Anyone Grow Gladiolus?

lizbest1(5)August 5, 2013

I bought a couple of bags of gladiolus from Lowe's at the end of spring, not realizing they were supposed to be dug up here. Does anyone else on this forum grow them? Is it worthwhile to dig and store them? If so, when and how should they be stored?

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I grew them for a few years. Dig them in the fall when the foliage starts to die down. Let them dry a bit in the shade, knock off the dirt and trim the leaves off, and I kept them in an open cardboard box in my garage. Then next June, separate the bulbs as needed - its pretty obvious - and plant.

The only issue is that, my, they sure do multiply. Start off with a couple dozen and a few years later, you have hundreds. Which makes for a spectacular flower show, but 50+ lbs of bulbs to mess with as well.

I lost them one year when I was unable to dig them in the fall.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Leave a couple inches of tops on them. I store them in paper bags in a closet. Garage is too cold for here. Then in the Spring I clean off the old husks before planting them.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Everyone should own a spading fork for jobs like this.

It becomes more a matter of "lifting" than "digging."

One foot on the tines, one hand on the handle, one hand lifting the glads . . . one foot in the air!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 5:41PM
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Wow, I'm glad to have seen this thread. I planted a bunch of gladiolus this year not knowing they have to be dug up here (zone 5). I wish that wasn't true, but oh well I will get out my spade come this fall. Sure you can't just mulch heavily? Ha ha.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Actually, GardenArts, many years ago I planted a bunch of them against a dark brick wall on the south side of the house, and, while I was assuming they'd freeze over winter (I was too lazy to dig them up!), in spring I discovered that many of them had survived and came up just fine! I also planted a few at this house about 8 years ago, and they were next to a light colored shed, and did not get full sun in either summer or winter, but a few of them came up the next year too, tho they didn't really bloom much again, most likely because of the lack of sun the previous year. So if you're willing to take a chance (or if you're just plain too lazy, like me!) there is a chance that some/many/most of them could come back next year! If they're in a warm micro-climate, you could have pretty good luck--if it's a place that gets "extra cold" you'd most likely lose most or all of them. If you decide to take a chance, a thick layer of "air retaining" mulch could possibly help to insulate them some--never tried it so just not sure! (The ones of mine that came back had just plain old bare ground--no extra protection at all.)


    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 1:14AM
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Thank you very much for the advice, skybird. I planted separate patches, so maybe I'll try mulching some and digging the others up.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 6:30PM
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So far only 1 has bloomed but I think I'll dig them up and try again next year, thanks for the advice! I'd only seen them before in pictures so didn't know what to expect at all. They're in a new bed and I want to make sure I have enough room for all of the peonies I ordered this year so digging them up deliberately and storing them is better than digging them accidentally while planting peonies! Instead of a single large planting I think I'll try smaller groupings between peonies next spring. Sounds like they should be planted about when the peonies are at their biggest, works for me!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 1:49AM
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I would add to Skybird's comments re south side of a building.

I have half a dozen in a similar spot, a foot away from the foundation, and they're perennial. I need to remember to dig and separate them........

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:42AM
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sorie6(6b ok.)

I had them for yrs. there and never dug them up. They were on the south side of house light brick. they came back every yr. I did mulch them in the fall with leaves.
Just moved to Ok. in June and lived in the same house in Arvada 38yr.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 5:24PM
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