Aroids forum: Caladium sun vs. shade

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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
May 25, 2012 4:24 PM CST

Plants Admin

I have a few Caladium, praetermissum โ€˜Hilo Beautyโ€™, 'Moonlight' and one other and am wondering what impact growing them in boggy conditions will have on the amount of sun they can take. I'll be growing them in large containers, ~4-5 gallon in a 3" deep tray (oil drain pan, unused). I can provide them w/dappled or partial shade but am wondering if they can tolerate full sun. Will this affect leaf color?
Evan
Name: Bill Kurek
Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b)
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caladiums4less
Jun 4, 2012 5:20 AM CST
Evan,

Moonlight is a variety that is going to look outstanding in the shade. The Hilo Beauty is an Alocasia and it will do best if you can limit the amount of afternoon sun it'll get.


Bill
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Jun 4, 2012 2:03 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks for the info. Bill. Everything is potted up and I'll be putting the pots outside in a few days. I normally prefer not to pot but given the sensitivity of Caladium to soil temperatures I decided this was the conservative approach. First time grower. I've also read they can be sensitive to too much nitrogen. As the fertilize my Colocasia, Xanths,... quite a bit my thought was I could protect them from over fertilizing. Where am I going wrong?
Evan
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
When in doubt, do the cross!
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LariAnn
Jun 6, 2012 12:46 PM CST

Moderator

Evan,

I use controlled release fert on my breeding Caladiums (18-6-8 Nutricote) supplemented by weak applications of Miracle Gro soluble (1 Tsp/5 gallons + Superthrive) applied once or twice a week. Regular Caladiums respond well to this regimen but it is a MUST for Thai Caladiums if you want them to come up the following year. Thai tubers are so much smaller than Western ones that you've got to get all you can get in the growing season.

LariAnn
Be the Captain of What's Gonna Happen!
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Jun 6, 2012 5:23 PM CST

Plants Admin

Hi LariAnn,

What great information! I used a variation of the fertilizer regimen you layed out in "Soil Fertility by the Seasons" on some of my tender Aroids last year and the difference was marked.

I believe I have regular Caladiums as the tubers are good sized, ~2-4cm dia. I've potted them but left 2-3" for adding more soil so I should be able to incorporate the 18-6-8 into that. Do you feed the MG into a tray? I was told Caladiums like a well draining mix and dislike soggy conditions and so was planning on forgoing a tray.
Evan
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
When in doubt, do the cross!
Forum moderator Pollen collector Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Aroids Seed Starter
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LariAnn
Jun 7, 2012 12:16 PM CST

Moderator

Evan,

I use a well-draining mix for my Caladiums but I did see a test done where the Caladium pots were partially submerged all the time and the plants seemed to thrive. it kind of makes sense because of their native habitat, which I believe floods in the growing season and is dry in the dormant season. I've seen pictures of Aglaonemas sitting is water up to the stem in native habitat, but not year round. Spathiphyllums can sit in water year round!

When I feed MG, I pour it on with a cup. The only plants I feed and keep in trays are my C. merkusii, peltate Homalomena, Typhonodorum and Synandrospadix. Alocasia sarawakensis might enjoy being in a tray with acid-lovers fert, as might the hybrids I've done using it as one parent.

LariAnn
Be the Captain of What's Gonna Happen!
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Jun 7, 2012 4:22 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks LariAnn,

I've got them in a well draining mix as well so I'll follow your example this year. I'll make a note to experiment with some next year though.
Evan
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 9, 2012 7:22 PM CST
Evan and I have had a discussion over on the Tropicals forum about putting Caladiums in sun vs. shade in general. I've definitely had a few that did not like being in direct sunlight - burnt leaves in spots, wilting easily, generally unhappy. Others seem to make greener leaves in shade, and put on more color, red, white, yellow etc. in more sun. The Thai's don't seem to like any sun at all.

