Thanks and questions about gladiolus

anchita(Bay area, CA)February 16, 2007

I had first posted on this forum last fall with lots of newbie questions about growing bulbs, mostly in containers. I'm very happy and grateful to report that your help with my newbie project has begun to bear flower for me! My paperwhites (that I had planted outdoors) are blooming beautifully, and other bulbs are peeking out from among the pansies etc. Hopefully, I'll get an encouraging display this year, and will learn from my first try at bulb-growing.

Now that I've been bitten by this bug, I was wondering if it is the right time to plant gladiolus in zone 8 (north Texas.) I saw some being sold in nurseries and in Home Depot, and wanted to add to my ever-growing addiction :-) Any specific types or tips that you might have regarding these in my area/zone will be appreciated as well!



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Common wisdom is to plant glads starting in March. Plant at 2 week intervals for longer bloom period.

Recently I learned they can be planted quite 8 inches and they won't need to be staked.

Hope someone with experience can tell us if that's true.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:24AM
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anchita(Bay area, CA)

Thanks for the reply Cynthia. I'll wait awhile to plant them.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 3:07PM
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melsalz(Z7 NC)

I think 8 inches is a bit too deep. I'm not an expert but I thought you should plant them at least 2 inches and then you wouldn't have to stake.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:17PM
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cls009(z5 MT)

Optimum depth for large gladiola corms is 6-8 inches. Cynthia is correct that planting at the deeper depth usually means you don't have to stake.

If the corms are really small you'd want to go with 3-4 inches.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 3:17PM
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Plant deep ( 7-8 inches ), first year you won´t need staking, the next year you will if you plant shallow ( 5-6 inches ), gladiolus corms can grow quite large in the first year so if you plant shallow by next year they will actually be only 3-4 in deep and fall over. Every 3-4 years you need to lift the corms and divide them, gladiolus grow huge numbers of cormlets every year.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 5:15PM
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anchita(Bay area, CA)

Thanks for all the info! I'll plant them a little deeper, and report how that goes...


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 10:16PM
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juanital(5b/6a OH)

So glad I found this post...I planted a bunch of gladies all over last year and most of them had ended up leaning waaayyy over or falling completely when in full bloom...The different varieties had different planting depths I don't have time to stake all and better yet, prefer not to...I want to keep them as they are so beautiful...


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 4:45AM
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I grew some gladiolus this year and when I dug them up, I noticed that the bulbs had grew into another bulb on top of it. After reading this posts, I think the correct term is "corm" (I'm very new to gardening, sorry). Now I have a corm with one on top of it. How do I divide them? Do I just pull them apart? Do I need any eyes like some others need? And should I wait until spring to divide or is the now okay?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:45PM
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The old corm is the one on the bottom - that one is finished and shrivelled and can be discarded since it will never grow again. When you've dug them up, dried them, and the foliage turns brown - you can cut that off close to the new top corm. When the corms are dry, a light twist of the wrist will separate the old corm from the new one. Should come away quite easily without damaging the new corm or its tissue papery covering.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 3:55PM
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You were right, some of them came off very easily and the others just took a twist or two. I went ahead and threw the old ones away because they were very shrivelled. Thank you for your info!!!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 11:47AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I was amazed at how some Star Lily Glads multiplied in their first year! Finally found the shriveled old bulb on the bottom of new one after they dried and twisted them off.

I don't think they should be divided after only one year, correct? A few have side cormlets that are almost an inch from bottom to tip. Will those little side cormlets bloom in addition to the main new bulb? I'm assuming they need another year or two to develop internal bloom baby and then I divide them.

The only reason I had the bulbs in my hot little hands because they had to be dug up since I was rearranging the bed for next Spring. I wouldn't even have known about twisting off the original corm if I hadn't read this forum.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 4:57PM
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