Caladium Tubers in Illinois: To dig up or let go?

Menard's is running some pretty good sales on bulbs/seeds/tubers as they try to clear out their early spring inventory.  We have one planting bed that is staying put in our backyard, but the rest is up in the air.  That's making plant-buying decisions a bit hairy.  I've - for the most part - held off on buying much of anything this year because of all the uncertainty.

That was, until this Menard's sale.  I bought a few different sets of bulbs - which turned out to be tubers.  Excuse me for saying this, but I'm a tuber virgin.  Either I never planted one, or I didn't know it was a tuber if I did.  Turns out, both Dahlias and Caladiums are tubers.
My Mom told me that you have to "dig up tubers" each fall in Illinois.  I didn't believer her:  couldn't be that you'd have to take in your bulbs each fall just to plant them again.  Seems like a bit too much work.

Turns Mom was right:  Once these are planted, I'll have to dig 'em up, dust them with some anti-fungal powder, then store them in peat moss/sawdust for the winter in the root cellar.

Oh...that's right.  We DON'T HAVE A ROOT CELLAR.

This is 2010.  Shouldn't these nurseries be able to create fancy plants that can survive an Illinois winter?  Apparently not.  Thus, I haven't made up my mind if I'll just consider these plants annuals and roll the dice over winter or if I'll dig them up.

We'll see come fall.  I'm sure you'll see them too.


  1. i love caladiums. we have had them in the have to dig them up this far south as well. you could pot them and it would be easier to remember where they are or just plant them where you will and replace them the next year. when i consider buying caladiums(i won't buy them unless they're marked down quite a bit), i try to view them as an annual. that way i don't feel so bad when i forget about them and the tuber freezes!


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