Is there any sort of rule of thumb as to which ones will tolerate sun and which ones won't? It seems counter-intuitive to me that the mostly-white ones like White Christmas and Candidum seem to tolerate quite a bit of sun, and we're talking Florida sun here! I thought for sure the white portions of the leaves would burn, like some other variegated plants do.

Thanks for any words of wisdom here. These two pics are both Carolyn Wharton, one in the deep shade of a mango tree, the other in afternoon sun.
Thumb of 2012-09-10/dyzzypyxxy/b30521 Thumb of 2012-09-10/dyzzypyxxy/2eb455
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Noel Calvert
Tumaco, Colombia-South America (Zone 13b)
A gringo?Where?(does a doubletake)
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NoelCalvert
Nov 28, 2012 1:03 PM CST
Hello Elaine,
I am by far not an expert on Caladiums so take what I have to say with a grain of salt so to speak. My experience with the Caladiums I have is they like morning sun, & partial shade for the rest of the day. I have seen no variety difference in this regimen. The plants I have now are receiving full sun from about 6 AM (sunrise) until a little after noon when the angle changes so the building is blocking the sun. I am in Tumaco Colombia, so the rest of the conditions are optimum, humidity, temperature, & everything else.

I would upload photos of my Caladiums, but they were victims of the robbery/vandalism that happened here last week. I have already replaced many, but they are not yet showing the excellent growth that I was enjoying with them before. Later this week I will take photos of the plants as well as the location I have them, & my other plants.
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twitcher
Nov 28, 2012 1:35 PM CST
While a bit of a simplification, white leaves will tolerate higher light levels because they reflect more of the light spectrum than other color leaves. White leaved plants can be less robust because less light gets to the interior of the plant for photosynthesis, but this is also a protection against higher light levels. IMHO
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 30, 2012 1:32 PM CST
The white ones will burn with too much sun here, but it doesn't happen until mid-summer. It just seems more noticeable to me because a brown leaf that's supposed to be white is something you can see from far away, but a pink/green leaf that's turned brown is much more subtle. Hope they like the beds again this winter. I know they're iffy perennials here...

I'm confused too because I've so many pics of them growing in open fields in FL. But I guess as long as they grow well and are going to be sold dormant, burnt leaves wouldn't be an issue for that.

Had Hilo for the first time this year so no comparison to make, but it was spectacular in a NW corner where it got just a bit of mid-day sun but was kind of under a giant Colocasia esculenta, so the direct exposure on any particular leaf surface was short-lived/dappled. Because of the Colocasia, I watered that area 4-5 gallons per day when it didn't rain (most days.) Colocasia was well over 6 ft. for most leaves, Hilo had several leaves over 3 ft.

Eclayne, what do you have to say about your Caladiums now that the season's over? I didn't read this whole thing over again & don't remember - are you storing these or just going to buy new next year?
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Nov 30, 2012 8:03 PM CST

Plants Admin

Hi Purple, Just can't see my way clear to throwing out perfectly good plants. Green Grin! I'm storing them all potted on a shelf in the basement. Dry and dark. The exception is one pot of Moonlight I dug up the tubers and will see how they overwinter dry, in a box. One thing I noticed is the size of the tubers. The seller advised scooping out the center growth point to encourage more side shoots/leaves. That worked like a charm. From 3 tubers in that pot, I now have 14+, but less than 1/2 the size of the parents.

As to Caladium, they'll be a fixture from now on. Lots of choices, some really cool patterns, the splotchy ones, the ruffled and .... Blinking Confused Sad
Evan
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 7, 2012 2:27 PM CST
I feel the same way! Can't wait to see what new ones I might find and to just get MORE in general. Again assuming they come back again, a few need to be moved due to too much sun or too short behind other things. But those are the fun problems to have in the spring!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Bill Kurek
Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b)
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caladiums4less
Dec 7, 2012 8:09 PM CST
eclayne- What you did is referred to as de-eyeing a bulb. By removing the dominant eye on a caladium bulb the bulb will direct it's energy to the secondary eyes which will result in a bushier although slightly shorter plant. You can do that to a lot of the different varieties but there are a couple varieties that don't benefit from it. The most common way I've heard from my customers up North is to store the bulbs in a ventilated area in a mesh bag or something similar filled with peat moss or sphagnum moss. The ideal temperature to store caladium bulbs is about 65 degrees.

