The Q&A Archives: How to plant Gladiolus and Caladiums

Question: I have purchased gladiolus and caladium bulbs and want to know how to prepare the soil prior to planting. I live in KC, Missouri (it can be quite windy in the spring) and want to know if these should be planted as a border by a fence to prevent wind damage or can they be planted out in the open? This is the first time I have planted bulbs and want to make sure that I am placing them correctly in the soil. Looking at these bulbs it is difficult to tell the bottom from the top . Do they prefer full sunor shade? Dale R. Sanson Kansas City, MO

Answer: Glads and caladiums require different conditions. Glads require full sun and caladiums like dappled shade all day or full shade in the afternoon. Glads do fine in any average soil and caladiums like rich, organic moisture retentive soils. Glads are okaywith average waterig but caladiums enjoy copius water when actively growing. The concave (hollow) side of the glad goes down; the concave side of the caladium goes up. Glads are best planted directly to the ground while caladiums should be started inpots indoors 2 months before putting out. Glads almost always require staking, even in non-windy areas so get your little bamboo stakes and string ready. Since Caladiums will be planted in a shady area, they will more than likely be out of the wind.

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