The Q&A Archives: Caladiums & Coleus

Question: What does

Answer: The term "not hardy, grow as an annual" means that the plants will die down with the first frost of the season. Coleus are tender annuals and they will die at the end of the summer. You can take tip cuttings to root and keep indoors, or you can dig the entire coleus plant, pot it up and take it indoors for the winter months. As long as you keep pinching out the stem tips it will grow bushy and remain alive. If you allow it to flower, it will set seeds and die so be sure to pinch out any flowering stalks that may appear. Things are slightly different for caladiums. These plants grow from bulbs and you can store the bulbs over the winter months and replant them in the spring. Here's how:
Lift caladium plants before frost and allow them to dry in a warm spot. Cut back the foliage after it dies. Caldium bulbs don't like to be stored in cold temperatures. Keep at 50 - 60 degrees F. Pack loosely in peat moss. Repot in early Spring, about 2 inches deep, knobby side up. Keep the soil moist and warm - 75 - 80 degres F. Move outdoors after all danger of frost.

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