for the entire area.

Your caladiums look fine. Miss Muffet looks a bit bleached even under the best of shady conditions. I don't put mine in pots - just a few. Maybe I will try bringing some in this September. Thanks for the good advice.

Northeast, IL(Zone 5b)

Cathy, thank you for saving me a lot of work this coming autumn. I planted ALL my caladiums in pots this year. Now I can just leave them in those pots, bring them down to the basement and put them under grow lights at some point.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

As long as it doesn't go below 60 degrees, you'll be great. You'll have them until they're ready to go into dormancy. As you keep watering them while they're in dormancy, you'll see them start growing again.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Do you water all winter, Marcia, or starting in March/April?

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

they have to stay above 60°? My garage stays about 50° :(

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes, they are tropical and do want warm temperatures. Maybe you could box them up and wrap the box with a huge plastic bag?

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I water them in dormancy just a bit. I don't let them get dry. And yes, it does look sad to water dirt. When they are in dormancy, they can be stacked without shame.

I work in the office every day, and the equipment in the office keeps it warm. The shop light is on every day.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Similar to zonal geraniums then. I can deal with that. Thanks, Marcia.

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