Fall Care of Gladiolus bulbs

By this time of year, summer Gladiolas will be ready to come out of the garden.  Bonnie & Lucy have graciously shared their expertise with us about how they prepare the corms for overwintering.

  • Either after the first frost or near to it, dig out the corms, giving them a generous berth so they don’t get damaged; and leave about 6” of tops on them.
  • Remove soil by hand or with a dry brush – do.’tt wash them with water – the goal is to get the corms to dry.
  • There are a couple of options for curing the corms –
    • Lucy breaks the stalks back to about 2 or 3 inches and cures the corms for 2-3 weeks in a dark cool place.  After that, she dusts them with bulb powder to prevent fungus rot.  She then places the corms in closed paper bags and stores them in the cool basement until spring.


    • Bonnie prefers to layer the corms with the 4- 6” tops on newspaper in rows in short boxes. She sprinkles them with bulb powder before placing a layer of newspaper on top.  Bonnie continues to layer the bulbs in this fashion – kind of like lasagna. She then stores them in her dark cold room over winter. The temperature hovers in the high 40s F.

Remember to label your Glads so you know what you’re planting in spring – be it writing directly on the root with a permanent marker or some other method of labelling.

Sources: http://dodge.uwex.edu/2011/02/preparing-gladiolus-bulbs-for-winter-storage/, http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/flowers/storing-tender-bulbs/