Why haven't my Gladiolus Bloomed?

earthygal55's picture

Hello, I just joined, and I have a question. I live in Lynnwood, Wa. and I planted some Gladiolus Bulbs in mid May and they have only grown about 2 feet and there's no sign of blooms. Is there a chance they will bloom this year, or will it take another year for them to bloom? This is the first time I've planted these. Thanks!

Astrid's picture

(post #10942, reply #1 of 13)

If they are smallish bulbs, it will take some more growing time for them to mature and bloom. Look forward to next year, you might see flowers then.

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson


Edited 8/23/2009 6:16 pm by Astrid

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
earthygal55's picture

(post #10942, reply #4 of 13)

Ok, I guess it's a wait and see. That's alright.


 I just remember growing up, that we had all different colors of Glads, my Dad and Mom both had green thumbs, and our front and backyard had so many different flowers and they were all so Beautiful.


Thanks Astrid!


earthygal55


 


 

hortist's picture

(post #10942, reply #2 of 13)

Astrid's right.  If the bulbs were smallish, it could take them another year to store enough energy to flower.  However, if we're talking about standard gladiolus that you purchased as bulbs from a reliable source, I'd be irritated that they weren't flowering size bulbs.  The whole reason for planting them is because they produce their colorful blooms just a few weeks after they go in the ground.


That said, you didn't tell us, specifically, what kind of "glads" you planted.  There are some more unusual types, even some perennials types, that might take a year to get established before they really start performing.  There is also a bulb called Acidanthera whose common name is "peacock gladiolus" and it blooms very late.  So, it could be that you have something like one of these, but if you just bought standard glads and the bulbs were so small that they're not going to flower this year, I'd use a different source next time.  Glads, in general, should flower the first year.


Troy


www.troybmarden.com


"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd


 

Troy

www.troybmarden.com

"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd

 

earthygal55's picture

(post #10942, reply #3 of 13)

Thank you for answering, Hortist. I don't have the info anymore but, I know they're from a well known source, If I remember correctly I believe they're from Ed Humme (spelling?)As far as the type of Glads I don't remember and they were kind of small. Oh well next time I'll make sure that they're larger bulbs and know what type,


Thanks again,


earthygal55


 

hortist's picture

(post #10942, reply #5 of 13)

Just FYI--really good corms of the big, standard gladiolus should be at least 1 1/2 inches (sometimes bigger) in diameter, in my opinion, if they're coming from a reputable supplier.  Smaller than that, and blooming is questionable. That's for the big, old-fashioned, 3-foot tall "florist" glads.  Smaller varieties will have smaller corms.  Don't give up.  If you didn't plant til mid-May and they didn't come up until early or mid-June, you still may see some flowers.

Troy


www.troybmarden.com


"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd


 

Troy

www.troybmarden.com

"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd

 

earthygal55's picture

(post #10942, reply #10 of 13)

Hi Hortist,


 


I failed to mention, that the bulbs I bought were from the "Dollar Store" so I guess you get what you pay for. They were packaged 6 in a bag for a dollar, I bought two bags, and yes, being a novice now I know why they're not blooming. They did at least come up, but like you said maybe they could still bloom, time will tell.


Thanks for all your wisdom


earthygal55

hortist's picture

(post #10942, reply #11 of 13)

Well, we all live and learn, especially in the garden.  It's part of it.  Just keep in mind that with bulbs there are a number of factors that can affect their performance--and alot those are things that are completely out of your control and happen before you ever buy them, so it's important to buy from reputable sources.


As a very, very general rule of thumb--for bulbs like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, gladiolus, etc.--if they aren't at least the diameter of a golf ball, they're probably a little on the small side.  Of course small flowers like crocus, snowdrops and muscari will have small bulbs and very large flowers like the giant globe alliums may have bulbs the size of a baseball, but as a general rule of thumb on the most common bulbs, golf ball size is about what you're looking for.  Alot of the "bargain bags" that I see at various retailers have bulbs about the size of a pingpong ball and that's too small to guarantee flowers, in my opinion.


Troy


www.troybmarden.com


"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd


 

Troy

www.troybmarden.com

"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd

 

1946's picture

(post #10942, reply #12 of 13)

For people with "more time than money" as the old saying goes, sometimes those really inexpensive smaller bulbs can be a future investment. We are so conditioned to want instant gratification most of us don't want to wait for things. I call that landscaping. Gardening should be about planting things and watching them grow. I had a gorgeous tulip planting this spring that was nothing but those little side bulblets when I planted them two years ago. The first year they produced mostly foliage, but this spring, wow, big beautiful blooms. So those glad bulbs that are not blooming now may be down under making nice big bulbs for next summer.

hortist's picture

(post #10942, reply #13 of 13)

That's true, and if you have the time, I'd say go for it.  Especially with the more perennial bulbs like daffodils and a lot of the "minor" bulbs like snowdrops, muscari, crocus, etc.--things that you expect to come back each year.  Tulips, in particular, I would not skimp on.  Most modern cultivars have been bred to essentially be "annuals" and so many of us garden in parts of the country where getting them to return is a struggle anyway, that I'd want to be certain that I was getting the most bang for my buck the first season.  If you live in a part of the country where tulips really can be perennial, then the other approach may work.  With other bulbs, if you have a season or two to wait, go for it.  Once in a while some really great things come out of the bargain bin.