Out in the fields the bulbs get sun from sunrise to sunset. We're not growing them for the plant though. It's the bulb that's forming under the ground that is our gold. I'm out in the fields every day and the varieties that Don't like the sun will get sun burned. Not to sound stupid but we could care less about the leaves when they're growing, it's the bulb we're after!!
ALL caladiums love the shade. Noel was correct though when referring to morning sun. The optimum conditions are for the caladiums to get sun from sunrise to say 10:00- 10:30, maybe a little later in the Northern states where the sun isn't that hot. There are varieties like Red Flash(red), Carolyn Whorton(pink) and Aaron(white) that can take full sun though. Those varieties(and a few others) can take full sun but they'll look even nicer if planted where they'll get a good amount of shade.

Bill
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Dec 7, 2012 9:44 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks Bill, both for the storage and growing tips. I should probably move the bulbs into a cool room upstairs as where they're stored now is at least 5F cooler than that. So the tuber size is likely from my growing in too shaded a location.

Before I un-pot the others, do you think they would be fine until a mid May planting or would I be better off potting them up sooner?
Evan
Name: Bill Kurek
Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b)
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caladiums4less
Dec 7, 2012 10:15 PM CST
eclayne- 60 degrees is the minimum temp I would store them at. Check them often too and if you find a bulb rotting or drying out, Toss it!! Depending on how big the original bulbs you planted were a caladium bulbs is going to form what I refer to as bulblets. A caladium bulb will only get so big and then they'll actually start shrinking in size. One thing you could try in the Spring is about 2-3 weeks before you plan on planting them, take some of the bulbs and cut them in half with a clean knife. The inside of a caladium bulb is generally a yellowish color(some are white), let the cut pieces sit out to dry. The cut will callus over and turn a chalky white color. When you plant those two pieces of bulb they will propagate and get bigger over the course of the year. In a round about way that is how we generate our seed for planting although what we do on the commercial end is A LOT more involved than what I just described. A Lot More!!!
Basically though we plant just a chip of a bulb(we start on or about April1st), if that chip has an eye which they most likely will it'll propagate and get bigger and bigger over the course of the year.
This years harvest is producing A LOT of bulbs and the vast majority of them are BIG bulbs. We had just about perfect growing conditions this year so all the varieties are making bigger bulbs. Grade #2 bulbs(1"- 1 1/2") which are what most greenhouses and pot growers buy are going to be at a premium this year because the VAST majority of the bulbs being harvested are Grade #1(1 1/2" - 2 1/2") and bigger. There are going to be a ton of Jumbo's and bigger available this year!!! That's good and bad if that makes any sense.


BillThumb of 2012-12-08/caladiums4less/7b6323
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Dec 8, 2012 11:30 AM CST

Plants Admin

Sounds kind of like chittin potatoes. If I get large enough tubers next year I'll give it a try. Will dig the tubers and move upstairs. Thanks much.

What is the name of the Caladium in your photo?
Evan
[Last edited by eclayne - Dec 8, 2012 11:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Bill Kurek
Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b)
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caladiums4less
Dec 8, 2012 1:03 PM CST
Evan - The caladium in the picture is called Galaxy
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Dec 8, 2012 1:07 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks Bill.
Evan
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
When in doubt, do the cross!
Forum moderator Pollen collector Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Aroids Seed Starter
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LariAnn
Dec 10, 2012 11:12 AM CST

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Bill, jumbo tubers are a plus for me as I'm always looking for blooms right out of the box. I get them with larger tubers. Please let me know if you have some very special varieties you'd sell to me for breeding purposes. I'll keep you in mind when I begin looking to distribute my "Thaibrids", which are, so far, proving to be spectacular. If you are interested in working with me on that, let me know!

LariAnn
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