September 05, 2006

Caladium schmaladium!

Red Flash caladiumI have a love/hate relationship with caladiums. The leaves are so cool and so striking, how can you not love them? And I do love them.

I also hate them. Stubborn little blighters!

I say this because the caladium corms won't sprout till they are nice and toasty warm. Now, I don't have all kinds of fancy equipment like bottom heaters to bring the little darlings up to their preferred temperatures, which are definitely significantly warmer than my preferred temperatures. There's no way I'm cranking up the thermostat to sub-tropical conditions for their sake.

Why don't you stick them on top of the fridge, you ask? Because it's you asking, I'll answer politely, instead of growling in frustration. My fridge is new, so it doesn't generate the heat the older models do, so parking caladiums on top of the fridge is a no go for me, and probably for most people nowadays. (If you've been wondering why you weren't getting the promised results for your caladiums or heat-loving seeds, now you know why. Your fridge is too efficient.)

I pot them up early just the same, hoping against hope. I put them in a sunny window, thinking the solar energy might persuade them. No dice. Weeks go by and nothing happens. So I determined to give up on the stupid things. Yeah right. Like I am going to throw out something living that has a chance. The last little corm that had survived past abuses got shoved unceremoniously into a pot with a bunch of other things and forgotten about.

When I got back from my vacation IN LATE JULY, two bright red leaves were there to greet me. That's how long it took. Sheesh! Why do I even bother?

Because those red leaves are sooooo pretty. And when you stop and think about it, shoving it into a pot with other things and forgetting about it is not that great an effort, now is it?

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pinar said...

gardeners are the most patient persons around..
I say when there is some green..(we can say some red in your case ) there is hope..
I'm waiting for my new little fuscia's bud..(that I grew from a cuttin) opens up.. for a week =((
I visit it every day with the camera.. nope not yet..
I hope it will be as gorgeous as your caladium.. =))

Sigrun said...

I have never seen caladiums!


Janet said...

Sigrun, really? I thought they were quite common. They like to be hot, but prefer to be out of the sun. If they're in the sun, they need to be kept quite damp. They'd really be much happier in a tropical environment.