Still Too Early to Plant

This post, “Still Too Early to Plant” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


It is hard to have to wait for some plants to emerge in the spring.  Every year I worry when the hidden ginger isn’t up even though we have warm temperatures for weeks.  This year is no different.  Many plants need warm soil to grow.


Last weekend when I was planting in the garden, I was surprised that the soil was still fairly cool, especially the areas that remain shady.  This past week, we have had high temps in the 80’s, but I still think it is too early to plant warm-weather plants like caladiums.  You have to be careful and not plant caladiums too early because if they sit in damp, cold soil they can rot.  Very often I will start the tubers in containers.   I usually start them in gallon containers and then put them in the ground when it warms up enough.  When leaves start showing, it is easy to gently lift them and plant in the garden.  In certain areas of the garden, under a tree for example, I will just place the container of caladiums in the garden rather than try to dig around tree roots.  These containers are placed behind low growing plants or in ground cover so that the pot does not show.  This also makes it easy to lift the tubers in the fall.


Caladiums need well drained soil, and filtered sunlight.  Plant the tubers with the eyes up and about two inches deep.  The roots and leaves form quickly in warm soil.  Water well during the summer.


This year I bought some more Gingerland caladiums, and I want to plant them now, but I know better.  With the warm spring days and flowers all around, it is hard to have to wait to plant some things, but sometimes we have to learn to be patient.




  1. April 12, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Good advice on caladiums. I’ve grown them even here in Indiana quite successfully. The trick for me was to start them indoors and then move them outside later in the spring. And it was much cheaper to grow my own from tubers than to buy plants in a garden center later in the spring.

  2. Joy said,

    April 12, 2008 at 5:51 am

    I will have to wait a very long time yet myself. Zone 5b .. I have loads of pots to do with seeds for vines .. I guess I went vine crazy this year ? .. I love the look of Caladiums .. they are very pretty .. and yes, plant a pot ? under trees is a great trick to fill in the area .. and most certainly easy to lift the bulbs up for the winter !

  3. Jan said,

    April 12, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Carol, I agree about the tubers being less expensive. Also, if you want a particular caladium, often you can’t find them in the garden center. I have never seen Gingerland plants for sale. It is usually just the more common varieties.

    Joy, I got the idea of growing the caladiums in pots from a neighbor. She did that to lift them above her edging so they would show up better. Some years because of a lack of time, I have just picked up the pots, placed them in the garage for the winter, and then in the spring just placed them back outside, and they have done well.

  4. nancybond said,

    April 12, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Patience has certainly been a virtue this spring here in Nova Scotia. But won’t we enjoy things all the more when the time comes? 🙂

  5. Sherry said,

    April 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve already purchased my caladium tubers, but haven’t planted them yet. I’ve grown them in containers and they always do well. I really should do as you mentioned and plant mine now and keep the containers indoors. You’re right, it’s so hard to be patient this time of year!

  6. Jan said,

    April 12, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Nancy, patience is a thing I have been working on. I don’t have too much of it, but I am getting better and calmer.

    Sherry, growing caladiums in containers is an easy way to have them ready to put outside when the weather is warm enough, and you don’t have to wait for them to grow up – they are already sprouted. It is hard to be patient when you are a gardener. I don’t know how the gardeners in the North stand it.

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