How to Plant, Grow and Care Gladiolus

Gladiolus is a well-known flower-producing plant that is famous for its tall flower cornstalk and big colorful blooms.  These plants are generally called “Glads” and are used for increasing the beauty of your garden as the flowers of gladiolus look very amazing. For natural beauty, the flowers can be used as decoration material like marriage ceremonies, birthday parties. The plant size can vary from 1.5 feet to 6 feet. There are different colors of the flowers and all of those colors look much gorgeous. Their flower size also varies from small size (with 2 inches in diameter) to big size (more than 5 inches).

Scientific Name:

Gladiolus spp.

Scientific classification of Gladiolus:

Kingdom Plantae
Clade Tracheophytes
Clade Angiosperms
Clade Monocots
Order Asparagales
Family Iridaceae
Subfamily Crocoideae
Tribe Gladioleae
Genus Gladiolus

 

Planting:

  1. Selection of right corms of Gladiolus:
  • Select nourished, big and firm corms.
  • Corm size affects the spike size and also the number of flowers in the spike. The spike size and flowers number per spike increase with the increasing size of the corm of Gladiolus.
  • Also blooming period varies with the size of corms. Big corms generally bloom 25-30 days faster than smaller corms and 10-15 days faster than medium size corms.
  • For large size flowers, the optimum size of the corm is 15 cm. For medium-size flowers, this is 12 cm and for small size flowers, the corm size should be 8 cm.
  1. Time to plant Gladiolus:
  • You can start planting gladiolus corms in the spring season when the soil temperature remains at 13º C and there is no frost in the location.
  • From the last date of planting gladiolus corms to summer, you can plant another round of corms after 12 days period which consequently blooms continuously.
  1. Selection of right site/location to plant:
  • Select a site that is plentiful with direct sunlight.
  • The place should have medium moisture content in the air.
  • The place must have a proper draining system to prevent the soil from being waterlogged.
  • The soil should be mired as except mire gladiolus can suit itself in any other type of soil.
  • You should water on a regular basis, otherwise, the plant will be dry out and as a consequence of water lacking, the flower will be small in size and the number of flowers per spike also decreases.
  1. How to plant Gladiolus (Best Guide)
  • Facing up the sprout put selected small corms into 2-3 inch deep, medium corms into 3-4 inch deep, and big corms into 4-5 inch deep of the soil.
  • Then cover the corms with soil, press the soil, and give water as needed.
  • Spacing should be 6 inches apart from each corm to other and this will enable them to hold each other after growing up.
  • If you have a purpose to collect flowers, plant the corms in rows so that you can harvest flowers easily.
  • Plant the corms in groups if you want to plant with other flowers in annual beds or borders.
  • If the corms are of tall and big varieties of gladioli then you should ensure staking the plants.

Grow and care:

How to grow Gladiolus:

  • Put 1.5- to 3.5-inch layer of mulch on the soil around your gladioli to keep your soil moist.
  • The mulch also helps to protect the plant from weeds.

Cutting flower spikes:

  • The proper time for cutting spikes is the early morning or evening as at this time the gladioli get full freshness.
  • To get the best flowers to pick the spikes when the flowers are beginning to open for the first time and then you get the flowers open timely.
  • After collecting those from the garden put them in warm water for 5 minutes to keep them from wilting and then put them in a cool, dark place for 3 to 5 hours before storing them in bouquets.

Digging and storing Gladiolus corms:

  • Using a spade dig up the plant from the soil and be conscious otherwise the plant can be injured. Remove the damaged corms from the good ones.
  • Let the corms dry out through bright sunlight for 2 to 3 days and then remove the soil which contains in the corm surface.
  • To protect from diseases you should dust the gladioli corms with fungicide placing the dust and fungicide in a bag and then shake hardly.
  • Then you can keep your corms in cloth/paper bags or in pantyhose for storing purposes and then hang the bags in such place where exists sufficient air and remains temperature at 3 to 8° C. The bag position should be such that mice can’t do any harm to corms and the place should cool but not in freeze temperature.
  • For getting flowers in season replant the stored corms in spring.

How to care for Gladiolus in the winter season:

  • If you want to store your gladioli corms for the next spring living in a cold place, you should dig them in the soil before the first frost and keep these for over winter and then after passing winter you can replant your corms in spring.
  • You should dry up the corms for about a week and then remove the soil from the corms.
  • Store those in a dry, cool, dark place in a mesh beg to withstand moisture.
  • When keeping those in mesh beg you should take steps to protect those from mice.

Gladiolus fertilization:

  • You should use fertilizer if you want to get the best flowers and beautiful spikes as you can fulfill the nourishment of gladioli through fertilization.
  • You can give fertilizer at the beginning of flowers to open for new spikes.
  • After picking flowers for the first time you can fertilize again.
  • Scratch the soil with a cultivator to mix the fertilizer with the soil.

Recommended Varieties of Gladiolus (Some popular varieties of     

              Gladioli):

  • ‘Black Star’, which is famous for its cheerful purple-red blooms and these plants are 30 to 60 inches tall
  • ‘Glamini Glads’, which are able to protect themselves from pests as it has pest resistance. Its shorter size is suitable as a bed for flowers.
  • ‘Dream’s End’, which is used as a back border plant because the spikes are more than 2.5 feet tall.
  • ‘Prins Claus’, which has beautiful flowers with the pink and white color combination.
  • ‘Candyman’, which is well-known for its cheerful deep pink flowers and spikes.

 

Diseases/Insects:

  • Thrips
  • Aphids
  • Aster yellows
  • Viruses
  • Spider mites
  • Fusarium Wilt (Gladiolus corm rot)
  • Gray mold
  • Caterpillars
  • Beetles
  • Grasshoppers
  • Mealy bug
  • Curvularia blight

FAQ:

  1. Can I plant Gladiolus in pots?

At first, you have to select the plant to plant in the pot and should ensure the soil is adequate for gladiolus growing. The pot should be deep enough and also need sufficient wide.

  1. Will Gladiolus Multiply?

Like other perennial plants, Gladiolus multiply every year and then the old corm dies back.

 

 

Most popular species of Gladiolus:

  • Gladiolus Italicus
  • Gladiolus murielae
  • Gladiolus illyricus
  • Gladiolus palustris

 

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