Saturday, July 17, 2010

Caladiums of the Thai Variety

This morning's post is thanks to Seigfried, who thought that I needed my face washed at 5 this morning. I really didn't need to be up that early and tried to get some more sleep, but he was just so cuddly that I gave up, and being up early with a little free time before I actually had to get up, I thought I'd finally get around to posting about the caladiums whose pictures I took over a week ago with the intention of posting them then.
We're actually getting a lot done, considering the heat and humidity. We're outside no later than 7:30 in the morning and can usually keep at it until noon, though there were a few days that we were done in by 9. We've been rather ruthlessly culling daylily seedlings to make space for some named ones that have gotten a little crowded in the beds. If you're in the neighborhood, I have some lovely clumps - some up to about 30 fans - for $5 each. (End of commercial message)
Anyway, a few weeks ago I bought 6 new caladiums from Asiatica Nursery during their going of of business sale. (Still time to order until the end of July) I just love caladiums and have perfected the keeping them alive over the winter thing, so I felt comfortable adding a few to the collection. The names are in the pots and I'm still in bed, so I'll just have to show you the pictures for this morning. They are all in Thai (?) I suppose and so not names that I remember or that just flow off the tongue.

This first one is a miniature. The leaves are less than 2 inches long and though I really like it and it is toooooo cute, I'm afraid this may be the most difficult one because the leaves are thin and delicate. All of them are living in pots on the table under the Hibiscus 'Tosca' and are starting to add new leaves. I don't ever put my caladiums in the ground for several reasons. Slugs are death to caladiums and with our wet year, they would have been gone by now. I also get busy/lazy in the fall and having to dig them up just might not happen. And last, keeping them in the pots seems to work.

This second one is far from delicate (or small). The leaves are about 10 inches long and shiny with the look of patent leather, though that doesn't show in the photo. Actually, this patterning doesn't show well unless the sun is shining through from the back. Usually they are very thick looking and dark shiny red.

These come out almost gold and pink and then change to more chartreuse.

This one is very pink and the veins are almost black and when the light hits it the right way it looks like stained glass.

I like this one with its part green and part pink leaves. There are a few where the colors are more mixed, but most are just like this.

Last is this one. More pink and green.
My tips for keeping them over the winter - neglect. I knew they had to rest, so I let them die back and then I left them in the pots. I pushed them to the back of the middle bench in the greenhouse on the east side where they would stay warm, but not have too much sun. In the spring, once it starts getting warm, I begin to water them. In a few weeks, I see sprouts and not long after the pots are full of beautiful plants again. I have two with almost white leaves - just a thin green margin, that have done so well that I'm going to have to divide them next spring.
Hopefully, I'll post again soon. I have been working on the website photos, though and will let you know when it's all done.

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