Gladiolus – Store or Replant

Q: If I dig up my gladiolus now should I store them until spring or re-plant immediately.

A: Gladiolus corms (bulbs) are usually winter-hardy if left in the ground but it’s a good idea to dig them up every couple of years. Otherwise, baby corms (cormels) will sprout alongside the larger ones and will crowd them, reducing blooms and vigor. Use a spading fork to lift the soil under a clump and examine the dirt closely. You will find a large corm, usually two inches in diameter, plus several smaller cormels, ranging from one-fourth inch to one-half inch across. The large corms can be planted now in the spot where you want blooms or you can keep them in a cool dry spot and plant in April. Similarly, plant the cormels in a sunny, out-of-the-way bed so they can grow large enough to bloom in a couple of years. They could likewise be saved until spring planting. Make sure the soil in any bulb planting bed drains quickly. Gladiolus, daffodil and tulip bulbs are very susceptible to rot in wet soil.

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