Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Carefree Caladiums

It's been terribly hot and dry this summer. Waaay above normal for temps and way below normal for rainfall. Some plants have suffered, and so have I.

A bright spot, literally and figuratively, are my caladiums. I generally purchase some potted specimens for my Shade Garden, which is so deeply shaded that even impatiens won't blossom in its depths. But caladiums shine. And glory be, once established, they haven't needed supplemental watering!

They'll last until frost, brightening up their alloted square feet in the universe. They're insect and disease-free, and earn their keep every day.

Are there any problems with caladiums? Of course! No plant is without problems. In the Plimpton garden there are several main issues with these handsome fellows:

One: They're expensive. Try at least 5$ a pot. Ranging on up to $12 or $15 (I won't buy them at that usurious price)

Two: They're very cold-sensitive, so can't be put out here until June 1.

Three: For me they're not easy to get started. They lag behind other stuff and I run out of room.

Four: Try as I might, I haven't been successful at wintering them over. I've tried leaving them in their pots. (they rotted in the garage). I've tried placing them tenderly in ever so slightly damp peat moss for the winter. (they disappeared).

I need to check with my propogating wizzard pal, Suzanne Galante to see how she would do it.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy my caladium beauties for the next couple of months and then rethink how to save them over the winter.

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