The Q&A Archives: What is the life of an unplanted caladium bulb?

Question: How can I tell if my last years unplanted caladium bulbs are still any good or not? I could not plant them last year do to a long hospital stay, but kept them in a dark closet in my apartment. Can they be salvaged or not?

Answer: Typically, a bulb will last about a year out of the ground before it begins to die. Bulbs store carbohyrates for the next year's growth and this stored energy diminishes as time goes by. I think it is worth a try to get yours to grow. You will know within 3-4 weeks of planting whether or not they will grow. If you don't want to plant them in the garden, pop them into a container filled with potting soil and water them. If you don't see any growth in a month or so, you can dig them out and plant something else in the container.

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