Caladiums – To Dig or Not to Dig

Caladiums - to dig or not to dig

I had beautiful caladiums this summer.  I had pink ones, white ones and some with all the colors in one leaf.  But as the temperatures have dropped the caladiums have dropped.  It is time to dig them up and put them to bed for the winter.

I have a friend who says that she doesn’t dig up her caladiums for winter.  She leaves them in the ground and they come back in the spring.  My research shows that Zone 7 is sort of on the edge of where you can leave them in the ground.  If you leave them in the ground, you may get them back next spring, but if we have a particularly cold winter, you may not.  Since this was my first year having them, I didn’t want to risk them.  I dug them up.

To Dig

caladiums - to dig or not to dig

The article I read suggested digging them up and keeping the foliage attached, so you know what the varieties are.  Then you can group them for storage.  Lay them out and let them dry for a few days.  Once they are dry you can remove the foliage and put t them to bed for the winter. Then you can store them in a cool dry place.  You want them to be cool. But not below 60 degrees.  You can put them on a layer of peat moss if you want. Peat moss has some anti-bacterial properties, and this might help prevent mold and fungi from growing on your rhizomes, and help keep them from germinating.

One friend says she is going to store them under her bed.  Under the bed sounds good to me.  I need to make myself a note where I put them, so I don’t let them get lost under the bed for several years.  I have a shallow box and will get them all settled and snug soon. 

Spring Surprises

Because we have already had a freeze, I don’t think I got all of them. Many of the leaves had fallen over and some were gone completely.  I know I planted several boxes and my one box of the tubers doesn’t look that full.  So, I guess I am experimenting with some staying in the ground and some getting dug up and stored.  Spring will tell if I start to see little spiral-wrapped leaves poking up from the ground.  That is the most exciting part about spring.

Links and Resources

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If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.

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