The Q&A Archives: Dahlias/Gladiolas

Question: This is the 1st year I planted 8-10

Answer: You will need to dig and store both the dahlia tubers and the gladiolus corms for the winter. After frost has killed back the top, trim the dahlia stems to four inches and dig them up. Label if desired. Keep the clumps intact. Shake off or rinse off excess soil. Air dry the tubers at room temperature for several days, then pack in shavings or peat moss in a cardboard box. Pack them in a single layer so they do not touch. Store at about 45 degrees for the winter.

The glads are dug after the first frost. Trim off the foliage. Air dry the corms for about a week, then store in a paper bag or mesh bag (like onions come in) in a dry, dark location at about 45 degrees. The larger the corm, the better the bloom next year. You can save the little baby cormels but they will take a year or two to grow to blooming size.

Gladiolus need full sun and rich, evenly moist yet well drained soil to bloom their best. Each corm will make one stem of blooms each season. Undersized corms or those with less than ideal growing conditions will perform poorly.

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