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Did my gladiolus grow correctly?

Posted by blewb Central TX (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 5, 13 at 8:17

This was my first year to grow gladiolus so I'm unsure as to what their growth cycle is, and the internet isn't being real helpful as most sites seem to assume that you know how it should grow.

So I planted 3 corms in a container and they all sprouted and grew leaves and all that. Eventually, one of them sent up a flower pod thing and blossomed. Looked pretty nice, but I was surprised that the flowers started dying after two or three days of being open. In about a week all the flowers had bloomed and died on that stalk.

Well now I have another flower stalk coming up on another gladiolus and I'm curious as to how I can extend the blooming length on this stalk.

Also, what should I do with the other one that has already bloomed? They don't bloom again, correct? So should I just take it out and gather the corm to replant for next year? Or replant it again this year?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Did my gladiolus grow correctly?

Yes, what you've experienced is typical for glads. Each floret (starting from the bottom of the stalk up) looks fresh and lasts for just a few days. There is nothing you can do to prolong the floret progression - it's just how glads bloom. And there will be no repeat bloom.

Since you're in Texas, you probably don't need to dig up and replant. Although a container is a pretty closed environment; the corms could rot if the soil stays too wet for a long period. I've always planted them in the ground as opposed to containers, and being in a cold climate would have to dig them in the fall and store if I wanted to save them.

RE: Did my gladiolus grow correctly?

You could give a liquid feed every five days until you start to see the colour of the petals showing in the bud - then stop.

When the leaves start to go yellow lift the corms and cut off the foliage with a sharp knife or garden scissors close above the corm immediately after.

Put them to dry in the sun or an airy place. When they are dry take off the old corky-looking corm and any old roots. They need to dry quickly to prevent any damage from diseases.

Store them in a cool dry place over winter and repot with fresh mix and some added superphosphate (2teaspoons) bonedust (1.5 teaspoons) and sulphate of potash (1 teaspoon) well mixed together in your usual potting mix with two or three handfuls of good and aged compost added. They like being well-fed, in a free-draining mix, and placed in an area which has long sunlight hours. If they are tall - provide stakes when you plant so you don't end up with corm kebabs. :-(

There could be 'spawn' - which are young corms - gathered around the corms when you lift them. Often a creamy colour. You can also save them over winter and plant them like peas any time from March to June. So long as the spawn are larger than a thumbnail they could also flower next year.

RE: Did my gladiolus grow correctly?

What you described is normal. There is no need to disturb them in TX, although moving them to the ground if that's an option would be fine. Here's a patch with plenty of the babies mentioned. They take a few years to reach blooming size, none of these in this patch were big enough yet this year.

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