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Lifting and Storing Gladioli Corms

Why lift gladioli?

1. Reduce losses
Gladioli can be killed off by frosts, and the corms may rot if left in the soil over winter, especially if the soil is wet.

2. Improve performance
Over time, gladioli will propagate by producing small "cormlets" around the original, resulting in crowded clumps. The plants will perform better if they are separated and given more space.

3. Free plants
Cormlets can be grown into full-size plants in a couple of years, increasing your stock for free.


Step-by-step instructions

Click thumbnails for larger images


Step 1

Carefully loosen the soil around the plant using a garden fork and gently lift the plant. Shake off the soil.



Step 2

Cut the stems leaving a few inches attached to the corm. This can be done before lifting, if you wish.

Step 3

Gently brush off any loose soil and bits of dead skin.

Old Corm

The orangy disk at the base is the original corm.


These little cormlets will produce new plants.

Step 4

Set the corms in a warm place to dry for a couple of weeks. If possible, position them upside down as shown, otherwise lay them on their sides.


Step 5

Once dry, rub any cormlets off with your fingers. Set these aside, as they will make new plants in a couple of years. All these came from the one corm !


Step 6

Pry the old corm from the new and discard it.


Step 7

If the plant has made more than one corm, they will all be attached to the same old corm, which should be removed and discarded as before.


Step 8

Line a crate with newspaper.


Step 9

Chop the stem back to about 5cm length, wrap the corm in newspaper and place it carefully in the crate. Discard any corms with soft spots.

Step 10

Store the crate containing the corms in the shed or garage until the following March or April.



I will create instructions for re-planting the corms and cormlets next spring.

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