Troy


www.troybmarden.com


"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd


 

Troy

www.troybmarden.com

"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd

 

KimmSr's picture

(post #10942, reply #6 of 13)

While bulb size could have an effect on whether the corms you plant produce blossoms I've not seen many retailers sell corms too small to blossom the same year they are planted so that leaves the soil the are growing in. A soil nutrient imbalance can create conditions where only leaves grow. The only time I have had Gladiolas not blossom is where they were too crowded.


 


West central Michigan along the lake shore


A sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, rather it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lake shore

A sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, rather it is brown knees.

hortist's picture

(post #10942, reply #7 of 13)

Depends on where you buy them.  I've seen plenty of bags of gladiolus bulbs in the big box stores that looked of questionable size, sometimes barely an inch in diameter, and that may or may not be big enough to flower depending on how well they were grown.  Even though they're cheap, I won't buy them there.  Same with most other bulbs.  The size is almost always inferior.


Soil would have very little to do with it, other than perhaps being too heavy/wet and causing rot.  When you purchase bulbs, everything that bulb needs to flower is already present inside the bulb and how well developed it is depends on the growing conditions from the previous season.  If the bulb is of sufficient size and well developed, it should grow and flower regardless of the soil you plant it in (except for very heavy clay which, again, may cause basal rot or other disease problems).  It may not re-develop well enough to flower the following year if your soil is bad, but the current year's bloom is already more or less set, especially on warm season bulb like gladiolus that don't require cold weather to break their dormancy.


With bulbs, you get what you pay for, so I always go to a good garden center or order from a reputable catalog/online source.  Even if they're a little more expensive, the size of the bulb directly affects the results you get.


Troy


www.troybmarden.com


"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd


 

Troy

www.troybmarden.com

"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd

 

1946's picture

(post #10942, reply #8 of 13)

I'm an experienced enough gardener to know I should purchase bulbs from a good source, but every once in a while a "bargain" buy will suck me in. One of the builders
chain stores will have specials on glad bulbs that turn out to be free after rebates so I fall for it, and almost never will these these bulbs even grow well, let alone bloom. They are usually large enough to bloom, but I think they have been stored improperly for too long and are too dried out to make it. And some of the people in stores know nothing about gardening and will do the dumbest things. One spring I walked into the local hardware store and they had a display of tulip and other spring flowering bulbs for sale, at full price yet. I guess they did not sell in the fall, so instead of putting them on sale to get rid of them they put them in a storage room and hauled them out in the spring! And I suppose some novice gardeners bought a few of them. I ever so tactfully pointed out to the store manager that those should not be sold in the spring. They probably checked with their parent store, because they did remove them. Another local chain put in a whole shipment of spring bulbs that had gotten frozen in the truck during shipping, so all the begonia bulbs were mush. I suppose no-one bothered to check them, they just unpacked them and hung the little bags on the racks. Let the buyer beware!

hortist's picture

(post #10942, reply #9 of 13)

Yes, storage absolutely is a key factor for success with bulbs.  Both excessive heat and excessive cold can be damaging.  I've seen tulip and daffodil bulbs for sale at some of the box stores and other large retailers in spring, too.  I always make a point to politely say something to the management.


One other note on bulb storage:  Contrary to popular belief, the refrigerator may not be the best place to keep your bulbs until you're ready to plant them.  This is a common practice with tulips, daffodils, and other spring-flowering bulbs that are planted in the fall.  Cold storage is fine, but if you keep fruit in your refrigerator--especially apples, pears, etc.--they give off ethylene gas and that can cause the dormant flower buds inside the bulbs to abort, which means you get no blooms the following spring.  Tulips are especially sensitive.  So be very careful about storing your bulbs in the fridge.  There's really no need to refrigerate them at all unless you live in the deep South and they need the extra cold that they won't get naturally during the winter.  Just keep them in a cool, dry place until you're ready to plant.


 


Troy


www.troybmarden.com


"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd


 

Troy

www.troybmarden.com

"The great wonder, in gardening, is that so many plants live!" Christopher Lloyd