Gladiolus Bulbs

This post, “Gladiolus Bulbs” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

I am always surprised at the timing of gladiolus bulb planting.  When I see the reminder to plant, I am taken aback.  Here, we are supposed to start planting them now.  It is recommended that they be planted at two week intervals.

I never remember to plant this early, and the first time I planted glads, they were planted at least a month or more after they were supposed to be in the ground.  However, they did perform well that year.  Down here, we are able to leave them in the ground to overwinter.  They are in raised beds because of the high rainfall in south Louisiana.  However, this past fall I noticed that some bulbs I had planted about three years ago were now at the top of the soil.  I decided to dig them up and replant in the spring.

Boy!  Was I surprised at what I dug up!  I had planted corms that were about 1.5 inches across and dug up corms about 4 to 4.5 inches across.  They looked about the size of the hamburgers that are in a MacDonald’s kids meal.  These were the first glads I had planted, so I had no idea they could get so big.  No wonder I had one glad that overwintered last year.

                                      gladiolus-bulbs-p01-edited-resized-21608.jpg  Corm on the right is the original size I started with, one on the left is what I ended up with.

The next surprising thing was all the little corms around these enormous things.  There were dozens.  I had done just a basic reading in my garden books about glads, but I never expected this.  I knew they developed new corms on top of the old ones and knew this is why they needed to be dug up and replanted.  I also expected baby ones to develop but didn’t realize exactly that I could get dozens of them.

These gladiolus bulbs were supposed to be Goldfield, but they weren’t.  I planted them in a circular bed that I wanted to be mostly yellow flowering plants.  These glads turned out to be peach-colored with a yellow throat.  As the years have gone by, they are getting more and more peach-colored and have less yellow.  I am not that wild about them, but the hubby loves them. The next year, I planted some more Goldfield, and they turned out to be the right color.

The peach ones would more likely appeal to me if they are moved away from the yellow flowers and are on their own.  I probably will not replant them in the “yellow garden”, but will put them elsewhere – maybe where they can be next the peach hibiscus.  I plan on placing the babies in an area that is kind of out of the way, but still gets a lot of sunshine and has amended soil. 

I planted what was supposed to be light violet glads last year, but they, too, came out a different color – darker purple.  (I don’t know if the growers are not careful with what they put in their packaging, or if the picture they show is just not accurate.)  These did not do as well as the above ones did, and in digging around where they were planted, I did not find many.  This, however, is not going to deter me from trying these bulbs again. 

Gladiolus bulbs are very nice in the garden because of their colors, long-lasting blooms, and spiky shapes offer a nice contrast to other plants.

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