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If you observe the essential points regarding care, location and hibernation, you can bring the attractive gladioli into bloom every year. The perennial flowering plant from the iris family is not hardy, however, as it originally comes from regions where there are no ground frosts.

In order to be able to enjoy the gladioli for several years, the bulbs must be dug up in autumn

Onions overwinter protected

If you simply leave the tubers in the ground in autumn, the heat-loving gladiolus will freeze to death and will therefore no longer germinate the next year. When the first night frosts threaten you have to shorten the gladioli to about ten centimeters and dig them out. Be very careful when doing this, because the fine skin that surrounds the onions must not be damaged.

Take a close look at the perennial bulbs, because only firm flower bulbs without external damage are healthy. Discard soft, rotten, or pest-infested bulbs immediately to avoid infecting the other bulbs.

Storage in winter quarters

Carefully remove the coarsest soil and let the gladiolus bulbs dry out a little. For this purpose, the onions are stacked in a wooden box lined with newspaper and placed in a frost-free but cool room.

To ensure that the perennial onions sprout quickly next year, you should check them several times for pest infestation in the first few days. You can then overwinter the bulbs covered with a sand-soil mixture.

Plant gladiolus bulbs

As soon as the outside temperature is above freezing point, even at night, the gladioli are placed in the bed. If you want early flowering plants, you can plant the bulbs in a pot filled with soil for a few weeks beforehand. If you spread the planting of the bulbs over a few weeks, you can extend the flowering season from summer into October.


If the gladiolus bulb is to form long flowers every year, it is important not to cut too many flowers. This will weaken the plant even if you leave some foliage leaves. The gladiolus needs flowers and foliage to store nutrients in the bulb.

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