Strange gladioli bulbs

We were late getting home from exploring a scrap shop with our sewing club on the other side of town – definitely worth it – but there was still plenty of light for me to get a gardening job or two done this afternoon.

One of these was to start digging up the gladioli bulbs so that they don’t get killed by the frost come November. Then I was going to plant some spring bulbs in their place, along with grazing rye (green manure). I had deliberated whether or not to sow any of the latter in this spot but felt on balance it would be better to have some growth to look at over the winter, if nothing else.

Anyway, when I took out the gladioli bulbs, I was perplexed by their appearance. They had nodules growing on them, which may be quite normal but which is definitely not something I have seen before on any bulbs!


Gladioli bulbs after a summer flowering

I’m not really keen on digging up and replanting, but whether or not the bulbs do go in the ground again next year, I need to decide for now what to do with them. The stalks have not died back, as say daffodils would, so I guess they are stored bulbs and all?

© Helen Butt, October 2014


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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10 Responses to Strange gladioli bulbs

  1. I assume the nodules are new bulbs that the original bulb have started.

    • Helen says:

      Ah, yes, that is probably it. Shame the bulbs need to come out of the ground, as this might make it more difficult for the new bulbs to form. But we shall see.

  2. Hey Helen .. I think these are called corms and yes in time will grow another Glad. There are some fab sites that should help. I had to haul out some daffodils and these I left to dry removing the dried stalks only today. Will pop theses in a box to store over summer. 🙂

  3. Cynthia says:

    It seems I always resolve to plant rye grass and somehow never do. Fall cleanup swamps me. I wonder what those gladiolas will produce next year with all those little bulbettes on them. Will stay tuned…

    • Helen says:

      Two of the gladioli never produced flowers this summer, which is partly why I questioned the appearance of the bulbs. I think the key for me is to plant them at the very beginning of May like did with the set which did flower.

      Anyway, you still have time to plant grazing rye I would have thought – it can be sown up till the end of November here.

      • Cynthia says:

        You could be right about those bulbs. The shapes of the bumps look different from the gladiolas I’ve grown that produced little corms. Viruses are common in bulbs, maybe that is it.
        I will check on the cutoff date here for rye grass. Thank you, I had assumed I missed the window already!

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