Bulbs should be covered with at least 1 to 1 ½ inches of soil.
This will ensure adequate soil moisture around roots as they emerge from
the top of the bulb.
A well-drained potting mixture containing considerable organic matter is
suggested. Potting mixtures such as (1) 50% peat moss and 50%
shavings, (2) 80% peat moss and 20% pine bark, (3) pure peat moss, (4)
organic matter (compost) and sandy soil combinations have been used
successfully for growing caladiums. A pH-adjusted pre-mix of peat
moss, perlite and a wetting agent seems to work best for most caladium
Though many growers plant earlier, we
recommend waiting until after January 15 to plant. A
well-cured bulb will out perform a “green” non-cured bulb anytime and
will usually finish just as fast as the bulbs planted 2-3 weeks earlier.
When caladiums are forced early as a pot plant it is necessary to
maintain a higher potting medium temperature for proper sprouting.
Sprouting will be sparse when soil temperature is maintained at 60°F
(15°C). Sprouting will occur at soil temperatures of 70°F (21°C)
and higher. Bulbs sprout best when soil temperature is elevated to
75-78°F (24°C) in the presence of high humidity (90% relative humidity).
To approximate these conditions heating cables or other means are used
to provide bottom heat. The suggested night temperature of the
greenhouse for caladiums is 65°F (18°C) or higher. Nighttime
temperatures of 60°F (15°C) and below result in injury, irregular
sprouting and growth and/or reduced plant quality. Early caladium
plantings (January to February) require longer forcing periods than
later plantings (May). Those forced in January or February
generally require eight to ten weeks before plants are sellable, while
plantings made in May require about four to six weeks prior to sale.
In order to avoid greening, overheating (possibly resulting in injury
and/or death), stretching, or moisture buildup (which causes bulbs to
rot), it is not recommended to cover up newly potted bulbs with a
plastic cover. This will probably do more harm than good. In
addition, covering with plastic can cause a buildup of Methane and other
toxic gases and stop all growing. If a cover is used, allow for
proper ventilation on a regular basis to make sure the potting medium
temperature does not exceed 85°F (29°C) or else you will overheat the
crop and achieve only erratic growth at best.
Times (Excel file)
Variety Sun Requirements and Finish Height (Excel file)
Bulb Sizes & Storage
(If you are not able to download these files, feel free
to call us and we will fax them to you)