Corms

I Corms look very similar to bulbs and are often confused with them. However, struc-I lurally they are very different. A corm consists 4 of a stem that is swollen as a food store and that is shorter and broader than a bulb. The | leaves of the stem are modified as thin, dry f membranes that enclose the corm and

»protect it against injury and drying. Each leaf nas a bud in its axil, the top of the stem usually develops as a flowering stem, and the | > roots are produced from the corm's base, k which is often concave. In some kinds of % corm, several buds at the top of the stem may

I grow out and flower.

Each year a new corm develops around the

I grow out and flower.

Each year a new corm develops around the

directly related to the number of stems produced by a corm. Normally, most plants developing corms will propagate naturally to give a sufficient increase, but should it be necessary to bulk up supplies more quickly then an artificial technique should be used.

Always buy corms from a reputable specialized grower, because it is vital to propagate from disease-free corms.

Cut a large, healthy corm into several pieces just prior to the season for planting and ensure each piece has at least one bud. Dust the cut surfaces with a fungicidal powder such as Captan or Thiram, in order to reduce ^the risk of rotting. Set the pieces on a wire cake-tray and place in a warm, dry environment, such as an airing cupboard, for 48 hours. This will cause the cut surfaces to seal. Then plant singly in a pot or in the ground, and label clearly.

If the corm is too small to cut up satisfactorily, then the lateral buds can be induced to develop more readily by removing the main stem either by snapping it off or digging it out with a knife. Then dust the cut surface with fungicidal powder and plant out the corm in the ground. During the growing season it will produce several shoots, which will eventually become new plants.

CORMELS

CORMELS

Bulbs And Corms

Cormels are miniature corms that are-produced as offsets between the new corm and the old disintegrating corm. The quantity produced is very much a varietal feature—gladiolus developing up to about 50 cormels.

The level of cormel production will be influenced by the depth at which the main corm is planted; the deeper the corm is in the ground, the more cormels produced.

Collect the cormels when the corm is lifted from the ground before winter and store them below 5°C/41°F in a dry, frost-free environment with air circulating round them. Soak any cormels that become dry in tepid water for 24 hours before planting the following season. Plant them outdoors close together and label. They will normally take two years to reach flowering size.

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Propagation by division u

1 Cut a corm into several pieces, each with at least one bud, just before planting in autumn.

2 Dust the cut surfaces with a fungicidal powder. Set pieces on a wire tray. Leave in a warm, dry place.

3 Plant each piece in a pot or in the open ground once it has developed a corky layer. Then label.

Propagation by inducing lateral buds

Propagation by inducing lateral buds

Propagation Corms

1 Lift the corm in autumn. Snap off the main stem or dig it out using a pointed knife.

2 Dust all the cut surfaces with a fungicidal powder.

3 Dig a hole twice the depth of the corm in the open ground. Plant it out immediately and label.

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