Caladiums – Storing Bulbs

Q: I planted a dozen caladiums this year. I am going to lift my bulbs since the leaves are starting to drop. How should I store them?

A: In my experience caladium corms are difficult to keep over winter. They are native to South America, where they naturalize on riverbanks. Under those tropical conditions, the corms multiply and spread. But when planted anywhere north of mid-Florida, the corms tend to become smaller after being outdoors. Dig yours and keep the biggest ones, only a few will be large enough to make foliage next year. Put those you save in crumpled newspaper in a paper sack. Store them in a very cool closet where temperatures don’t rise above 75° and don’t go below 60°. Check on them in late December to make sure none have rotted. Plant them in late April, when the soil is very warm. Keep your fingers crossed and remember that local nurseries have beautiful caladiums on sale for most of the summer.