Proven Winners is introducing a new series of Caladiums called Heart to Heart, plants that will help meet the ever-growing demand for tropical varieties in the marketplace. These new varieties come from producer Classic Caladiums. In this series, you’ll find two leaf styles—Strap Leaf and Fancy Leaf, as well as a variety of sun requirements. Some Heart to Heart Caladiums will grow in full sun, while others will grow in both sun or shade. Heart to Heart Caladiums can be ordered from any Proven Winners propagator or broker as well as from Classic Caladiums.
Bulbs are sold with Proven Winners branded containers for improved merchandising at retail. Bulbs should be planted covered with 2” of a well-draining, organic soil mix. The pH can be anywhere from 5.5-6.5. Be sure to stay in this range for the duration of the crop. The EC should be on the low side as the plant energy is in the bulb. After planting, an application of a broad-spectrum fungicidal drench is recommended.
Caladiums like heat to start out. Keep the soil temperatures at 75-85°F. There are ways to retain the heat on the bench, for instance, plastic covers and tents. They also need a consistently moist soil condition. This would measure at a wetness level of 4-4.5. Follow this regime until 80% or more of the crop has visible shoots. The Caladium shoots should emerge in 10 days to 2 weeks from planting.
When the majority of the shoots are visible, remove any heat retention and grow on with a more customary greenhouse environment such as soil temperatures in the 70-75°F range. At this point, you can let the soil dry but not to the point of wilt. Don’t allow the soil to dry below level 3.
Caladiums prefer moderate light levels. This being said, overcrowding can cause stretch. When the plants start to touch, space them for a higher quality plant. PGRs can be used to control the stretch and delay spacing.
The crop can be finished with a medium to low feed program. A constant feed of 75-100ppm of a balanced feed is recommended. If you weekly or pulse feed, use a 150ppm rate with clear irrigations between.
You can expect the crop to finish in 8-10 weeks from planting. The later the planting, the faster the crop will finish.
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