Question about gladiolas

We have dug out the bulbs on several plants and found that some tiny bulbs are growing from the original bulb. Question is will these tiny bulbs produce a new gladiola if separated and planted? Seems logical that they would.
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Indeed, they will. Like any bulb, the flower produced next year is directly proportional to the size of the bulb, this year. The tiny bulbs won't produce flowers next year. However, if you treat them like onions -- try to fatten up the bulb by giving the plants full sun, rich soil, good drainage, and lots of fertilizer -- they will probably bloom the following year.
This method of patient increase yielded over 40 blooming gladiolus plants, from a single original bulb, in my Wilmington, DE garden, over a period of about 5 years.
Wendy Sequim, WA (Zone 8)
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actually the original bulb has withered to give life to the newer bulb underneath and small cormel's have formed because it was making little ones. Those will take three years to mature and bloom but you could leave them on the mother bulb if you wanted to to supply strength. The top withered mom corm will come off easily once the green leaves of the glad have dried out completely, and as you tug it, it pops out cleanly leaving the newer corm and babies underneath. I don't dig my glads up because they have acclimated here in my flowerbeds so far.......(zone 7 in Eastern Tennessee) madgardener

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Hey Marilyn, I think you have the position of the old corm in the wrong place. :) When I lived in MN (zone 3) where I had to dig my gladiolas each fall, the old, dried up corm was on the bottom, not the top. I forked out the tubers after a hard frost had killed the tops, break off the dead tops from the corms, and store them in a dry, frost free place. Depending on the size of the original corm, there would often be two or even three new corms, one for each shoot from the original. When I had time during the winter, I'd clean the old corms from the bottom.
The cormels were a bonus if one wants to start new plants from a particular variety because they are true to the parent. If planted the following spring and well cared for, many would blossom late in the season, and almost all would blossom the second year. Don't plant the cormels more then 2" deep.
I used to tag the extra special plants and only save cormels from those. BTW, the more spectacular the blossom of the original, the fewer corms and cormels they seemed to produce.
I have gladioli in zone 6, but I don't get the 5' - 6' spikes I had in MN. I regard that a trade off for not having the digging chore every fall. :)
John

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