The Great Outdoors


Doug HackbarthCaladiums are grown from tubers and are propagated by dividing larger tubers into smaller clumps. It is important to dig out the center “eye” in order to push the growth of all of the other “eyes” for a fuller, but shorter caladium.

To get a head start for the spring season, it is a good idea to set the tubers into a shallow flat (plastic) and just barely cover them with peat or a light soil mix. Do this in April, inside the house, and keep in an area that stays 70 degrees or warmer with plenty of light.

But fall is upon us so what we need to do at this time of year is to dig them up out of the ground and lay them out in a shady area to dry. The bulbs can take temperatures down to frost but really do not like anything lower than 50, so consider that when nights get down into the 30s.

After a week of drying out, cut off all of the leaves and store the tubers in a paper bag along with a little dry sphagnum peat moss (do not use the black, moist “peat moss” that you see for sale everywhere for $1.99 or less).

Keep the bag of tubers in the basement or in a closet where the temperatures stay above 45 degrees.

Other tuberous type plants such as dahlias and begonias (not fibrous begonias) should also be treated in the same manner.

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Doug Hackbarth

Doug's is the former owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer