giant caladium

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  #1  
Old 04-04-02, 12:55 AM
feather107
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Question giant caladium

I bought a Giant Caladium Bulb from Earl May yesterday, trouble is they didn't have any info on it for me.

The cashier said start it in a pot indoors then transplant out side after frosty's done, and it gets 5-6 feet tall.

Should i treat him like a regular small Caladium Bulb?
Shade, part shade, full sun?
Pot & transplant?

Any care and planting info is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Feather
 
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  #2  
Old 04-09-02, 05:15 AM
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Growing large caladiums

Large caladium bulbs should be treated like small caldiums. They have more buds and create a larger display. Caladiums need full protection from sun for best growth and display. Although there are some sun resistant varieties, all prefer dappled shade. Set in soil in garden when garden soil reaches 70 degrees. Cool soil will result in slow growth. Even moist soil is required, do not over water. Fertilize regularly to encourage foliage growth. Caladium bulbs have a large central bud surrounded by several smaller buds. Remove the large central bud to encourage more buds and larger display. Remove large central bud with knife, taking care not to injure other bulbs. Dig bulbs in fall before leaves lose color. Spread out to dry for about a week. Cut off dried foliage. Store in peat moss or vermiculite. Do not let bulbs touch each other. Store in cool place where temperature does not drop below 50 degrees. Starting with new tubers each year provides greater display as stored tubers tend not to do as well the second year. White caladiums tend to produce better displays from stored bulbs than other varieties.
 
  #3  
Old 04-09-02, 07:57 AM
Gami
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Hi Feather,

Welcome to DIY! Glad you made it over here.

I bought two elephant ear bulbs at the Flower & Garden Show. My first time for them, so I'm not real knowledgable about them.

Have you told us what your zone is or state you're in?

I started mine in big pots about a month ago to get a jump on their growing season. I dug around in the soil, and I'm seeing some sprouts, but nothing above soil level yet. When it warms up, I'll plant them in the ground, but you could also leave them in a pot. Plant them so that 2-3" of soil covers the bulbs.

Great advice from Twelvepole, and here's a couple of websites -

http://caladiumworld.com/planting.htm
http://www.emilycompost.com/elephant_ear.htm

I'm not only growing them for their beauty, but I want the leaves to make stepping stones, birdbaths, etc.

Here's a link on that if you're interested. They're using rhubarb leaves, but the same principle applies. (I also started extra rhubarb plants.) -

http://www.magma.ca/~robicho/rhubarb.htm

I tried this with begonia leaves this winter. The largest leaf I had at the time. They turned out OK. Can't wait to try it on bigger leaves with deeper veins.

Gami
 
  #4  
Old 04-10-02, 10:25 AM
northgardengal
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Hi everyone,

Just a couple of days ago I noticed a billion (very little exaggeration) caladiums popping through the ground. Someone before us came in here and started them who knows how long ago. I know nothing about them except that they will be such a great and welcome splash of colorful folliage. The frost we had last week did some damage to the ones coming up the fastest (the ones more than 4 inches high).

What sort of care should I gives these guys? And isn't it sort of weird that they've managed to come back without proper attention and in Zone 7

I've also spotted quite a number of hollyhocks growing up against the house - we rent here so I didn't know what to expect except that I was sure when we moved in, in November, that some one had done a lot of leg work at some time. Peonies everywhere, vines starting to come up the front porch posts.....Hands-free perennial gardening..I highly recommend it!


I am hoping I will be able to borrow a digital camera this week and take some pictures of those many items I cannot yet identify. I hope I can enlist everyone's help if I am able to upload them to Sierra, maybe?? I'll need some guidance on the upload process, too.....

Thank you in advance everyone! (ah say, ah say, you, too Eric!!!!)

Elizabeth
 
  #5  
Old 04-12-02, 09:48 AM
feather107
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caladium

Hi! Twelvepole, Gami -
Thanks soooo much for the info!! This is great!

I live in zone 5 central iowa. I planted some small red & green caladiums last year, it took for ever for them to come up in total shade. Well even worse, i didn't take them out of the ground for the winter, and well, i'm sure i'll have to buy new ones again! Waaaaaaaaaa!! Why can't they just be hardy this one time!!
Well i won't make that lazy mistake this year! $13.00 for one large caladium bulb! Ouch that hurts!

Should that be total shade or dappled as in part shade/part sun??
Sorry, some times i just don't get it!

When i planted small ones last year, i dug some up and put them in a pot cause i didn't think they were going to grow, (was taking forever & they were cheap not so good looking bulbs), Funny thing is i kept them in full sun and they did better than the ones in all shade. When it got real hot i had to water them 2 times a day to keep them from going under. They really started to wilt in the heat, but watering alot brought them right back! (Hmmmm- will i ever become a real gardener?)

Okay Twelvepole, do you think if i dig last years small ones up now and kept them in real hot spot they would regain any life? or pretty much goners?

Gami, thanks for the links! I thought about stones from leafs too since you gave me such great links on tufa! I'll be waiting to see pics of your beautiful works!

The check out lady said these would get 5-6 feet tall. Could she be right? If they do get that tall, how big should i expect the leaves to be? Just wondering

Well It's time to go outside & play!! My bird just learned how to say "peek a boo" and she's really getting annoying with it!!

Have a great garden day!
& thanks again for all the help!
Feather
 
  #6  
Old 04-13-02, 03:13 PM
feather107
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Well i answered my own question as far as digging up last years caladium bulbs! HaHa! i did that today - all powder type and some were mush!
Live and learn i guess!
 
  #7  
Old 04-13-02, 05:26 PM
Gami
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Hi Feather,

You're welcome. According to the site below -

The Alocasia Macrorrhiza shown within this site can easily grow to a height well over 6 feet. The leaves push out of the center of the plant from within the innermost leaf stem. After the leaves unroll and open the tips of the leaves can reach heights of 10 and 12 feet! The leaves are very impressive with widths about 2 feet and lengths reaching 4 feet. In some cases even larger.

http://www.geocities.com/upees/

From what I've read, with leaves that large, you'd want to put chicken wire in the middle of the concrete to keep them from cracking.

I see you made it to the Garden Junk and Accroutments forums. Aren't they great?

Dappled shade would be fine. I wouldn't put them where they would get afternoon sun. Mine will be getting a little morning sun, so I'll see how they do.

Gami
 
  #8  
Old 04-13-02, 05:43 PM
Gami
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Hi Liz,

How nice to have inherited all those plants! Hollyhocks are prone to rust, so if you see it spray with something for rust right away. It doesn't harm the plants, but some people don't like the looks of it.

The first previous site recommended fertilizing caladiums with a 6-6-6 fertilizer. I don't think I've ever seen such a thing, but I know you can buy 10-10-10. It said to be wary of Miracle Gro because it could change the colors. Can you tell if yours will eventually be in full shade? Duh! Your trees are probably already leafed out.

A Google search took me to a discussion on GardenWeb. Someone who lives in SC doesn't have to dig them up. I'm too lazy to look right now, but isn't that zone 7?

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...752219912.html

Have fun with all your plants. Will be watching for pics!

Gami
 
  #9  
Old 04-13-02, 06:39 PM
feather107
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Gami

Thank you Gami for the great info!! WOW! Gami if this is the plant i bought that thing is huge!! Although i'm sure its not going to get that big in my area, zone 5, i'm sure the conditions will not be good enough.
I don't understand why they sell plants here that will not grow or grow right in our zone.
Well, i guess i'll have to do the best i can with it and see what happens. I won't plant more than two, especially if it turns out the plant can't do well enough and all efforts and money are wasted.
I agree with leaves that large you need something between concrete layers, possibly rebar & chicken wire interwoven!!
You are so kind to help with all this information! I am sure it takes alot of time to find some of the things you reply with & i want you to know you are very appreciated by me and others i am sure!
Have a great night Gami!!
Feather
 
  #10  
Old 04-13-02, 06:51 PM
Gami
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Hi Feather,

Thanks so much for the kind words! This isn't work, it's fun! I must admit, it takes more time than my husband cares about. We ALL here learn something new everyday by helping others.

I'd like to suggest you start your bulbs in a pot NOW. I noticed on that GW site that someone in zone 3 had them grow to 4' tall. Since I'm in the same zone as you, I'm really anxious to see how they do.

Wishing us both luck!

Gami
 
  #11  
Old 04-13-02, 07:31 PM
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Giant Caladium

Aha, Caladium (Araceae) and Alocasia/Elephant's Ear (Araceae)!! That's what's been bugging me for a couple of days. I didn't have a chance to look it up. Alocasia cuprea is Giant Caladium. It is simply gorgeous. The dark green areas of the leaves are zoned with copper colored areas in between. The undersides are reddish violet. Produces purple spathes to 6 inches long. Comes from Malyasia, Borneo.

I grew Alocasia macrorrbiza (Giant taro) once. Tucked it in the beds around the pool, which was shaded in the afternoon. Made a nice tropical touch. These tend to be understory plants in tropical forests and are found along sreams and marshes in S. and S.E. Asia.

The Caladiums come from S. America and have the lance-shaped variegated white, pink, or red leaves. These make a wonderful addition to a moist shady spot in the garden.

When looking for hardy Araceae, I discovered that the genus Arisaema is an Araceae (Arum) family member. Everyone knows Calla Lily! Arisaema are mostly in the Far East and North America. Jack-in-the-Pulput, Indian Turnip, Dragon Root, Green Dragon. Oh, to have some of these lovely natives in a shade garden. Hardy Arisaema can withstand temperatures to -20 degrees, nonhardy to 50 degrees. Shade and slightly acidic soild are preferred.

Shop for hardy Araceae online or from a catalog. I was reading an article the other day that reported that you get better bulb stock if you order direct rather than buying from a retailer. I don't know about that, but it would give you an opportunity to learn more about what bulbs would do best in your Zone.
 
  #12  
Old 04-15-02, 08:31 AM
Gami
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Hi Feather,

One of my elephant ear's is finally peeking above the soil. It took over a month, so I highly suggest starting them in a pot indoors.

Gami
 
  #13  
Old 04-15-02, 09:01 AM
northgardengal
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Hi Feather, Gami and Twelvepole,

I want to report that some of the caladium have reached nearly 3 feet high! With the warm weather they're going nuts!

Gami, to answer your question on shade for the caladium, your question does not call for a "Duh" response -- things are only starting to leaf out. Where the caladiums are planted, they are surrounded by huge boxwoods and the propane tank, and getting only northern light. So they are in all the shade they need. It looks to me like camouflaging the tank was in the mind of the gardener and what a great choice! I will probably use Miracle Gro and see how they do. We bought tons of the stuff !

It's too early to tell for sure, but I thought I spotted some rust on some of the hollyhocks' leaves - and some chewed parts too!!! I may treat them with something or I may not. With so much going on here, some things will probably have to manage on their own. Does that sound cold?

The veggie and herb gardens are taking up so much of my concentration lately....

Bye for now.

Liz
 
  #14  
Old 04-15-02, 09:08 AM
Gami
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Hi Liz,

I have never sprayed my hollyhocks for rust either, but I did buy some spray last year. I'll let you know if it does any good. Just don't compost the leaves and clean them up as they drop. I always suggest if they don't like the rust to plant them at the back of their garden and that hides them a little.

Slugs like hollyhocks. I noticed some babies on some lilies early this a.m., but none on the hollyhocks yet. Catepillars also find them tasty. I usually put a pair of gloves on and pick them off.

Gami
 
  #15  
Old 04-15-02, 10:06 AM
northgardengal
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Hey Gami,

Yes, do let me know about the rust spray - and thank you a bunch for the other tips. Certainly I can spend a few minutes inspecting the plants and picking up the leaves.

And definitely, without question, will I wear gloves to remove any bugs... I'm a walking contradiction, I suppose, because I love to garden, but I cannot stand bugs!!!! Worse yet when they come into the house.

Liz
 
  #16  
Old 04-27-02, 07:27 PM
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Tubers

Gami, I could not locate the article that described the removal of the center bud on the caladiums. This suggestion is typically made in regard to plants that grow from tubers. This is to encourage plants to become more bushy. I did not have much luck locating info on this subject on the internet, but at www.happinessfarms.com/askthedoc.html if you scroll down "the doc" explains how to get caladiums to grow more leaves. Thus, this is a perfect example of why we should document our sources so we can go back to them. Sorry, again, about lack of documentation.

As general garden references do not mention encouraging leaf growth in caladiums, I conclude it is a matter of personal preference whether you do this or not.
 
  #17  
Old 04-28-02, 04:29 AM
Gami
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Thanks, Patricia. That was a very informative article. Better than any I found. I saved it for future reference.

I think I'll leave the center bud, as it's 12" tall right now, with several other stalks coming up around the sides. I'd feel like I was committing murder if I cut it out. I'm sure glad I started them in a pot. Can't wait to see how large they get.

Gami
 
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