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Growing Gladiolus

Category Bulbs
Gladiolus are a popular summer flowering bulb. They make a dramatic statement in your garden with their tall spike of lovely flowers in many colors. This is a guide about growing gladiolus.
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By 1 found this helpful
March 16, 2006

Botanical Name:

Gladiolus

Life Cycle:

perennial

Planting Time:

spring

Height:

2' to 4'

Exposure:

full sun

Soil:

light, rich, evenly moist soil
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Hardiness:

there are varieties hardy to zones 7-11; tender corms should be dug up and stored in cooler zones

Bloom Time:

late summer

Flower:

all colors except true blue and black, including stripes and splashes; funnel shaped flowers

Foliage:

green, stiff upright stalks and narrow, upright, blade-like leaves

Propagation:

bulbs

Suggested Use:

beds, border and cut flowers

Growing Hints:

Start with purchased corms in the spring. As a guide, plant larger corms (greater than 1 inch) about 6 inches deep and smaller corms (less than _ inch) about 3 inches deep. Plant in two week intervals throughout mid spring to early summer for the best show of flowers. In the fall before the first hard frost, lift corms and cut off the tops. Leave them to dry in the shade for a few days before cleaning them off and storing them for winter. Keep them in wood shavings, newspaper or peat moss at temperatures of around 40º to 50ºF. Check bulbs throughout the winter for signs of drying or rotting. Where winter temperatures stay above 0ºF, the common, large-flowered gladiolus can survive in the ground with 3 to 6 inches of mulch.
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Interesting Facts:

To keep cut gladiolus bulbs vigorous, cut the stems off well below the flower but leave the leaves intact in the ground to nature naturally to make sure the bulb has enough nutrients for the next season. Cut the flower stalks just before the flower opens for a longer lasting arrangement.
Comment Was this helpful? 1

September 16, 20140 found this helpful

beautiful purple gladiola

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This is a guide about gladiolus photos. These popular garden bulbs produce a tall spike of beautiful flowers in a variety of colors.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 15, 2011

When saving gladiolus bulbs, remove the green portion of bulbs with a weed wacker, thus eliminating bending to each bulb. You'll save time and strain on your back.

By sandies from Torrington, CT

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
August 23, 2011

Do you have to dig out gladiola bulbs after blooming and keep inside til next spring? Or can you leave them in the ground all year?

By Joe

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 29, 20110 found this helpful

I live in Northern Virginia and my gladioli have multiplied each year. I do not dig them up but leave them where they are. They keep coming back and multiply.

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful

If you get deep frost you need to dig up your glads. If you leave them in the ground where there is deep frost they will turn to mush! If you are in a mild climate you can get away with leaving them in the grounds It is still a good idea to separate the bulb-lets from the mother bulbs now and then. jjs w Palm Beach, FL

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September 3, 20110 found this helpful

I live in Ohio, Zone 5 and I dig mine up and keep them in a plastic shoe box that I got at the $1 store and I keep them in the basement. Every once in awhile I will take the lid off and let them air out.

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April 6, 2007

How can I easily hold up my Gladiolus?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

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Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 6, 20070 found this helpful

An idea I used last year for taller plants that needed support. We had some extra snow fence, is very cheap, I used a hand saw to cut to size. Some plants I put it around entire plant others I enclosed whole sections.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 6, 20070 found this helpful

Go online and Google "garden+supplies" and I'm sure you'll find a catalog that sells all sorts of flower supports. I get such a catalog all the time but, for the life of me, I can't think of the name of it! Sorry!

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 8, 20070 found this helpful

I have several flowers that need staking. I took scraps of the PVC lattice and staked them at either end of the flower bed. Then I strung some med weight cotton twine between them. Depending on the length of you bed, you may need some lattice (or something similar) in the middle. Love those Glads!

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April 12, 20070 found this helpful

Our Dollar Tree had bamboo stakes that were about 4 foot high. They were a dollar each. Greetings to Mebane from Ahoskie, NC!

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April 14, 20070 found this helpful

I have seen in a gardening catalog some stakes for Gladiolus. They are stiff wire, and are about 3 feet or so high. The tops are bent into a spiral about 6 inches and they are about the diameter of a saucer. I think you could make your own easily from a coathanger by straightening it out and bending it as described. Push this into the ground with the flower going up through the spiral at the top. I wish I had a photo of this. Perhaps I can bend a hanger and add a picture later.

Harlean from Arkansas

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 21, 20070 found this helpful

Whatever you use, you have to put it in as soon as your glads sprout. My father used bamboo stakes, and when the flowers started to show buds he would put a loop of panty hose over the stake and the very bottom of the bud stalk.

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June 1, 20060 found this helpful
Q: I cut a Gladiolus from the stalk trying to dig it up. If I stick the stalk in the ground without the bulb, will it root?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

Joanne from Abbeville, GA

A: Joanne,

Gladioli cannot be propagated by rooting the stalk. They are commonly grown from corms, which are enlarged, bulb-like underground stems. After planting corms in the spring, as the leaves of the stalk emerge, a new corm forms on the top of the original corm, which if left alone, would eventually shrivel up and fade away. Smaller corms may also form around this new corm. These can be taken off in the fall when the main corms are dug up for winter storage. These smaller corms can be planted the following spring and dug up again in the fall the same way you would larger corms. They will usually bloom when planted again the second year.

You can also propagate gladioli by sectioning-cutting each corm into sections. Each section you cut should contain a bud and be allowed to "cure" for several days in order to form a protective skin. They can then be planted in potting mix (as deep as they are large), watered and kept in a humid, warm room (70 degrees F)until shoots emerge.

Gladioli can be started from seed, but you may not end up with offspring similar to the parent plant. It also usually takes a couple of years of planting, digging up and replanting corms until you see flowers.

Ellen

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 6, 20060 found this helpful

no

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May 8, 20060 found this helpful

I agree, no.

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Photos

Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

By 3 found this helpful
May 28, 2011

This is a picture of some beautiful gladiolus from my mom and dad's backyard.

By Darla from Grand Prairie, TX

Comment Like this photo? 3
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