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Lifting Gladioli bulbs

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sharon mc
West Wales, UK
Posts: 82
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:32 am   Post subject: Lifting Gladioli bulbs

Following a hard frost here, I started to dig out my 'butterfly' gladi bulbs, to store over winter and replant next year. The foliage had died right back but when I lifted the bulbs, some of them had white knobbly bits on them. I think this is new growth but it may not be; does anyone know, please. Also, I don't know whether to put the bulbs back in their original place, sink them into a tub of compost over winter or let them dry out for storage, as originally planned; advice, please!

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West - Friesland
Posts: 9544
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:27 am   

I do not know anyone that lifts their glads here where I live (except for the professional growers).
Having said that, if your glads are quite special to you, I can imagine that you might not want to take any chances.
If I were the one lifting the corms, I would handle them this way:
Gladiolus corms should be dug before a hard frost. Corms left in the soil over winter do not survive freezing temperatures. Dig corms 6 to 8 weeks after flowering. This gives the plant time to produce food and build a corm for next year. Harvest the corms by loosening the soil with a fork and pull out the plants by the tops. Break off the tops close to the corms. Remove all soil and roots, place corms in shallow trays with screen bottoms or other containers that will allow good air circulation. Discard and destroy all diseased plants and corms.

Cure harvested corms by placing them in bright sunlight for one or two days. Then place them in a well-ventilated location for about three weeks. High temperatures of over 80° F during this period hasten curing and greatly hinder development of disease. When the corms have cured after the three-week period, you can easily break off the old corms at the base of the new ones, discard these.

After curing, store the corms in an area with proper air circulation and a temperature between 35° to 40° F.

I went to look it up to see if others did it similiar to how I would and I found this excerpt. It is precisely how I would do it, should I wish to.

As I said, I do not lift my glads or dahlias any more, I just mulch them thickly and they keep coming back.

Good luck Sharon, you'll be alright I am sure.

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Regular Plants Contributor

Southern Ontario zone 5a
Posts: 13562
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:33 pm   

I dig my Glads up here in zone 5 as they would not survive the winter.
I lift them and store them in a milk crate, foliage and all. In the spring I remove the old foliage and re-plant.
I have a separate place to plant all the tiny new bulbs until they are large enough to produce blooms of their own.

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sharon mc
West Wales, UK
Posts: 82
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:56 pm   

I forget which climate zone we are in Wales here although it's fairly temperate. I'm going to store the few bulbs i've dug out but leave all the rest in to see how they fare next year! Thanks for your thoughts.

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