growing season/in the Fall, and store them inside for the winter. Several sites recommended digging up caladiums when the leaves turn yellow and ‘tired looking,’ with most of the foliage falling over. These sites recommended leaving a little foliage on the plants so that it is easier to find and pull up the tubers.
Some sites recommended bringing the plants inside when the temperature dropped to 45 degrees. After willfully dismissing the recommendation to bring the plants inside at 45 degrees, my training as a master gardener took over and I went online to search for reliable, evidence-based research on how to proceed.
I went to the place I should have gone to at the start: The North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. The Toolbox is a gardener’s best friend and provides information that is evidence-based. I typed “Caladium” into the search box. The site offers lots of information about caladiums. What was most helpful for me was the subheading labeled Bulb Storage: “Dig up tubers in the fall after first frost, set in wood shavings or peat, and store in a dry location 45 degrees F. or warmer.”
Now that I know I likely have until early November to enjoy my caladiums, I can breathe a sigh of relief. Over the next four weeks, I will continue to enjoy seeing the colorful foliage while thinking about what comes next. Will I bring the plants inside for display over the winter, or cut down most of the foliage, dig up the tubers, and store them in a dry location? I am thankful that I have about a month to make this decision, all the while enjoying the foliage.