Benefits of Gladioli?
Back in April I did a planting of various flowers for my wife for our anniversary (pottery year). One of the things I purchased for the gift was two bags of 15 gladioli bulbs each. But I couldn't figure out how to include them in the planting that I was working on for her, so they ended up getting left out. Instead I put them in a large pot that is WAY too small for 30 bulbs. Mostly because I didn't really care, but I was curious to see how they would do.
About 25 of the 30 bulbs ended up sending forth shoots and about 6-7 of those got starved out, leaving about 18 gladioli growing in a pot that I still think is too small for them. Lately they have started sending out their blooms. They are quite attractive looking, I will admit that. But I am a Function over Form over Fluff type person. Ever since they started blooming I have been watching the glads and I have yet to see any kind of critter be attracted to them. No bees, wasps, hornets or butterflies have visited them. The only thing I have ever seen feeding on them was a lubber grasshopper when they were first sprouting and he lost his life for his efforts.
Now, I know that sometimes it takes a while for certain critters to find your plants. I fully expect that if/when I get my coral honeysuckle vine growing and blooming that it will still be a year or two before I see a hummingbird. But I would have expected the glads to have at least attracted something, especially when they're only four feet away from my pentas which is completely surrounded by buzzing bugs.
Since I have them growing and they rewarded me by giving me some pretty blooms, I will be cutting them back come Sept/Oct, dividing the bulbs (if I can figure that part out) and planting them in their own bed where they will have more room to grow next spring. But I am left wondering if they will bring any benefit to the garden other than eye-candy?
The Clueless Gardener