Gladiolus carneus
Tue, 06 Mar 2007 12:33:08 PST
Tony Avent wrote:

You bring up an interesting point about gladiolus. When I was visiting 
Gladiolus breeders in Holland a couple of years ago, I ask about any 
that might be winter hardy.  The reply was that they select against 
winter hardiness since the worst thing in their minds was that corms 
could overwinter contaminating a new variety that was subsequently grown 
in the same field.  I asked if they had ever considered breeding for 
hardy gladiolus and their answer was both no, and why would people want 
glads to be winter hardy?  Can you imagine thinking about narcissus in 
the same bizarre terms as they do gladiolus.  I'd be thrilled if someone 
would develop a good garden worthy group of sturdy and winter hardy 
glads...the species and some of the early hybrid genetics are certainly 
there for such a project.

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752

One thought comes to mind - perhaps the Dutch suppliers want to keep us in constant purchase of replacement plants every year? My own glads have survived here in zone 7 coastal New Jersey due to I think being planted very deeply in my original sandy/pebbly subsoil, over which over the years I have very thickly mulched and sheet composted, the soil/mulch/compost level being raised up over a foot or so. They're probably down 18 inches to 2 feet. Callas have survived thusly also, and Amorphophallus konjac has become somewhat weedy due to the stoloniferous clone that I have planted. Various asian Arisaemas (some very nice ones from Plant Delights, thank you) do well also, although I haven't had success with Arisaema speciosum and galateum probably due to my planting ov the rhizome (horizontal tuber in the case of these species) shallowly in the rich soil to avoid rot, which happens anyway over the winter.

Bonaventure Magrys
Cliffwood Beach, NJ

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