Gladiolus Choking Out

Nancy KesslerJuly 24, 2012


I planted a few gladiolus in pots and apparently I planted too many per pot. Some of the plants are turning brown and dying while others are setting bloom. I think the other plants are fighting each other for room and getting choked out. (It pushed up and out a petunia annual I had!)

Is it worth moving the bulbs now, while the foilage is still semi-green? Maybe after it's moved to a more spacious location, it can at least get some energy to store before the season ends?

Or should I let the plant die off? Will it be dead for good?

Thanks for your help. This is my first time planting gladiolus and I was ignorant to how much space they needed.

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Those that have finished: cut off the tops close above the corm. Dig the corm from the ground/pot. Place on a tray that lets air circulate. Put the corms into a cool airy and dry shed. Take off the old corm (looks like shrivelled leather) as it loosens from the fresh corm after about three weeks.

If you want to - save the 'spawn' - the little bulblets around the parent corm. Put them into packets (labelled) for planting out when you'd plant your first rows of peas. If you run a tunnel house or glasshouse - probably January/February or on into March.

Those that still have green leaves - liquid fertiliser at the recommended strength. Seaweed, fish, compost tea, comfrey would all be useful every five to seven days until they brown off. Stop then. If you drink tea - cold tea (no milk, sugar or lemon...) can be used, too. Something like MitracleGrow for tomatoes could be useful.

For next time - a mix of compost and potting soil. Plant six inches apart and four inches down. Put in the stakes at the same time as you park the corms (prevents having bulb kebabs). Takes about 90 days to flowering.

If you first plant out in late winter-early spring, and continue to midsummer/June you can have a succession of flowers.

If you plant up species Gladiolus, eg G tristis, in pots you will have to repot annually otherwise the pot becomes desperately overcrowded with young plants and no flowers. Separate the larger corms from the smaller. Grow the smalls on. Expect the larger to flower in the coming season.

Don't know why - some of the species get quite shy of flowering in pots under eight inches. What the large ornamentals are liking - probably a generous pot 12"+.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:35AM
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