The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Gattina

Bologna, Italy It

I've been clearing the flowerbeds, and have pulled out all our gladioli bulbs for overwintering, and each has come up covered in dozens, if not hundreds of tiny bulblets (?). How should I treat these in order to grow them on? Should they have been left in the ground, or dried, or planted in pots of sand and left in the greenhouse over winter? Any suggestions, please?



Week 12; Propagate gladioli from cormlets / spawn

This is the main method used to increase a particular gladiolus cultivar.

It is also the cheapest and easiest method to increase stock, and as it is vegetative propagation, the flowers produced, will be identical to the parent plant.

Cormlets are the tiny mini corms found around the parent corm.

These can be detached and cleaned, then stored in a dry, frost free place, in paper envelopes.

Cormlets are best sown as early as possible after collection in a nursery bed providing the soil is warm.

Alternatively; small quantities can be sown in boxes or pots.

To prevent infection from disease, it is better to use ground that has not grown gladioli for a few years, or use sterilised potting compost if they are to be grown in pots/boxes.

Before planting it helps if the outer brown skin or husk is removed, or at least cracked by pressing the cormlet gently between your finger and thumb.

Some growers soak the cormlets overnight in lukewarm water to assist with germination.

Sow the cormlets on a thin layer of sharp sand (to assist drainage), in rows 50mm (2”) deep and 50mm (2”) apart, (a little deeper if the cormlets are quite large), the rows should be at least 100mm (4”) apart.

Label each cultivar as necessary.

Signs of growth should appear in one to four weeks dependant upon variety.

Throughout the growing season; never let the young plants dry out, and take the usual precautions against pests and diseases.

It is also important to keep the area weed free, the young plants do not want any competition for nutrients at this stage.

Some cormlets, may try to flower in their first year.

It is better that these small flower spikes are cut off, so that the plants energy is put into corm formation.

Harvest the corms as soon as the foliage begins to die back.

If the leaves remain green do not leave them any later than the end of September or early October.

Cut the foliage off as close to the corm as possible, and trim the roots.

Allow the cormlets to dry off in a dry airy spot that is out of direct sunlight.

After drying, normally two to three weeks, clean the small corms and store them as recommended for the large gladiolus corms.

Subject to the size of the cormlet after the above treatment, they may require a further year of the same treatment before they are of flowering size.

23 Oct, 2012


Brilliant, Teegee, thank you. I shall try to remember that they are cormlets, not bulblets, too!

23 Oct, 2012


Freebies Jan..lucky you!

24 Oct, 2012


That's all very well, Waddy, but where am I going to put all the darned things next year? There are hundreds, and there's a limit to the space we have, even here! Would you like some? they are white. It'll take a year or so to get flowers.

24 Oct, 2012


You have a valid point there,Gattina..where to store them..and as I know you are all heart,and will probably want to share your bounty with me as well,can I decline your anticipated offer now? Lol...It will save you money on postage,my friend :o) Good luck! how about Maria,? On second thoughts,,..she would probably cook them ..ha ha.xx

24 Oct, 2012



You are not forced to save them ruthless only save the largest ones and bin the rest!

Afterall you will be back in the same boat next year and forever more!

I haven't lifted my corms yet ( hence the name cormlets) but I won't be saving any spawn, I will just let my corms dry, then remove the base plate and loose chaff!

It is not essential to remove the chaff but I see it as a harbour for pestilence so I remove it!

Then I place my corms in either a string or paper ( not plastic) bag until I am ready for re-planting them!

.......and that's really all there is to it ! :o))

24 Oct, 2012


Oh you make it sound SO easy, TG!

24 Oct, 2012


Thanks Jan, I'd love some if you can spare them. They are one of OH's favourite flowers. If you can keep them until we see each other again (soon?) ...:)

25 Oct, 2012


I'll put them up in the loft to get nice and dry and we'll fetch a special courier out here to collect 'em!

25 Oct, 2012


I might hold you to that Jan, be careful lol!

25 Oct, 2012



25 Oct, 2012

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?