Prepare caladium tubers: From tuber to plant

Fascination Caladia: Colorful Beauties for Your Home

Your start in the world of caladiums usually begins with the caladium bulb. In the spring, you can buy different varieties and forms of the caladia to plant in your home afterwards.

Unlike other particularly colored plants, the initial cost of caladium tubers and plants is rather low and care is relatively easy. Within a few weeks, you’ll grow a plant with large and specially colored leaves from one tuber.

Caladium Mc Muffet young plant
Tropical beauties: Caladium

Step by Step: Prepare Caldium Tuber Properly

The tubers you buy are still in their dormancy at the time of delivery. Your task now is to wake up the tubers from their dormancy. First, you should free tubers from their packaging material. Usually tubers are shipped in sawdust or dry substrate, remove this as best you can to prevent contamination of the substrate.

Caladium leaf with water droplets
Caladium leaf colors are special

Planting Caladium: Which tuber side is up?

Where is the top and bottom of caladium tubers? Look at your tuber very carefully. Now the bottom of the tuber should look smoother than the top. On the top, you should be able to clearly see the individual elements of the Caladium tuber.

In addition, on the top of the tuber you will see what are called the eyes of the tuber. These are the parts of the tuber from which new sprouting occurs. Now, as soon as the tuber is exposed to heat and moisture, the eyes begin to swell and soon the first stems and leaves form.

When is the right time to plant out caladium tubers?

Since the Caladium plant shows its beautiful leaves only a few months a year, it is important to plant out the tubers in time in spring to have something from them as long as possible until autumn. As a rule, you start planting out the tubers around April.

If you use artificial light for your plants, you can also wake the tubers from their winter dormancy earlier.

What are the sizes of caladium tubers?

Caladium tubers come in a variety of sizes. Some retailers give you the option to choose the size when you purchase, if you were unable to do so, you can use the following list to determine the size category of your tuber:

  • No. 4:  Up to 2cm
  • No. 3: Between 2 and 2.5cm
  • No. 2: Between 2.5 and 4.0 cm
  • No. 1:  Between 4.0 and 6.5 cm
  • Jumbo:  Between 6.5 and 9.0 cm
  • Mammoth:  Between 9.0 and 11.5 cm
  • Super Mammoth:  Greater than 11.5 cm

Bathing tubers: A warm bath for your caladia

Some keepers recommend placing tubers in a warm water bath for an hour before planting. If you choose to grow your caladiums this way, please be careful that your water is not too hot so as not to injure the tuber and the resulting plant.

If you want to pre-water your tuber, make sure you use only lukewarm water. Now pour some of the water into a container of your choice and let your caladium tuber sit in the water for 1 to 2 hours.

Whether you chose to bathe your tuber or not, now it’s time to plant your tuber. In the next step, learn what soil your caladium needs and how to properly plant your tuber.