Benefits of Gladioli?

Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, FJuly 10, 2012

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?

Thanks again,

The Clueless Gardener

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beachlily z9a

Although glads look good in a pot, they are a nuisance in the ground. They are very, very difficult to remove if you decide to do it. All those little corms will break off and continue growing.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 7:14PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I grew florist glads for a number of years planting them two weeks apart for a continuous display almost year around. These matured at around 6 feet with varying amounts of florets open at the same time. Perfect cut flower except for the size lol. While I found they would return the quality dropped There are bedding types of glads with smaller flowers that will do well for years
Big problem was wind. Grew them through wire fencing ,much easier than staking. Did require enriching the soil as well as lots of water .
Incredible range of colors and forms and very cheap to replace. gary

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:57AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

So, in other words, they don't provide much other than attractive blooms. So I'll either plant them in a small bed or pass them on to my mother for her garden. She has a greater appreciation for decorative plants.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:10PM
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