What ta do about gladiolas?

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Old 08-07-00, 05:16 PM
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general quetions about glads. after they have bloomed, what do you do? cut em' back let em' die back? what? THANKS
 
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Old 08-08-00, 05:22 AM
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Let them stay in place for at least 4-6 wks after bloom. If you pick for bouquets leave as much stem as practical. If you dead-head - ditto. Leaves and stems help feed corms. Most people just leave till after frost nips foliage. Dig with digging spade being careful not to damage corms. You'll find lots of little corms and cormels (tiny corms). All can be used to increase supply. Although the cormels will not bloom for a couple of years you can save and replant just as you do the larger ones.

After digging I just leave on top of the soil for a couple of days. Rain won't hurt them. If freezing temps are predicted bring inside. Freezing temps can damage the corms once out of ground. Cut back foliage and stem to approx. 1-1/2" above corm and trim off hanging roots to eliminate storage bulk. Give about 2-3 wks of drying time in a garage or unheated porch. After this the old corm will shrivel and snap away from the newly formed corms and the stem will twist off easily.

Sort by size and color. Store in onion bags or old nylons in a dark spot at 40-50 degrees. Some growers treat with bulb dust to hold them over winter without disease but it's seldom necessary for the home gardener.
 
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Old 08-13-00, 07:39 PM
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Ladybug,I live in north MS and have been leaving our glads in the ground.They come back fine every year but do not seem to thrive as I wish they would.They rarely reproduce but do bloom.Are these a plant that needs to be lifted and not allowed to winter.Our winter temps run from 25 to 40F on the average.Thanx for any input....Mike
 
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Old 08-14-00, 03:57 AM
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Morning Mike: Glads are native to S. Africa so that tells us they like it warm. Up north here to -25 deg. we have no option but to lift and store. It is possible that your temps get low enough to take out the cormals. Glads die if roots/corms freeze.

Do yours reach 3'-5' in height (depends on variety)? All corms produce a number of new corms at the end of every growing season. Of the new corms some are small pea-sized cormels but there are always 2-3 flowering size. The shoots are frost sensitive. May need fertilizer. Bone meal 0-14-0. Scatter a small handful and mix shallow with surface soil in spring. (see directions on container). Watch out so you don't damage new shoots.

This year I'd try lifting some and storing - leave rest in ground. Replant next year and compare results. You may need to lift at 25 deg. temps.
 
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Old 08-17-00, 01:42 PM
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Ladybug,My glads do get tall,to tall,have to stake them.I guess what I mean by not thriving is they come up,bloom but do not reproduce.If I put 8 in a corner, I have 8 in 3 years.Don't get me wrong,I am proud to have them return and bloom without lifting.I have such good luck with everything else that I am dividing and sharing....I will lift a patch this year and we will see.Thanks for your reply....Mike
 
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Old 08-18-00, 07:25 AM
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Mike: You're right I did key off the word 'thrive' thinking nutrients might play a part. No way, not with that kind of growth. I'll bet the flowers are beautiful.
Glads are my favorite and they've never failed to reproduce like mad. In fact, there are so many little cormels that I just toss them in the trash plus any small size corms. Now I'm really curious.

As an experiment next year if you have the space you might try planting one group that you dig up 6 weeks after bloom, one group that you dig at end of growing season, and one you let go over winter. See if any of these groupings will reproduce. Yes, please do let me know how it comes out. Ladybug
 
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