Should I lift my gladioli bulbs?

Q.

Hi Tui, I have left my gladioli bulbs in the ground, is that okay or should I dig them up?

Frank Shelley

A.

Hi Frank,

It is best practise to dig up your gladioli bulbs in autumn, do this approximately six to eight weeks after flowering has finished in autumn. The main reason is that if the soil is cold and wet through winter or there are heavy frosts, the weaker bulbs will die out leaving the dominant colours to take over. By lifting you ensure all bulbs will survive and you will continue to get a range of colours in summer. It is a good idea to give gladioli a spray with copper before the plants die down as a protectant spray for fungal disease. Once the plants are lifted, remove the foliage by cutting it off at the top of the bulb, store the bulbs in a paper bag or similar in the hot water cupboard for two weeks to dry out, this also prevents rot. Then store in a cool dry place over winter, it is very important that they are stored in a cool dry place, otherwise the bulbs will break dormancy early. Replant in spring (August). 

Regards,

The Tui Team

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