when to dig glads?

kimmie_72(7)January 21, 2009

I love my Glads and they have been planted for quite awhile and last year when they bloomed you could tell. I know they have multiplied b/c we accidentally pulled one up. I was told it was not worth it to pull them up but just to buy new ones. Personally I hate to waste anything. Any tips from someone who grows Glads? When should I dig and divide them? I probably missed it and and will have another small showing this year. Thanks in advance!

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mad_gardener

Kimmie,

The link below (How to dig & store gladiolus corms) tells a wealth of information about lifting & storing glads. To summarize, the article recommends that you lift the corms 6-8 weeks after the blooms have faded, or after the first frost (but before the ground freezes). Once you've lifted the bulbs, don't forget to rinse the dirt off & let them air dry in order to get rid of any pests. If you're worried about pests (thrip or mold), you should know that you can soak your bulbs in a weak bleach:water solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). At least with tulip bulbs, the healthy bulbs (or corms in this case), will float to the top since they have a higher water content than those that are dead or rotted.

Once your corms are clean, the article also recommends that you store them in paper or mesh bags (don't use anything that won't breathe - as your bulbs will mold over & rot... I learned that the hard way with some tulip bulbs!), in a cool (35-55 degrees fahrenheit) dark place (don't put them in a fridge with fruit, since the gases emitted will kill the flower bud in the corms). FYI - I've also heard of people storing their bulbs in a box with wood shavings (like those you use for a pet hamster), and http://hortchat.com/info/gladiolus recommends that you put a mothball in the bag/box you use to store your corms in order to deter thrip or mice from eating your bulbs.

More about wintering over frost-tender bulbs can also be found at: http://americangardens.suite101.com/article.cfm/wintering_over_frost_tender_bulbs

Good luck with your glads!

Here is a link that might be useful: How to dig & store gladiolus corms

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 10:48PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I probably missed it and and will have another small showing this year.
Since you missed the 'correct' time to dig and store them, I'm thinking you could maybe dig a couple of them, see what they look like, and then store them. Others you might try digging and dividing in the early spring, and others you might just leave alone, since the outcome of the other two ways may not be so successful.

I do think though that if you do 'nothing' until digging time again next season that you will have another poor showing this year.

Good luck, and please keep us posted of your successes.

Sue

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:10PM
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gardengal48

Unfortunately, the tall, showy glads most of us grow (Gladiolus x hortanulus) are not very perennial. Like many hybrid tulips, they lose vigor as they age. That's why they are most often recommended to be replanted annually - if winter hardy in the ground where you live, they'll put on a nice show for a few seasons, then start to decline.

It takes a while for the offsets or baby bulblets to achieve flowering size, but you can nurture these on by digging and storing appropriately and by offering careful planting and fertilization. But many gardeners find it easier and faster to just replace them each year or when they start to decline.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:19AM
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