Gladiolus From Breck's
Gladiolus flowers, also called "sword lilies" or "glads," are relatively easy to grow and ideal for summer cut flower arrangements. Gladiolus are also easy to divide and replant, making them a perfect flower for sharing with fellow gardeners! Our selection of high-quality gladiolus bulbs is a great place to start if you want to add these vibrant flowers to your garden.
What Type of Gladiolus Varieties Are Available?
All varieties of gladiolus flowers are well known for their height and showy summer blooms. With varieties ranging from 2 to 6 feet tall, all presenting neatly tiered blossoms, gladiolus are a favorite for cutting gardens and floral arrangements. Color varieties of gladiolus range from soft pastels to bold jewel tones in both solids and bi-colors, making gladiolus a versatile addition to any design. Choose individual varieties of gladiolus as a delightful color contrast to existing plantings, or choose a collection with a mixture of a ready-made rainbow of hues. Read on to learn more about two of our favorite varieties of gladiolus.
In the fall, plant hardy glads in full sun. Make sure the soil you are using drains well. Plant the corms in groups about 4-6" apart and 3" deep. Use any 5-10-5 fertilizer, but do not use animal manure since it can promote rot. During the winter months, apply mulch over the soil for protection. Hardy in Zones 5-10.
Glamini glads are very pest resistant and bloom well in full sun or partial shade. You can plant these gladiolus flowers in the middle or front of borders and beds because of their short height. They can also be grown in patio containers or window boxes where you can view their gorgeous cascades of 3-4" flowers up close from your living space. Glaminis can also be picked to be displayed in a vase. Caring for this variety is the same as for any gladiolus. Start by planting the bulb 3" deep in sun or partial shade and group them 3-4" away from each other. Glamini glads can be removed about 8-10 weeks after flowering. During the winter, dry the bulbs and store them in a cool, dark, frost-free spot.
Where to Plant Gladiolus
With their mid-season bloom, gladiolus bulbs make an excellent transition between late spring bloomers like iris and fall's dahlias and asters. Create a continuously blooming bed by combining various heights of these flowers. Gladiolus flowers also make a stunning presentation when planted en masse along back borders or in tidy rows along fence lines. We recommend placing them in areas that are protected from strong winds. Smaller varieties of gladiolus make excellent container plants that require very little care. Place them along patios and porches for striking displays. Liven up your summer days with an assortment of colorful gladiolus bulbs. Taller varieties may need staking, so consider this when planting your gladiolus.
When to Plant Gladiolus Bulbs
When planting gladiolus bulbs, bear in mind that they are winter hardy in zones 7 to 10. If you live in zones 3 to 7, lift the bulbs in autumn. Plant your gladiolus bulbs in the spring, about 6 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. Our Dutch-sourced gladiolus flower bulbs are carefully selected for their hardiness, so you can look forward to these perennial flowers returning to grace your garden year after year. Most varieties of gladiolus bloom from early to midsummer.
How to Plant Gladiolus Bulbs
Gladiolus flowers prefer full sun, but will accept partial shade. Gladiolus bulbs are tolerant of clay, loam, and sand, and thrive in any well-drained soil enhanced with a little mulch. To grow a Gladiolus flower bulb, begin by using plant food in the trench. Cover the plant food with 2" of soil. Insert the bulbs and press them down firmly, with the ends pointed up about 6" apart. Plant at least 10 gladiolus bulbs for the best appearance if creating a flower border. Cover the bulbs with the remaining soil. Water the soil well and add 2" of mulch to lock in moisture and keep the roots cool. Start planting in the middle of the spring season and continue to plant every two weeks until the middle of July for blooming flowers throughout the summer.
Growing Tips for Gladiolus Flowers and Bulbs
Gladiolus flowers will bloom for about 70 to 100 days after planting, depending on the lateness in the season. It may be necessary to stake the tall-growing varieties. Water your gladiolus well throughout the entire growing season, and fertilize when the first flower spikes appear and after the flowers are picked. After the flowers begin fading, normally around 4 to 6 weeks, it will be time to remove the corms. Dig up as much soil as you can and cut the flower stalk 1" above the corm. Dry the Gladiolus bulbs and store them indoors for the cold winter season. Read our guide on how to care for gladiolus
for more information and care instructions.