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Gladiolus plants thrive in the sweltering summer heat. By planting a few corms every few weeks or so, you’ll be able to grow beautiful blossoms in succession.
Gladiolus are easy to care for and produce a wide range of hues, making them excellent cut flowers as well. Let’s have a look at how to raise gladiolus in the garden.
How to Grow Gladiolus
They resemble enormous crocus bulbs. As far as packaging goes, they are wrapped in brown fiber with a flat bottom. They may already be sprouting from the top.
Gladiolus care is easier if you follow these growth suggestions:
Gladiolus thrive in soil that is both well-drained and sandy. It’s also a favorite site for them.
Planting gladiolus deeper than normal is necessary because of its large leaves.
This will keep them firmly in place in the event of high winds that may otherwise cause them to fall.
TYPES OF GLADIOLUS
You’ll find countless cultivars of glads in local garden centers and catalogs, all derived from various combinations of more than 250 species, most of which are native to southern and central Africa and Eurasia.
The three main glad groups are:
- Grandiflora: The largest group of garden cultivars. These hybrids are the showiest of the bunch, with blooms up to 6 inches wide and the most extensive range of colors.
- Nanus: Another group grew in the garden. Miniature hybrids tend to be more cold-tolerant than their taller cousins.
- Primulinus: Have daintier hooded flowers and very narrow leaves.
Gladiolus – How to Plant
- How to plant gladiolus is a simple matter of following a few easy instructions:
- The first step is to excavate an 8-inch (20 cm) deep trench. A foot and a half (15 cm) of length is ideal for spacing out your corms. If you’re having trouble visualizing that distance, try arranging them in an oval or semicircle. To create a stunning display, you’ll need a place big enough to accommodate ten corms.
- You’ll want to use 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 fertilizer to feed the corms. To avoid burning the corm, put the appropriate amount of fertilizer in the bottom of the planting area, but be sure to thoroughly mix the soil and fertilizer. Before inserting the corm into the trench, add a layer of unfertilized dirt.
- In mid-spring, you should begin planting your gladiolus. Every two weeks, start a new batch of seedlings. Planting every two weeks or so will provide you with blooms all summer long because they take 70 to 100 days to grow and flower. Staking these flowers is a must if they are going to be out in the open and exposed to the wind.
- Mid-July is a good time to stop planting gladiolus.
- Keep your gladiolus properly hydrated and mulch the soil around them to keep it moist during their growing season.
Plant hardiness zones 8 to 11 are the only ones where gladiolus may be grown successfully.
They thrive in zones 6 to 7 if the bulbs are covered with a thick layer of mulch all winter long.
The application of fertilizer is necessary for the proper care of gladiolus. When the flower spikes appear, you can fertilize the fresh gladioli batches.
After you remove the blossoms from the plant, you can fertilize it again.
Adding the fertilizer granules close to the flower and then raking the soil with a cultivator is all that is necessary.
How to Care for Gladiolus in the Winter
As an alternative to storing the corms in the ground, you can remove them four to six weeks after harvesting.
- Remove as much soil as possible from the corm by digging it out of the ground. Trim the leaves to a depth of no more than one and a half inches (2.5 cm).
- The corm should be allowed to dry out for a week. It is now time to remove any remaining soil with a brush.
- A mesh bag or old pantyhose can be used to protect your gladiolus from mildew by keeping it dry and cool. Mice enjoy gladiola bulbs, so make sure to keep them out of reach when storing them.
You can never go wrong with gladiolus plants in your landscape. Gladiolus will flourish in your yard if you know how to grow them and take good care of them.
HOW TO CUT & DISPLAY GLADIOLUS FLOWERS
- Generally, glads will remain attractive for at least a week in a vase; but for the greatest longevity, cut the stems when only a few flowers are open at the bottom of the flower spike. The rest of the florets will open gradually over the next few days. Pull off the bottom florets when they fade.
- Cut the flower stalks in the early morning or late evening—when temperatures are coolest and the stems are well hydrated. If you plan to store and replant your corms, leave as many leaves as possible on the plant to help nourish the corm for the following spring.
- Although glads look stunningly arranged in a tall vase, you can also cut the blooms from the stems and arrange them in a shallow vase or bowl for an attractive, low-profile centerpiece.