Asked on Apr 16, 2014

How long before caladium bulbs/tubers sprout?

by Joffler
We planted a variety of white caladium a couple weeks ago under an oak tree and, following the suggestions of one of the websites, we watered them with Miracle Grow. Haven't seen any caladium sprouts but some hidden acorns seemed to be sprouting. Do we need to be more patient? The oak is still shedding leaves, dropping pollen strings (or whatever they're called) and just yesterday and the day before the weather dropped to nearly 40F--in southeast Texas!
  12 answers
  • Leslie Long Leslie Long on Apr 16, 2014
    @joffler. Hello. Depending on your location in TX you are either zone 8 or 9. Caladium bulbs should be planted when soil temps reach around 65 degrees and that is usually around May 1 in those zones. At your current temps, they will stay dormant and will not sprout until it warms up a bit. Good luck :)
  • Joffler Joffler on Apr 16, 2014
    Thank you Leslie. It's comforting to know they're dormant and not goners. I guess for now I'll pluck out the oak sprouts this weekend and check on the caladium in a couple weeks again (though I know I won't be able to resist checking in on them every couple days). Should we re-water with Miracl-Gro in May again?
  • Judy Parkey Judy Parkey on Apr 16, 2014
    Caladiums really like warm weather. Hopefully it will be warm in May and rewatering with Miracle Grow will be fine. Check out Neil Sperry on Facebook. He's the "Texas Gardener" and has all the answers!
  • Joffler Joffler on Apr 16, 2014
    Thank you! Just went to fb and "liked" him so I'll have access to al lhis knowledge.
  • Debbie C Debbie C on Apr 16, 2014
    Just be patient....they're coming!!!! lol
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 17, 2014
    As Leslie says, you did jump the gun on putting your caladiums in the ground. I do not fertilize plants until they are actively growing on their own.
  • Joffler Joffler on Apr 17, 2014
    Yes, I guess I did. Got that Spring itch on time but the weather didn't get the memo. I'm in z9 and my understanding is bulbs/tubers can remain in the ground safely so I'm hoping storing them underground for now, however inadvertently, is as good as in the garage.
  • Liz Holland Liz Holland on Apr 18, 2014
    I make pots up for my caladiums and keep them indoors in a warm place then plant the claladiums, after they come up and it's warm outside I transplant them or just pop the pots into empty shady spots! I keep my pots in the utility room with the water heater!
    • Joffler Joffler on Apr 19, 2014
      I have to admit I'm more the lazy Gardner type so I'm hoping they'll sprout, stay in ground and come back for a visit every year.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Apr 18, 2014
    Thanks for the giggle! As one who absolutely LOVES caladium, I must tell you I have had this same question for years! We have such unstable temps in spring sometimes, I have actually dug up a few bulbs to make sure they have not died! I have always found them doing well with a tiny sprout...trying very hard...but it will not show up until it gets consistently warm...very warm. Here in Georgia, it is about mid to late May.
  • Joffler Joffler on Apr 19, 2014
    I guess I'll learn from your experience and just wait on them til mid May or later. If we don't get to enjoy them, maybe the squirrels will, but I'm sure something will come up. I couldn't have gotten all 40 bulbs wrong. My thumb's not all brown....but it is a weirdish season. Lol
  • Joffler Joffler on Apr 26, 2014
    Happy to say my wife pointed out one sprout coming up. Got a closer look and there were a couple more emerging. Whew!
  • Mary Ryan Mary Ryan on Apr 28, 2021

    My bulbs have been attacked by squirrels. I just hope he left some for me! He seems to really like my caladiums. And my tulips. And my gladiolus. And my strawberries. And my lilies.