Caladium Bulbs Are Not Germinating - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, AZ
Question by lsalvati
June 12, 2000
I purchased some small caladium bulbs and planted them in containers as I did the previous year. The bulbs are not germinating and some appear to be rotting. I have now moved the pots from a sunny/shade spot to a full sunny spot, but still no luck.

Is there a standard germination time for caladiums? I don't remember if it took 1 month or just a couple of weeks to germinate?

Answer from NGA
June 12, 2000


Caladium tubers are fussy about moisture conditions. They won't stand drying out (they are native to rainforests), but they also don't want to sit in overly wet soil. I usually don't worry about how long bulbs take to show themselves because they usually appear when conditions are right. However, since some of yours appear to be rotting, I wonder if the soil moisture has not drained well.

In perfect conditions, a tuber may produce shoots in 7-10 days, but we seldom have perfect conditions! Caladium prefer temperatures in the 60s-70s and always need shade, especially here in the low desert.

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