Do I Dig Up My Gladiolus Bulbs in the Fall?

Written by jackie carroll
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Do I Dig Up My Gladiolus Bulbs in the Fall?
Gladiolus bulbs can be dug up in the fall. (the gladiolus bulbs image by Igor Groshev from Fotolia.com)

Gardeners in United States Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 6 and colder should dig up gladiolus bulbs, which are actually corms, in fall for winter storage. In zones 7 and 8, apply a thick layer of mulch to protect the bulbs from light freezes.

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Digging

Dig gladiolus corms 4 to 6 weeks after the last of the blossoms fade. If possible, leave them in the ground until the foliage dies back, but dig them out before the first hard freeze.

Preparation

Cut or twist the stalks off the corms and shake off any loose soil. Lay them in the sun to dry for a day or two, then move them indoors to an area with good air circulation to continue drying for a week or two. Once they are dry, remove the husks and separate immature corms, or cormels. You can plant cormels in the spring when you plant the corms, but they take two to three years to produce flowers.

Storage

Dust the corms with a fungicide before storage to prevent rot. Use airy containers such as onion bags for storage. Hang the corms in a ventilated area with winter temperatures between 1.67 and 7.22 degrees Celsius.

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