Storage preparation

This photo essay shows the steps I used to prepare my caladium tubers for fall storage. This method has yielded about a 90-95% survival rate in tubers. I can't say that it worked well for colocasias and am hoping to find a better method. Only about 50% of the colocasias survived. Perhaps that's because the season was not long enough for the colocasias to produce tubers. (In fact, if you look at these caladium tubers, you'll see just how small many of my tubers were.) I'd welcome any input on my technique. If anyone out there has a better method (especially for colocasias) please contact me at .

(click on the image to view a larger version)

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Here's caladium gingerland freshly dug up

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After cutting the stems, the plant is ready for hosing the soil off.  Under the plant, you can see a screen box I created years ago.  It had been sitting unused but seemed like the perfect gizmo for this project.

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Here's a close-up of the tubers prior to hosing.

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As the project progressed, it seemed less important to cut the stems before hosing.  Furthermore, this facilitated keeping track of which variety was which.

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Here's a close-up of the hosing.  You can see that this is one of those multi function spray devices and it's been set to a fine sheet of water.

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Once the tubers were cleaned of soil, they were ready to begin drying off.

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Here's a pile of cleaned tubers.  They were separated by variety.

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There were seven different varieties of caladiums.  I left them in flats to allow the roots to dry before final preparation.

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Once the tubers had dried, I cut and rubbed the roots off and soaked the tubers once again to wash and last bits of soil off.

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After the soil was washed off the tuber, I soaked the tubers in a fungicide: Benomyl.  (Obviously, this was done one variety at a time.)

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The Benomyl-soaked tubers were allowed to dry for a few days.

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Once dried, the tubers were stored in vermiculite in plastic bags.  In the spring of 1998, I've found about 95% viability in the tubers.

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