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When do gladioli grow leaves if left in the ground?

TheRainyGardenTheRainyGarden Posts: 42
edited September 2021 in Plants
Hi, I am in Bristol UK and want to try/ risk leaving the gladioli in the ground overwinter starting from this year. I can't decide if I should plant the tulips in front or behind them. At first thought it make sense to plant the tulips in the front because they are shorter, then I thought if the gladioli leaves come out after May/ June, then it make sense to plant the tulips behind them so the new gladioli leaves can cover the withered tulip leaves.

However don't know when the gladiolus leaves will grow out if left them in the ground. Could anyone please advise?
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,290
    It largely depends on your climate and soil conditions, as to when - or if - they'll survive and re grow, so they would be the 2 most important factors.
    In theory, if they do, it certainly could be better to have the tulips behind, for the reason you give, but it will also depend on the timing of the tulips' flowering.
    I don't grow gladioli, apart from occasionally having the Acidantheras. I don't plant them out until May here, and they wouldn't have much, if any, foliage showing then. I can't say if that's the  case for the other types.
    You could always try both and see how well it works   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,113
    I checked my photos, but I have them planted with irises (similar foliage) and it is hard to tell when they start showing. Newly planted bulbs start to grow in early June. I don't think it would be significantly earlier or later for in-ground bulbs (weather depending).

    I think they should be fine for you in Bristol.
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 1,725
    I left some newly planted gladioli in the ground last year (Gladiolus papilio Ruby, hardy so no lifting needed) and they have grown with more stems this year.  I think they will make quite a stand next year so check whether yours are hardy.  If they are, I would rethink where you are going to put your tulips as you don't know where the new shoots will come up.  I put hooped stakes next to my stems before they died back so I knew where they were but they have grown up all around those. 
  • I leave mine in,they start producing leaves in may,but then they shoot up. The tulips were late this year but mine are in pots on the patio.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,729
    edited September 2021
    Gladioli appear after tulips are done in my experience
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 754
    Same my gladioli always stay in the ground or in pots. I treat them like tulips. I don’t do anything and we’ve often had snow and frost. Mine comes up way later than tulips so it doesn’t matter for me.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,290
    There's a perennial glad which is spring flowering [byzantinus] and there's a couple of others like the one mentioned, but without knowing which variety the OP has, it's likely to be the usual later flowering kind.
    They'd just rot if left in the ground here, so I could never leave them. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • didyw said:
    I left some newly planted gladioli in the ground last year (Gladiolus papilio Ruby, hardy so no lifting needed) and they have grown with more stems this year.  I think they will make quite a stand next year so check whether yours are hardy.  If they are, I would rethink where you are going to put your tulips as you don't know where the new shoots will come up.  I put hooped stakes next to my stems before they died back so I knew where they were but they have grown up all around those. 
    Didyw, thanks for your suggestions. I have got the hybrid ones I assume, Mon Amour and Moonlight shadow, both are 'x hortulanus'. I can't find any specific information at all but some website said they are hardy to zone 8. It's zone 9 here so I am trying to leave them this year. I grow them in a very narrow strip at the back of the raise beds, so there won't be anything else other than a couple of yarrows and the tulips.
  • Fairygirl said:
    There's a perennial glad which is spring flowering [byzantinus] and there's a couple of others like the one mentioned, but without knowing which variety the OP has, it's likely to be the usual later flowering kind.
    They'd just rot if left in the ground here, so I could never leave them. 
    Oh thanks. Is your soil very clay-ie or just normal? I will see if they rot this year...
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,290
    We have heavy clay soil here, so I built raised beds when I moved in. I have a couple of borders which are more or less 'ground' level though, and everything has been amended as much as possible with manure and compost etc, to make it as well drained as possible. I can't control what falls out the sky though, and that's what matters.
    One bed is in the driest, most sheltered, sunniest part of the garden, up against the house,  but the winter weather means I can't leave anything less than 100% hardy in it. Verbena bonariensis often don't survive - even in that bed. If I was going to put them anywhere, it's there. I left Acidantheras out one year to see if they could possibly cope, but they didn't. 
    I often lose any daffs too, if they aren't the most robust varieties. My sister gave me some for my 60th birthday, as they referenced my name, and I've lost quite a few of those as they just can't cope. 
    Such is life  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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