You should overwinter gladioli indoors if you want to enjoy them for a long time. Read here how you can best prepare them for the cold months.
Gladioli are popular as cut flowers in summer and are also an eye-catcher in any garden. Garden gladioli in particular are popular in this country – but they originally come from warmer areas such as the Mediterranean and South Africa. European winters are too cold for the flower, which blooms in many colors, so you should not simply overwinter them outside during the cold months.
Wintering gladioli: timing and procedure
If you want to enjoy the blossoms of your gladioli for several years, be sure to overwinter them properly. The tubers of the plants do not tolerate moisture and frost and would not sprout again if they remain in the bed over the winter. For this reason, you should dig them up in the fall.
The best time to dig up the tubers is after flowering in October or November. At the latest after the first night frosts you should take them out of the ground. It’s best to wait until it hasn’t rained for a few days – then you’ll get them out of the ground easier and clean better.
- Take a small digging fork or a spade and carefully lift the tubers out of the ground. Be careful not to hurt them.
- Gently shake off the soil.
- The tubers must now dry. Put them in a wooden box or hang them in a sheltered place. Injured and diseased tubers can be discarded at this point.
- Let the tubers dry for a few days and then remove the withered foliage, dead roots and dry bulb casings.
- Place the dried bulbs in a box or carton. If you like, you can line them with old newspaper. Do not place the bulbs too close together or on top of each other, so that they have enough space and do not get bruised.
- Cover them with a mixture of sand and soil so that they do not dry out. Use peat-free soil to protect the bogs.
- Then store them in a dark, cool place such as the cellar. About ten degrees Celsius is optimal.
After the winter: Back into the bed
At the end of April at the earliest, you can then take the tubers out of their winter storage and plant the gladioli. Plant them in their intended places about 15 centimeters deep in the soil and leave about 25 centimeters of space between each bulb.
Tip: If you take a little more time with planting, you can delay flowering until September.