Gladiolus are often considered an old-fashioned “grandma” flower, but in recent years they’ve been making a comeback. The more contemporary varieties with elegant ruffles and a vast selection of colours are a welcome breath of fresh air in mid-August.
In this blog post, I’ll give you my simple tips for overwintering glads to ensure you have these gorgeous, classic flowers growing in your cut-flower garden season after season!
STORING GLADS OVER WINTER
Glads are a little more work in colder climates, as it’s ideal to start them around four weeks before your final frost, and you must dig them up in the fall if you want to save the corms for next year. Some people choose to let the corms rot and just buy new ones every year. However, if you’re reading this post, I imagine you’re not one of those people!
The process of caring for gladiolus during winter is quite simple and storage is very similar to dahlia tubers. In fact, I always store mine in the same place.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Dig out the corms after the first frost
- Clip off the green stems
- Let them dry out for a week
- Store in a medium such as vermiculite, wood shavings, peat moss etc. in a dark, cool location
WHAT MATTERS MOST WHEN STORING GLADS
The two things that actually matter when storing glads are keeping them in the dark and keeping them consistently, slightly moist.
To keep your corms moist, but not watery, mist them with water before storing them, then mist them again every month or two if they look like they’re starting to dry out. Make sure to check your glads at least once over the winter, and pull out any corms that have rotted or are starting to rot!
In the spring, you can start your glads early by putting them in a tray of water under grow lights. If you want to try this method, I go into detail about the whole process in this post and this video.
RELATED: HOW TO START GLADIOLUS BULBS INDOORS
What do you do with BABY CORMS?
It is totally normal for three things to happen over the growing season that you will notice when digging up your glads:
- Your gladiolus corms may have grown larger
- Your corms may have grown larger and grown an extra baby corm or two
- The mother corm may have rotted out, and 1-4 small baby corms may have grown in its place
So what do you do with your cormlets? You can keep the baby corms and plant them the next year! If they’re very small they likely won’t flower, but they’ll grow larger and flower the year after.
It is also normal for glads to get itty-bitty baby corms. You can save these, as well, but it will take multiple years for them to grow to a decent size.
MORE OF A VISUAL LEARNER?
Here’s a quick video about overwintering gladiolus corms to put all these words into action:
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LEARN TO SAVE EVEN MORE CUT FLOWER SEEDS!
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