winter kill

Asked February 26, 2016, 11:19 PM EST

Michigan Bulb has "Gladiolus mix" bulbs for sale with others that do not need to be lifted in the fall. Are there Gladiolus bulbs for zone 4 that are winter hardy? I always thought glads would not survive a winter, if not dug up and replanted. No mention is made as to dying out in the winter. So, is there such a thing as glad bulbs remaining in the ground over winter in MN, zone 4?

McLeod County Minnesota gladiolus

1 Response

Thank you for the question. You are correct that most gladioli must be lifted and stored in Minnesota during the winter. Many people treat them as annuals and plant new corms each year for a reliable display. We're not sure what variety of corms Michigan Bulb includes in their mix but they may be intending them for use as an annual.

Glads of the gladiolus nanus variety are variously listed as hardy to zone 4 or 5 if properly cared for and mulched for the winter. Doing a simple internet search for this variety might be interesting to you. You could call Michigan Bulb and ask them to give you zone 4 specifics on the corms in their mix and then decide to take a chance or not.

Here is the University of Minnesota's publication on growing Gladiolus: www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/flowers/growing-gladiolus/

Thank you for contacting Extension.