Pot Producers - Pot Production Tips and Info
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   All caladium varieties may be used for pot production.  However, certain varieties are more suited to certain pot sizes than others (see table).  The following production guidelines will aid the commercial grower in successfully producing highly marketable pot caladiums:
  • 4” (10.2 cm) Pot – 2 Bulbs No. 2 size or 1 Bulb No. 1 size

  • 4 ½” (11.5 cm) Pot – 2 to 3 Bulbs No. 2 size or 1 Bulb No. 1 size

  • 6” (15.4 cm) Pot  – 5 to 6 Bulbs No. 2 size or 2-3 Bulbs No. 1 size

  • 6 ½” (16.7 cm) Pot  – 7 to 8 Bulbs No. 2 size or 3-4 Bulbs No. 1 size

  • 10” (25.5 cm) Bulb Pan – 10 to 12 Bulbs No. 2 size or 4-6 Bulbs No. 1 size

  • 10” (25.5 cm) Hanging Basket – 10 to 12 Bulbs No. 2 size or 4-6 Bulbs No. 1 size

  •  Larger pots/baskets - see table at bottom of page

    NOTE:Seed stock bulbs (No. 3 size and smaller) are recommended for 4 ½” pots and smaller.  Fill the pot 1/3 with soil, add bulbs to cover the surface area of the soil then cover the bulbs with soil.  If bulbs are sprouting you may need to de-eye to obtain uniform pots.

Potting Depth:           
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.

Potting Mixtures:       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 growers.

Planting Time:
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.

Forcing:  
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.

More Information:
Pot Finishing 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)

 

Pots 10” and larger really need bulbs in the center of the pot as well as the pot perimeter to have a balanced finished product. Further, Jumbo bulbs produce larger more robust plants but cost more to use. The following configurations seem to work well to produce a high quality pot:

Pot Size 

Perimeter Center

Click for Pics

12” 4 Jumbos 1 Jumbo photo1
5 #1 2 Jumbo photo2
5 #1 3 #1 photo3

14" 5 Jumbos 2 Jumbos photo4
6 #1 2 Jumbos photo5
5 #1 2 #1 photo6

  7 Jumbos 2 Jumbos photo7
16" 8 #1 2 Jumbos photo8
  8 #1 4 #1 photo9

  8 Jumbos 3 Jumbos photo10
18" 12 #1 3 #1 photo11
  11 #1 4 #1 photo12
 
Be sure to see Recipe for Success