Tropicals forum: Caladium question

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 9, 2015 2:50 PM CST
It was a long time ago in another century when I last tried to grow Caladiums. Now I have some. This pot has several. Three 'spikes' grew with a single leaf along with what I assume is a bloom stalk. My memory is probably failing, but it seems when they bloomed decades ago that was pretty much all they did. In other words, not much foliage. Will these go on to produce foliage? Should I cut off the stalks? Is it normal for them to begin growth with the bloom stalk? All advice is welcome!
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Donald
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
May 9, 2015 3:23 PM CST
@caladiums4less - will have an answer for you for sure. But I had heard that you cut off the bloom stalk to encourage more leaf growth.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 9, 2015 4:06 PM CST
I always cut off flower stalks to encourage more leaves, Donald. Lots of fert and water at this stage of the game will help produce more gorgeous leaves too.

I have another Caladium question in case Bill drops by to answer yours. I planted some Caladiums last September that were beautiful all the way through until December. Will they stay dormant through the spring and come up again in the fall? There's no sign of them sprouting so far, and all my other Caladiums are going strong.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 10, 2015 6:06 AM CST
My Caladiums bloom every year and make plenty of leaves. I don't see any reason to remove them, they only last about a week. Some of them smell really good, like Jasmine or Gardenia.
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.
Kentucky ๐Ÿ˜” (Zone 6a)
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Swayback
May 10, 2015 4:26 PM CST
I've heard your supposed to cut em out, but really don't see much, if any difference, I'm not very experienced with them compared to others here.
Constant heat, moisture and fertilizer will indeed help things along, they're hungry little plants.
They do not like to dry out much!
I have trouble finding the right spot for them, bright but not direct light...
That's a hard one for me to come up with.
Do you know what kind you have?
It might help others give better info, some are vastly different than others!
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
May 10, 2015 9:05 PM CST
If it's a "flower" stalk, then cut it off. It's not a particularly striking flower and you want all the nourishment to go to the plant's leaves. I usually keep mine in big pots (with other plants) and they always come back. Our "soil" is mostly sand and very poor. However, I did put some in the ground because they were left-overs and was pleasantly surprised. The caladiums should last a lot longer than a week.

@dyzzypyxxy maybe you have a different variety. Mine always come up very early in the year; I had some in April and they're all putting on a show right now.
Here's the ones in the ground
Thumb of 2015-05-11/orchidgal/2d1b13

Here are some in a pot


Thumb of 2015-05-11/orchidgal/0bf53f

โ€œI was just sittinโ€™ here enjoyinโ€™ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listenโ€
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Name: Bill Kurek
Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b)
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caladiums4less
May 14, 2015 1:01 PM CST
I cut them off myself. Theoretically the bulb is "supposed to" than re-direct it's energy to producing more leaves but to be honest I've never really seen a difference either.
Some varieties tend to produce more blooms than others too.
All of the reproductive parts of a caladium are in that bloom.


Bill
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 17, 2015 3:51 PM CST
Thanks, everyone, for the answers. I'm trying to catch up after being offline for a while after posting this. I've decided to just leave them be this time. They are sort of interesting to look at. I always have to learn about plants and one way I've always done that is let them do their thing and see what happens. Then modify that if I need to. It was just in the back of my mind that they more or less finished growing after blooming and I think I had that part wrong. The variety in question is the cultivar 'Scarlet O'Hara'. After this photo the leaves got battered a bit with wind and hail, but new leaves are coming up by those bloom stalks. Also there are a lot of smaller growing points making smaller leaves. It's certainly been receiving enough moisture lately. What do you feed them? I wouldn't have thought it needed any feed yet since it's just beginning growth and is in new potting soil. It has been remarkably cool for this area, but the heat will come soon enough.
Swayback said:I've heard your supposed to cut em out, but really don't see much, if any difference, I'm not very experienced with them compared to others here.
Constant heat, moisture and fertilizer will indeed help things along, they're hungry little plants.
They do not like to dry out much!
I have trouble finding the right spot for them, bright but not direct light...
That's a hard one for me to come up with.
Do you know what kind you have?
It might help others give better info, some are vastly different than others!


Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Jun 27, 2015 2:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Bill Kurek
Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b)
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caladiums4less
May 18, 2015 6:37 AM CST
Donald,

The Scarlet O'Hara for some reason seems to send up more blooms than the other varieties. Why, I don't know.
Caladiums love bone meal and as far as fertilizer goes just use a 6-6-6 blend and they'll do fine. Caladiums are NOT heavy feeders!!
I would be careful using a fertilizer that has a lot of nitrogen in it. Nitrogen CAN affect the coloring, especially the white varieties!!

Bill
Kentucky ๐Ÿ˜” (Zone 6a)
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Swayback
May 18, 2015 9:58 AM CST
I don't mean to argue, there's no doubt that bill has WAY more experience with caladiums than I do, he probably got more than anyone on atp!

It seems that depending on the your source, many places do consider them heavy feeders, certainly that term is open for interpretation, but I tend to agree, they certainly can tolerate less feeding than other aroids, such as elephant ears,but almost every aroid I've encountered or read about stands to benifit from regular fertilizing.
What I read most often is to give them half strength atleast once a month. That's alot more often than your average garden plant.
Many sources simply list them as heavy feeders with no other advice, pretty generic advise really.
The 2 greenhouses I've worked in that grow caladiums on a reasonably large scale( around 5000 per year) both used fertilizer injectors to feed and water them.
Both had a separate injector for the heavy feed plants.
Most of the plants in these greenhouses received nutrients diluted down to around 10% strength, but they received it with every drop of water they got.
The other injector for the heavy feed stuff ran at around 30% and the caladiums and a few other plants got dosed with that for each watering, 30% is still quite weak but when you think about it, 30% dose 2 times a week, that's a lot of juice!
One year the heavy feeder injector broke down and they just got the same 10% dose as the other plants, most of the caladiums got tossed out that year they spit out leaves that were almost half the size they usually produce and even when they got back of the strength they seemed to prefer, very few of the plants recovered enough to be marketable...

My own personal caladiums grow right under my colocasia, and are exposed to the same feeding regimen as the elephant ears, which I dose once every 2-4 weeks will DOUBLE STRENGTH fertilizer, I use 11-55-11, and never have any issue unless I sprinkle the water soluble granules directly on the plants.
I don't think the caladiums really like that much, but they certainly tolerate it just fine.
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
May 22, 2015 9:33 AM CST
Well, one of the stalks bloomed yesterday, but it's nearly obscured now by the new growth. I'm still working in this area and hopefully it will be able to hold its own with all the company. That's the plan. My biggest worry is that this location gets some late, high, direct sun briefly before the house shade reaches it. Not for a long duration, but some. Since the Caladiums are in containers, I'll be able to relocate if it's too much. That's Florida Fantasy next to it now. It's staying a bit too cool too often and that's slowing down growth during those periods. That will change soon enough! I'm enjoying the cool, cloudy conditions with rain. So are the mosquitoes Sad .
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Donald
Kentucky ๐Ÿ˜” (Zone 6a)
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Swayback
May 26, 2015 10:54 AM CST
@caladiums4less

What kind of feed schedule do you normally use?
And what's your preferred potting medium?

Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 25, 2015 10:05 AM CST
How are folks' Cals doing? I left mine at old yard when we moved last spring. They were dormant & easy to replace. So I was thrilled to do just that about 3 weeks ago. Found a fantastic clearance bag of bulbs about to bust out of the plastic. Here's the first to get going! There's others that are a little less developed.

Thumb of 2015-06-25/purpleinopp/bef175

Guess I really wanted a plant here! Put the Cal bulb in, then, before it could show itself, I added a piece of Tripogandra. Looks like it was a close call for the Cal bulb!
Thumb of 2015-06-25/purpleinopp/653130

These are BIG!
Thumb of 2015-06-25/purpleinopp/7f4567

This one's about to bloom:
Thumb of 2015-06-25/purpleinopp/ea92ef

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: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 25, 2015 10:57 AM CST
They look great, Tiffany. When mine put up a bloom bud early in the program (soon after they emerge) I take off the bloom so they will make more leaves. I've had them open up in a vase on my patio table.

Later in the season I let them bloom if they want to. Making more leaves = making a bigger bulb for next year, right? Or so the theory goes.

I had some I planted last September that were gorgeous all the way through December. But now they have not re-appeared yet. I'm hoping they're just on a "fall" cycle instead of spring, but anyone know about this? I suppose I could dig around and see if there are still bulbs in there waiting, but I'm worried I'd damage them, they're hard to see when they're in the ground.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 25, 2015 3:14 PM CST
I don't understand the theory behind the theory. That it will go dormant after blooming if the bloom is not removed? I haven't seen that happen, had the same ones for about 5 yrs at the other house. They had tons of lovely leaves. They always came back, with new pups around the edges. I'd be nervous if there's nothing showing yet where you are.

We shall observe my blooming plant together... FWIW. :+)


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: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 25, 2015 4:38 PM CST
I think the theory is that the plant puts energy into blooming and making seeds rather than making more foliage. I don't know, and asked Bill the Caladiums 4 Less guy, who said he does remove the flowers as well, but he doesn't know if it makes any difference.

It's going to take an experiment, I guess.

I'm going to go dig up a couple of those bulbs from last fall, see if they are ok. . l found a couple of good sized bulbs so I guess they're just still sleeping.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 26, 2015 7:22 AM CST
TYVM! I can't tell you how excited I'd be to get some seeds from a Caladium!! I don't have enough plants to conduct any experiments. From the quick skim I did about the seeds of these, like so many Aroids, a single flower can't pollinate itself. That may be part/most of where the "remove the bloom" advice comes from. They're not much to look at, and unlikely to provide the owner with seeds.

Keep us posted on your sleepers!
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
Jun 27, 2015 12:26 PM CST
@swayback, I go out in to the fields and I get my dirt from the the ditches that surround the beds of caladiums. It's the richest black dirt you can get, it's free too.....lol...
I do use Miracle Grow moisture control potting soil on occasion
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jun 27, 2015 4:44 PM CST
LOL, I've gotten really lazy as I've gotten older and I've never fertilized my Caladium's or cut off the blooms. I have many Caladiums planted in containers as well as a few in the ground and they all seem to be doing really well this year. Caladiums do die back and disappear here during the winter months but many will reappear if we have mild winters without numerous freezes. I planted @ 45 bulbs this spring but I also found a few re-sprouting from years past ... I even found one growing in a potted Dracaena on the back porch .... which I don't remember planting there but did I mention that I'm lazy? I do sometimes just stick things in the nearest pot. Green Grin! Here are some photos I took yesterday and today.
Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/edcc15Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/dd9bc0
Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/45c9bc Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/72dcbc Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/08a96f Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/30a64c Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/e43310 Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/777239 Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/15aa53 Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/3c784e Thumb of 2015-06-27/plantladylin/976148

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Jun 28, 2015 7:23 AM CST
Just beautiful Lin. The one in the last photo is stunning; do you know which variety that one is?
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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