Winter is coming – putting Caladium to sleep
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Winter is coming – putting Caladium to sleep

Hi folks, first rainy days in central Europe are present and I promised in the Spring that I would help you with preserving your precious Caladium for the next season.  Caladium tubers are very easy to preserve if you know how to do it properly.

Frankly, it is not that hard if you follow the steps carefully. Then you can enjoy the spring with your favourite foliage again. 

There are two schools of thought on how to do this and I will describe them both. It depends whether your climate is dry enough and if you have an optimal storage space for the bulbs.

Caladium spring fling

What time is a good time?

How to recognise that caladium is preparing for winter sleep 

  1. Your caladium started dropping/yellowing leaves.
  2. There is not much growth anymore.
  3. It has already flowered.
  4. New leaves are getting smaller and smaller.
Caladium pink symphony


Step by step

  1. Stop watering and wait until the soil is dry.
  2. After 1 week, cut the leaves or wait 2-3 weeks until they drop themselves (doesn’t matter as long as the soil stay dry)
  3. Now you can do two things:
    • Leave the bulbs in the soil and keep the pot in a dark, cool and dry (important, so they don’t rot) place OR,
  • Prepare a paper bag and some wood shavings. Cut little holes in the bag (2-3).
  • Take out the bulbs, clean them gently with a brush.
  • Cut the roots with a sharp knife and sprinkle the “wounds” with cinnamon or  coal. Leave the bulbs for about 6-12h, so they can dry.
  • Put the bulbs cozily in the wood shavings and in the bag. Seal the bag.
  • Label the bags and put them in a dark, cool and dry place.

It is that simple!

I prefer the second method, because it gives the bulbs a greater chance of surviving in the slightly moist environment. Also it takes a lot less space as you have extra pots for the winter. If, after the entire winter the bulbs will appear smaller, don’t worry – it’s because they will have dehydrated a little bit. 

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