Monday, July 24, 2006

Too Many Gladiolas

It’s gladiola season and time for me to complain, again. My magenta gladiolas came with the house and, although they are tender corms, have proven themselves hardy enough to be left in the ground over the winter. Last season was our first together and I was very excited to see them flower. I was impressed by the tall spikes and vibrant colors. Eventually, though, I came to view them as a maintenance nightmare.

Each and every flower spike must be staked. Time and time again, I have been fooled by a seemingly sturdy looking spike that is then dashed to the ground by a summer storm. By the time I find the wreckage, the flowers are too far gone even to cut for a vase. I end up staking about 1/3 of the flowers and losing the rest. (The photo shows the perfect, “no work” stake: a nearby sunflower!)

Although the corms should not be hardy in zone 6, they not only survive, but thrive in my yard. The corms reproduce at an astounding rate. I cannot dig in my gladiola patches without slicing into a few. I have unknowingly distributed hundreds of cormlets throughout my beds and am constantly “weeding” them out.

The time has come to start thinning the gladiolas. I simply have too many (again!). I’m going to dig up the entire patch along the garage to swap. I’d gladly trade them for iris!

(By the way – I apologize to the two readers (Heather and Jennifer) I promised gladiolas to last fall. I dug the corms up and potted them, but left the pots out on the deck all winter. They weren’t hardy enough to survive the exposed situation. Email me if you still want some and I’ll do better this year.)

5 Comments:

Blogger Christine said...

I've got about 5 pink ones that my daughter planted. I propped one on my canna patch, another with a rock, and the rest I've let flop! :) One of those is still sticking up halfway, though~ the other 2 are finished blooming.

6:43 AM  
Blogger snappy said...

i have the same problem.I swore blind that i would stake them, and i have put a few into the ground.I hope they stay upright as they are showy flowers.I love your deep red ones though.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

See, the problem is that you didn't want them to grow. I hated the "white" ones that I planted last year--because they ended up being light pink--so I just left them to rot. No such luck. I had to pull them all out. Couldn't the %&*$( chipmunks have eaten them instead of my crocus, at least?!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

I have my glads planted with tall cosmos (they actually reseeded from last year) and they act as a support for the glads!

7:16 AM  
Blogger Garden Obsession said...

Ah I was going to suggest what Dianne suggested. The ones I planted under the outskirts of a fairly loosely limbed shrub and they held them upright automatically. The rest of them flopped but I'm too lazy to stake, so I reaped what I sowed.

10:26 AM  

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