"Dig up Gladiolus Corms to Store over Winter"
Q. My husband and I read and enjoy your articles. Our present problem is about gladiolus. We plant them yearly as they are our favorites. Should we dig the bulbs up after the leaves have died in the fall or leave them in the ground as some people do? Secondly, we rarely find additional bulbs attached to the bulb as my mother used to on her bulbs. We wonder why? Thank you kindly.
A. Gladiolus corms should be dug up and stored for winter in a cool, dry location. Dig them up after the first frost. Allow them to dry for a week, then place them in a container filled with dry peat moss, vermiculite, or perlite. Keep the corms separated to prevent rotting. Bury the corms with more peat moss, vermiculite or perlite and store the container in a cool area that won't freeze over winter. An unheated garage is a good place for storing overwintering bulbs.
Gladiolus corms do not grow larger every year as some bulbs do. Instead, the corm forms a new corm and the original one shrivels and dies. Sometimes more than one corm is produced as well as many tiny corms called cormels. When storing gladiolus, be sure to remove the old, shriveled corm from the base of the new corm.
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