Gladioli are beautiful summer-flowering bulbs that can add a splash of color to any garden. However, once the flowering season is over, it’s important to know what to do with them to ensure they bloom again next year. According to Monty Don, a renowned gardener and television presenter, there are a few steps you can follow to take care of your gladioli after they have finished flowering.
1. Wait until the foliage begins to turn yellow
After the gladioli have finished blooming, it’s important to leave the foliage intact until it begins to turn yellow. The green leaves provide energy for the plant to store in its corms, which are underground storage structures.
2. Lift the corms from the ground
Once the foliage has turned yellow, carefully lift the corms from the ground using a garden fork or trowel. Be sure to dig deep enough to avoid damaging the corms.
3. Clean and dry the corms
After lifting the corms, remove any excess soil and debris. Allow them to dry in a warm and dark place for a couple of weeks. This will help prevent any rot or fungal diseases.
4. Store the corms in a cool and dry place
Once the corms are dry, store them in a cool and dry place, such as a shed or garage. Monty Don suggests placing them in a box lined with newspaper to ensure good air circulation.
5. Plant the corms in the next season
In the following planting season, usually spring, take the corms out from storage and plant them in well-drained soil. Monty Don recommends planting them about 4-6 inches deep and spacing them 6 inches apart.
Note: If you live in a region with mild winters, you may be able to leave the gladioli corms in the ground over winter. However, it’s still a good idea to lift and store them if you want to ensure their survival.
By following Monty Don’s advice, you can ensure the health and longevity of your gladioli. Whether you choose to lift and store them or leave them in the ground, proper care after flowering is crucial for their future success.
What to do with gladioli after flowering according to Monty Don
Planting the corms
When the gladiolus flowering season comes to an end, it is important to know what to do with the plants in order to ensure their success for the next year. According to Monty Don, a well-known gardening expert, the best time to deal with the gladioli corms is in the early autumn, when the year’s growth has finished.
To start, dig up the gladioli corms using a garden fork or trowel. Take care not to damage the corms while digging them up. Once the corms are lifted, remove any excess soil and trim the foliage to around an inch above the corm. You can leave the cormels (small corms that have formed around the main corm) attached if they are of a decent size.
Storing the corms
Next, Monty Don suggests drying the corms in a dark, cool place for a few weeks. This will allow any excess moisture to evaporate and prevent the corms from rotting. Once the corms are dry, remove any remaining foliage and store them in a breathable container, such as a paper bag or mesh bag.
The ideal storage conditions for gladioli corms are a cool, dark place with good air circulation. Monty Don advises checking the corms occasionally and removing any that show signs of rot or damage. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that the corms remain in good condition throughout the winter.
Planting for the next season
In March, as the new growing season begins, it will be time to plant the gladioli corms again. Monty Don suggests selecting a well-drained spot in full sun, and amending the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility. Dig a hole that is about twice the depth of the corm and place it in the hole with the pointed end facing upwards.
Cover the corm with soil and firm it gently. Space the corms about 6 inches apart to allow for proper airflow and growth. Water the newly planted corms thoroughly and continue to water regularly throughout the growing season, especially during dry spells.
Following Monty Don’s recommendations, you can enjoy beautiful and healthy gladioli blooms year after year.