Lifted my acidanthera bulbs (corms?) yesterday. I am drying them right now. How do people prepare and store? Do they need to be VERY dry?
I've grown them periodically, and if you're trying to keep them, treat them like you would gladiolus corms: and there's lots of info on the web regarding storing glad and glad-like corms... dig, dry them, cut the brown leaf stalk, remove the spent corm etc. If you store them damp/wet you run the risk of mold and rot. It's a balancing act because overly dry they run the risk of shrivelling up over the course of being in storage. So they should be checked on periodically.
The one season I saved them, I simply dug and dried, put them in a mesh onion bag (pair of panty hose would work just as well) and hung it on a nail in a cool, dark corner of the basement. They came out of storage just fine, put out a good show of leaves, but never set a bud or bloomed.
I'd never discourage anyone from going the extra mile in carrying things over from year to year - especially when gardening budgets, etc. might be a concern. But for me, should I want acidanthera, I'd buy them fresh every spring at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, or any of the big boxes. A high count box/bag is far and away one of the least expensive summer bulb selections on the market.
What a helpful reply! Thanks so much. I especially love the pantyhose idea - I am going to try that with my black walnuts as well.
I have never grown them before and these were free. Took FOREVER to sprout but we had a cool damp start to summer. Did not bloom until the end of August, early Sept and the bloomed like mad until the first frost. I had them in pots on the upper deck and surrounded by other stuff, so even as just greenery, they looked nice. Not something I would probably spend a lot on but I do like to play with propagating things and storing them. I've had so much fun and success with callas.
Would be curious to see how they would do in a warmer summer, like we normally have.
Acidenthera or more recently Gladiolus callianthus grow and multiply just like the regular Gladiolus, except the time from planting to blooming is much longer. Here where we can leave them in the ground year around they will soon fill a bed with new plants. Al
Here in the colder zones, where leaving acidanthera in the ground year round would spell certain death - even in a normal growing season, they're about the last things to come into bloom. Late August or into September is the usual time for the first buds to open.
And it's snowing today. Not like what the Dakotas got, but it's starting to stick on rooftops and grassy areas. So much for the 2008 gardening season!