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Winter Blues? Add some Color with Caladiums!

Love the idea of adding color to this wintery backdrop? Caladiums come in many varieties and colors. It’s true that Caladiums can survive in the cold, outdoor weather. But in USDA zones 8 and lower, winter care involves digging up caladium bulbs and bringing inside when dormant. Here’s what you need to know.

Caladiums can be grown and stored in containers over the winter months. It’s important to limit watering to once each month so there’s just enough moisture to keep it alive. If storing your caladium indoors, keep the plant in a somewhat dark location. Once warmer temperatures and longer days return this spring, the plant should begin re-growing. Once this happens, it’s okay to add additional light.

Another option is digging up the bulbs over the winter. As soon as temperatures dip under 60 degrees, bulbs should be dug up with foliage still intact. While keeping the dirt on the roots, place the plants in a cool, dark place (like a basement) for 2-3 weeks. This process causes the bulbs to go dormant. Next, cut the tops off level with the soil line and brush away the dirt. Any rotted areas? Cut those off, too and add fungicide. Now, just store the bulbs at 50 degrees in a dry place, keeping them clean and dust free. Once the weather begins to warm, caladium bulbs can be replanted outdoors after that last chance of frost.

Dreaming about warmer weather? Joe’s Market Basket has four locations and a trained staff to help you plan your spring planting. Visit us at any of our Edwardsville, Godfrey, Troy or O’Fallon, Illinois locations. You can also visit us online at www.joesmarketbasket.com.