Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!


Albuquerque, NM

Hello. I'm new to gardening and wondering if I cut my gladiolas down to surface, will they grow again next year?

Thank you.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Hi SWAgarian, welcome to the Dave's Garden Site, you will be overwhelmed by the helpful and friendly people who are also seeking and giving help here.

As regards your Gladioli, as with ALL bulbs, it's best NOT to cut the green / foliage from the plants until the foliage has either dried or turned brown, the reason for this is, bulbs /tubers ect are like our store cupbourd, all the goodness is stored there for the following years growing to take place, by allowing the foliage to die down naturally, all the nutrients that were held within the foliage gets taken back down into the bulb and it feeds the bulb to give it energy, boosts the food store all held within the bulb.I always remove the flower stem AFTER the flowers are done, this prevents the plant using energy at this time and helps all the goodness go back to feed the bulb.
Leave the greenery alone till end of season and as you tidy, or lift your bulbs to either move to a new spot in the garden OR store them in a cool, dark area to completely dry out, that's when you would remove the dead foliage, by this time, you can give the foliage a gentle tug with hands and it should pull away from bulb OR as I do and many others do, use the dead foliage to HANG up the bulbs in a dry, cool place till following spring. You may find tiny little bulbs stuck onto the old bulb, these can either be left in place and replanted OR remove these tiny bulb and stick them into a pot of compost to grow on, about 3 years later you will have a flowering bulb the same colour / type as the parent.

Sometimes as you lift you Gladioli bulbs, there could be a dried old bulb attached to the bulb that just flowered, IF your bulb is healthy, dried and looks OK either leave this dried old bulb or pull off with a twist as you pull, discard this.
When you replant your stored bulbs, or they sprout IF left in situation, add a handful of fish / blood / bone to the area around the bulbs as this is a slow release fertiliser and will give the bulbs a boost.
Hope all this helps you out, have a great summer gardening and just enjoy your new venture into gardening,
Good luck and Best Regards, WeeNel.

Albuquerque, NM

Thank you very much!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

You very welcome, welcome to the world of gardening and ofcource meeting new friends here on Dave's Gardening.
Feel free to ask any questions about plants /tree's / shrubs ect you need help with and there will always be someone who can offer advice.
Good Luck and Kindest Regards.

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

Glads are hardy here, but I don't know what zone you are in, SWA, or anything about what one usually does with Glads in a desert climate, which may or may not be a correct assumption for your particular yard in New Mexico. If you are in Z7 or higher, they should be hardy (not killed by cold temps in winter,) but other conditions could prevent them from being expected to survive outside in the ground for winter in your location. Whether or not you have some kind of irrigation or sprinkler system and the schedule of that might be a factor. If local wisdom dictates they should be lifted and stored, the excellent advice above would come into play. You may find that no effort besides waiting for them to bloom again is necessary. Such is the case here.

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

Thank you WeeNel l have learned something new about feeding Glads I will move some of them that did not bloom this year to another location in my garden. I never knew about that process of hanging them on the dry foliage for next season

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Welcome, cytf, IF the foliage has already dried before you need to lift them for storage, you could cut the foliage and just leave about 6 inch of dried stems and this will help prevent any creepy crawly's from also over wintering in nice long brown foliage. Remember to add a label with name, colour ect so you will know what these dried bulbs are LOL.

Glad to be of help and as I don't live in your area it's always great when I read corrections re temps and other stuff, so were all learning here eh !!!! that's what this site is really about.
Have a wonderful gardening season.
Best Regards, WeeNel.

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

Me too! And I think it's cool that Glads can bloom and be kept in Scotland. I read a lot of your posts, WeeN, and always enjoy them. You have a lot of great experience and accumulated wisdom.

I used to have to store these when I lived in OH. That was some extra work, but worth it. They would go to the basement with Cannas, Calla lilies, elephant ears (Colocasia,) and various other stuff through the years. It was fun to have such tropical plants in such an unlikely place.

Now this is funny, down here, one has to lift tulips and chill them in order to have blooms, and nothing can be done about growing Syringa lilacs, just not possible. Every climate has its' challenges... sigh!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

purpleinopp, Here on the West Coast of Scotland I very rarely get ground frozen in the winters, our problems are wet soil which in the colder months mean bulbs are left sitting in cold but really wet soil, our soil is quite sandy where you would expect the moisture to drain away BUT, because we have such High rainfall, the soil never really dries out long enough so a lot of bulbs just rot, as do things like Dahlia's, when I plant things like that, I normally lay a couple of inches of small gravel to the bottom of the planting holes, so it's not so much the temp I have to watch for but wet cold weather, I use loads of leaf mould and other mulches too.
I also have harsh gale-force winds come straight off the sea as I'm right on top of the cliff on the coast BUT, by the time that is hitting my garden the foliage from Gladioli, Dahlia's ect has been removed due to it having rotted away, I get all the nice bright coloured winter foliage stripped from Acers, Lilac and lot's of other stuff but my Rhododendrons seem to manage hold onto leaf, I think it's because these have a lot of oil in the leaves and they are NOT so easy to burn from wind /salt air and biting winds.
Your so right, everywhere I have travelled and found much the same plants that we grow here, they tell of different problems that we dont even think about but, that's what is so good about gardening AND this site, from passing on all our general experiences, we can learn to adapt SOME conditions to allow us to maybe try grow things we never thought we could.
Keep trying and adapting and we can all help each other EH !!!!.
Best Regards, WeeNel.

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

Is this unusual that I leave my glads in the ground in the full sun flower beds and they returned for the past 2 years. I planted them a week apart and as of today I am getting blooms

Hamilton, OH(Zone 6a)

Cytf, I have had the same thing happen here in zone 6. I have had the same Glads come back for 3 years now. They are planted on the south side of my house in full sun. They are a nice surprise each year. The funny thing is I planted Hardy Glads and they never came back and my regular glads keep coming back.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I have the same in PARTS of my garden too and all I do is throw down a layer of Humus, compost, leaf-mould or whatever is available at the time, I lay this in the areas where there is a frost pocket, and this protects the crowns of the plants or underground bulbs.
However, when I lived over the East coast many years ago, the temp was so much lower therefore we had the lift, dry and store the likes of tulips, Glad's ect, the problem being here in some areas even in the same town, there can be a difference in frost cover and how deep this can go, so individual gardeners will take precautions where required. I think it's better to have the info should you need it than loose your plants / bulbs or whatever.

best Regards. WeeNel.

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi WeeNel a picture of my glad that stayed in the ground on the south side of the garden for the second year.

Thumbnail by cytf
Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

I honestly wonder IF the newer strains of Gladioli, now when I say newer strains, I mean maybe 20-30 years, I wonder if these are a lot more hardier than our glad's from before 50-60's as all my relatives when I was introduced to gardening, late 40's, we lifted and stored the Glad's every year, and cleaned off the corms / bulbs, dipped them in stuff called Flower of Sulphur a bright Yellow powder, this was to destroy any diseased area or fungus / moulds, BUT now everyone, I know including myself, leave the bulbs / corms in the ground but we cover them with leaf mould or compost where there is signs of frost pockets in our garden, other more sheltered areas don't bother covering the area, I do bury the bulbs a little deeper than recommended.

Just a thought and a bit of observation.
Best regards, WeeNel.

Staten Island, NY(Zone 6a)

Most of my glads are in full sun , 1 is in morning sun and to my great surprised flowered nicely another is in the shade to sun area and flowered 2 years ago but did not this year .I think I will give it some compost in spring next year .You may be correct about the newer strains today, you are gardening a long time now.I am a newbie to you,I started 20 years ago, I guess gardening keeps you young and all the advise you give keeps the brain working great.Keep up the good work I am benefiting from you too. Good luck

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I don't know if Glads have got hardier or the winters not as hard. I know in the last 10 years we just haven't had the really cold winters that we had growing up. We've had two -30C in the last ten year where, when I was growing up we'd get week long runs of those temperatures at least twice a winter.

I know the neighbor has had his glad in the ground a couple of years now and they are doing well. This surprised me as we are theoretically two zones to cold for it.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

cytf I think 20 years of gardening serves you well and earned the title of all round gardener of the older methods, well these methods are almost lost these days and some younger gardeners don't even know some of the items, ingredients or methods used as now-a-days they buy everything in a packet, don't know what home made compost is as they buy it in a large bag, nor do they know how to make the home made compost that most older gardeners call brown Gold. I had a good laugh a few weeks ago at a garden show while listening to a female presenter informing the Audience all about her worm box that made her compost, also the liquid that the worms left and was filtered from Box was diluted to make a feed, the Presenter went to great lengths to explain how valuable of her worms, then a young know it all asked where she could get hold of a worm box but she didn't want the horrible worms, she just kills all those disgusting worms found in her garden While I almost needed picking up from the grass we were standing on, she did NOT realise that worms live in good quality rich soil that plants must have to survive, honestly I thought I was going to burst my gut just looking at the presenters face as she struggled to find an answer. I come across loads of young gardeners who want a garden but not any bugs (good or bad) who cant understand you have to prepare soil first, they think digging an inch or so deep is enough and anyway, when things go wrong and it's explained to them why, they know it all and disagree with the instructions given for improving the soil, because their father ect never did all that, well yes he did IF he grew the list of plants thay say he grew, maybe they were just not around to see dad dig the garden, maybe outside playing in another back yard or maybe in bed early morning, thats the early time MY Dad did all the heavy work mornings even summer before he set off for work he would try do an hour and finish when he got home early evening.
Wish more young ones would take up the gardening trend that has given people pleasure since time began.
We will just have to insist everyone over the age of 12 does a stunt of helping in a garden especially IF it's for an elderly person. LOL, like me ha, ha, ha.
Kindest thoughts and regards.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.