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Minnesota Flower Growers Bulletin - January,

Table 2.

Caladium tuber grades and their

respective sizes. ................................

Grade Size

.............................................

Super Mammoth

    • 4.5

      inches

    • 11.5

      crn or greater

Mammoth

4.5 - 3.5 inches 11.5 - 9.0 cm

Jumbo

3.5 - 2.5 inches 9.0 - 6.5 cm

#1

2.5-1.5 inches 6.5 - 4.0 cm

#2

1.5 - 1.0 inches 4.0 - 2.0 cm

New crop tubers (harvested in August) are

usually

available

in

December.

However,

with proper storage, tubers virtually year round.

can

be

available

Tubers should be inspected upon receipt for signs of chilling injury and/or physical damage upon delivery

Tubers should be firm. Tubers exposed to chilling temperatures are often rubbery to the touch. When cut, the tuber should be free of milky-white areas and brown streaks which may indicate the presence of fungal

pathogens.

Shoot

DeveIoDment= Shoot

number is increased in any one of 3 ways: pinching, cutting tubers into pieces, or planting tuber upside-down.

1) pinching is

Pinching- As with other crops, used to increase the number of

shoots on a plant. In the caladium, the main bud, or eye, is the dominant bud. If this bud is removed before tubers are planted

(referred to as scooping) shoots will develop.

additional

axillary

2) Large tubers may be cut in pieces, allowed to suberize, placed back together, and

planted. 3)

Tubers may be planted upside

down. number shorter,

Besides causing an ,of shoots emerging, and the finished

increase in the the shoots are plant is fuller.

4

1991

Volume 40, Number 1

However, production time is increased.

Growth Reaulators: in 2,000 ppm Ethephon for 2

Soaking tubers hours improves

uniformity and increases shoot number. Forcing time is unaffected by Ethephon soaks.

Plantina well drained

tubers - and high in

Medium should be organic matter. The

media

pH

should

be

maintained

from

5.5-6.5.

Tubers should be planted 2 -3 cm (1 inch) below the soil line. The number of tubers per pot is determined by the pot size and the desired final plant size. Usually 1 mammoth or jumbo tuber, 3 #l's , or 4 -5 #2's are planted per 6 inch pot. One #1 or 2 #2's are also be planted per 4 inch pot. Caladiums can also be started in flats and transplanted to pots to reduce the space requirement during production.

SDacinq -Pots may initially be placed pot-

to-pot.

When

plants

become

larger,

pots

should be spaced far enough apart good air movement and little shading.

to

allow

Support -Caladiums generally do not require support.

Production Problems:

general,

h a v e 1 )

insects -Caladiums do not, in

serious

insect

pest

problems.

However, root aphids and mealy bugs may feed on tubers during storage. Mites, aphids, mealy bugs, white flies, red spider mites, and

lepidopterous larvae may feed

on

the

leaves.

2) Diseases - Tubers always be inspected upon receipt.

should Tubers

with discolored areas or

chalky

substances on

the surfaces should be discarded.

Tubers may be attacked by many pathogens

including

Fus a r i u m , R h i z o c t o n ia,

Schlerotium, and Erwinia.

A warm fungicide

dip (50oC or 122oF) for 10 - 30 minutes prior to potting helps to control fungal pathogens. In addition, a regular preventative fungicide drench is recommendedon a monthly basis.

Dasheen Mosaic Virus (DMV) has been found in many 'Candidurn' cultivars. A DMV infected plant may not show symptoms of

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