A pile of gladioli corms.
The weather forecast for tomorrow: rain (again!). I did not lift dahlias yet; I am waiting for the first frost to damage their green parts. They are still blooming quite nicely. But I dug up gladioli corms yesterday afternoon. Over the years they produced new corms and smaller cormels aside as well and, by now, I got pile of them. I will give some to my friends again. Living in a cold climate area, I have to dig them out and store for spring planting. Though, I noticed that the winter became milder and the cormels left in the ground grow happily the next season. I've been thinking, maybe they would survive freezing if I plant them deep enough.
The corm with small cormels aside and the old one in the middle.
Gladioli (Gladiolus) is a plant from the family Iridaceae. The name came from the Latin word for sword - gladius, referring to the shape of their leaves. They grow up from the underground stem called corm. Anatomically, it is not the same thing as bulb. The bulb have scales visible when you cut the bulb in half (like onion). The corm is solid and it serves as storage organ.
The two of new corms and cormels over the old one.
Each season, the new corms form above the one we planted in Spring. Sometimes they produce two or even three new corms. After the plant finished growing and flowering, the old corm became exhausted.
I use fork to lift the corms to prevent the damaging them. It is essential to clean new corms before storing. The stem can be easily snapped off at the corm top. Then I remove the old corm and roots. Be careful so you do not make damage to corms. Keep the scales (tunic) that surround the corm; they serve as protection.
Clean corms, ready to be stored.
After cleaning, sort out the corms according to their size. Smaller corms and cormels may be planted in spring to raise the bigger one.
Let the corms dry completely. I keep mine in a net sack in a dry, cold place (cellar). Corms may be sprinkled with some fungicide powder to prevent rot. I rather discard damaged corms than store them to prevent fungal diseases.
I grow gladioli for their decorative flowers, mainly as cut flowers for floral arrangements. They are easy to grow, though you will need some time to do staking.
One of mine gladioli.