Friday, December 14, 2007

Caladium Planting Planting preparation


We can plant the tuber directly to the media. But if we plan to have better results, we must prepare the tubers. De-eyeing : Larger tubers might produce a few big leaves, but if we want to make it produce a lot of smaller leaver, the best method is de-eying. This method will eliminate the dominant bud(s), so lateral eyes may sprout instead of the dominant bud(s). This method is not recommended for lance-leaved caladium because they are naturally make lots of uniform eyes. See de-eying page for details.Tuber division : We can divide the tubers to get lots of plantlets. We only need one eye each division so it can grow up forming a plant. This method is not recommended if our time is short, because we need 6-9 months to get the plant in full size. If time limited, just plant the tuber without divide it, so we can get full size plant in 1-3 months. See tuber division page for details.Fungicide treatment : Before we plant the tubers treat them with fungicide to avoid growth of fungus. Dip them in fungicide solution for 10 minutes prior to planting.Planting instruction ; We can plant tubers in any direction, the bud growth will adjust it’s own position. If dominant bud has been seen, it’s better to point the bud upwards to get quick growth. Roots will grow around the bud, not underneath, so make sure you cover up the tuber with soil. Drought in this period will make the first leaf small, it takes time to make the leaves to grow in full size. Planting tuber in pots : If we plant tuber in pot, select the right tuber size. Big pot only fit big plant or few smaller plants. A tuber with 4 inch size can be planted on 6 inch pot, 3 inch tuber for 5 inch pot, 2 inch tuber for 4 inch pot, 1 inch tuber for 3 cm pot. Some growers use tubers a grade smaller than normally required. However, this can often prove to be a costly mistake because the first leaves of the initial sprouts from the smaller tuber will not yield a plant with the proper pot-to-shoot ratio. Thus, few weeks extra time would be required for the plant to reach a marketable size.Planting tuber on the ground : Caladiums have proven to be excellent bedding plants for shade and partial shade locations. Although plants develop more intense leaf color in partial shade, they will grow and survive in full sun if provided adequate water. But be careful of Thai Caladiums because they don’t tolerate sun well. Don’t plant caladium in dark area because green color tends to dominate. Cultivars that tolerate full sun conditions and still maintain good color include the white cultivars Candidum Junior and Seagull; the pink cultivars Carolyn Whorton, Rosebud, Mrs. W. B. Haldeman, Pink Gem, and Lance Whorton; and the red cultivars Fire Chief and Red Frill. It’s best to mix the soil with organic matter. Whatever the soil type, it should have a high water holding capacity and yet have good drainage. The soil should be tilled to a depth of at least 6 inches before planting, and the soil should be moist. Before planting tubers, the soil temperature should be at least 65°F. Tubers should be planted so that 1 to 1 1/2 inches of soil cover the tubers. The spacing of the tubers depends upon the size of the tuber planted. 4 to 12 inch space will be good. Tubers may be planted closer in order to fill in the bed more quickly. Tubers that are de-eyed will produce both more shoots and shorter shoots than tubers that are not de-eyed. Dividing the tubers might not be a good idea, because they are more fragile.

No comments: