Curing corms before planting

Solingen, Germany(Zone 7a)

Hi All!

A wishdream is coming to become true for me... my first own garden, and I have purchased lots of gladiolas' corms from different traders. Glads appear to be the Duchesses in the Iridaceae family to me.
But, heavy clouds gather against my thrills of anticipation when I read about the numerous fungal diseases gladiolas are prone to...
And, a closer inspection on them corms yet reveals that particularly the specimens friom the cheapest sources do bear Mold (presumably Botrytis) on the basal plate area (the former "wound" where the corm was connnected with the old mother corm)
I would like to pretreat (all) my corms by a thorough drench.
Presently, the corms are being stored at 50-55F and 70-80 rel. air humidity.
They will be planted in middle to end of April.
What is your suggestion? MINE, presently is 1 gram of Chinosol per 1 L cold water overnight. But I do not know whether the root initials (1-3 mm presently) will tolerate this...
IF you had a more sophisticated method on hand which would include a hot water treatment - no problem. I possess the appropriate equipment including a laboratoy thermostat and circulator pump.
Thanks in advance for your feedback and... Happy Gardening :-) !

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Hi haweha,

I'm not sure if the mould would harm the corms, I bought a pack of cheap Glads from a supermarket in 2006, they have grown and flowered every year since in the ground without lifting, but that is not the norm. They are in a poor sandy soil which can be quite dry, with trees either side but they get a reasonable amount of sun, that is if we get sun! The last two years here have been terrible, cold and dull with little sun but they still grew and flowered well. I found one a couple of days ago while trying to find a place for another plant, it was firm and large. This last winter was continually cold but with little rain, now we have reasonably good spring weather. I imagine your weather might have been similar.

I have never fed them, I do wonder if feeding makes them soft and less likely to survive winters. When I planted them I put some of my organic compost mix beneath and above them, a mix of my leafy compost and gritty drain soil which I use for everything, it has magical properties! I think it helps provide the micro-organisms necessary for good healthy plants. If you are worried about mould all I would do is wash it off with cold water and let nature do the rest, most are not harmful.

Congratulations on having a garden, everyone should have one... :)

Solingen, Germany(Zone 7a)

...everyone should have one

Hello Wallaby;
thank you for your feedback. I do decidelly concour with your opinion; but, on the other hand I must state that there are many people, who, IF they had or WHEN they already HAVE a garden they cannot exploit the potential out of it due to lack of a certain profound relationship to nature. In the best case, these people install a clean lawn on their property, surrounded by some roses and other bushes, respectively. But, certainly, I understand your motivation: To give an opportunity to them people to watch the nature and its forthcomings in their closest environment, while having the opportunity to influence and perhaps optimize these forthcomings and to watch the effects of the husbandry they effectuate on the plants. MY particular interest is to observe what happens when Hybrids which had been sophisticatedly-bred over centuries are propagated from seed. (Be sure, IF my gladiolas will set seed, I shall try to raise the seedlings).

As to your conditions I think that your SANDY (well draining) soil might be one key for the survival of your corms. - Yes I a confirm, our winter in Germany-West was rather continually cold with little rain too. But, anyway, the dark soil (humus) in my garden had become very wet, and it is starting to dry slowly now. I WILL introduce a thick layer of grit into the lines, under the corms, in order to ensure appropriate drainage.

But, I would feel much better for the corms IF I had a reliable curing method on hand, in order to at least disinfect the corms and prevent spreading diseases...

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

As is should be OK. We have been raising thousands for years. Many times the bottoms are moldy. It doesn't hurt them. The only treatment we use is an insecticide before we store them to kill thrips. Last year we had no thrips so we didn't even do that.

If your ground freezes in the winter, you will have to lift them & store during the winter. We store at about 40 to 45F. seems to work & that temp keeps them from sprouting in storage.

Good luck with your new garden,
Bernie, 100% German ancestry.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Oak Lawn, IL(Zone 5a)

Bernie, what beautiful countryside! Your glads are beautiful, too!

Victoria, TX(Zone 9a)

CountryGardens, Wow awesome garden !

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We will be increasing the number we are raising this year. Another person that sold cut glads at our FM has retired, so we will fill the void. I am working on hiring a person to cut & bunch the glads this year as it is getting to be a big job.
We put 6 spikes in a bunch. Each Saturday we do well over 100 bunches. Also sell Tuesday & Thursday afternoons.
Planted our first corms 2 weeks ago, but very cold weather, so none up yet.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Bernie, so you plant your corms directly into the ground. what is our ambient air temp now? I would think the ground would be too cold to do much growing on the corms. I have mine in pots in my garage 'greenhouse' under grow lights. Of course, I only have from June to Sept to grow and bloom so need a head start. Mine come through the winter with a little grey stuff on them. To be safe I sprayed each with a fungicide. How do you store? Just open airy bins. Since I have so few, I just clean them up, dry them, then put them in paper bags labeled. Worked well. The Abysinnians are a liitle slow to sprout but they are coming. Atom was the first, about 8" tall now. Will be hard to hold them for another month. June 1 is our plant outside target date. May push it this year if my greenhouse gets out of hand. lol.

Haweha, vas ist der nama? ooooooohhh. My German is so old. Wie gehts du? Assuming we are certainly friends. Es geht mir sehr gut! Have to be as the sun is shining, things are growing. Good to hear from you.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We are supposed to be in the 60's during the day & 40's at night. Been abnormal this year.
We plant directly in the ground. Divide up the bulbs into 3 plantings.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

We are running 35 at night and into the early morning. Right now it is struggling to hold 46 (3:45pm). But is has been breezy, cloudy and just plain cold. it's like my garden is holding its breath waiting for a warm breeze to continue to grow.

You don't stake your glads. How do you keep them upright?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Plant about 8" deep & then hill them up.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I shall go and do likewise. Thank you

Solingen, Germany(Zone 7a)

Thank you all, for the informations and suggestions.
I hate to say, that I did not plant any corm in 2009. Due to personal circumstances AND due to the decouraging observation, that my garden is not sufficiently sealed from the environment, as that subterrestrian critters ([root] VOLES) undermined the lawn and such...
This season I purchased, for an experimental start, 7 each, of "Priscilla" and of "Mon Amour". I assume that these cultivars are highly commercialized everywhere and well known. I love morbid, pastel, violet and peachy colors on highly frilled blooms. (The other category I ADORE is nearly black blooms YEAH!) I planted them, 15 cm deep into two 10 L-buckets filled with fine commercial "dirt" and a high central stake for future support, and the shoots are just poking out. What I want to evaluate is, whether the corms will well reproduce if not even nicely increase in size. If not, then the project "gladiolas in containers" will be of little interest for me because I hate to simply "force and discard". I am "optomistic" though - since I am rather experienced with "growing in containers" through my experience with Hippeastrums. They will receive water but from the bottom, including diluted fertilizer and they will not be exposed to rain etc...
I shall definitely report on the forthcomings.

Bernie, I have one Q: As to the specimens that you harvest for cut-flowers, do you pluck out the plant entirely, namely including the corm (and discard it) OR do you leave it in the "dirt" and, in this case, what happens with the stunted specimens that are largely deprived of their leaves?

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Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We only cut the flower stalk. Maybe a couple leaves come with it. They seem to do well, as we get a good number of corms & very nice size when we dig them.

Solingen, Germany(Zone 7a)

Thank you for all information.
The corms of "Priscilla" and "Mon Amour" are taking off very well. I can perceive a subtle mottling being present on all leaves, and I hope that this what I attribute a quasi latent mild mosaic virus will not turn out to be detrimental on the formation and coloring of the blooms.

The smaller shoots with green leaf bases are from "Mon Amour" the respective corms had been VERY VERY small. The vigorous shoots with broad leaves and reddish leaf bases are from "Piscilla".
Each of the totally 14 corms had revealed, upon peeling of the dried layers of husk from the surface, ONE shoot "active" and another shoot (sleeping bud) still hidden under its envelope of husk. I assume that it is due to the inferior size of all these cheap corms, that only corm one of either cultivar would actually put forth a second, very dainty shoot some days after the main shoot had emerged. The roots are already poking out of the drainage holes below, and I am surprised about the high water demand of these plants, despite the rather little leaf area up-to-now.
What I have in mind with these plants is to (pro)create my own gladiolas through producing as much seeds as possible either by self pollinations and reciprocal crosspollinations.

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Solingen, Germany(Zone 7a)

"Priscillla" are growing particularly fast. The height above soil exceeds 70 cm, and some leaves are 5 cm broad. Two shoots are just producing the 5th true leaf. Somewehere I read that the scape will emerge after the 6th leaf; is this correct? The shoots are yet totally "flat" where they emerge from the substrate. They consume lots and lots of water!

Thumbnail by haweha

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