The Q&A Archives: Care Of Acidanthera

Question: I recently purchased acidanthera bulbs and am wondering if, like gladiolas, they must be removed from the ground during the winter months? The package only states to plant after the ground temperature has warmed to above 50 degrees, planting with at least four inches of soil above and below the bulb. If they must be removed during winter months, can I assume that planting them in pots, allowing for the 8 inch soil depth, will be adequate for them in during the growing season? Do they make good cutting flowers?

Answer: Acidanthera is still sold under that name, but it is now considered a gladiolus, as it is so similar in growth. Originating in tropical Africa, it is not hardy and should be lifted and stored for winter as you would glads. Use deep enough containers to allow for the root system to spread widely, as it must support a tall plant. Like glads, they make an attractive cut flower.

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