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TIPS & GROWING INSTRUCTIONS: GLADIOLUS

Gladiolus
Gladiolus

Where to Plant Gladiolus Flowers

Gladiolus are native to South Africa and yield the largest and most colourful flowers when planted where they will receive full sun. Try growing them in a flower bed, cut-flower garden or border that receives lots of sunshine. Gladiolus even do well outdoors in containers resting in direct sunlight. They prefer well-drained, sandy loam and do not fare well in soggy soil.

How to Plant Gladiolus

To plant gladiolus bulbs, start with Breck's Plant Food to the trench. Cover with 2" of soil. Firmly place the bulbs on soil, pointed ends up, 6" apart. In a flower border, plant a group of at least 10 gladiolus bulbs for the best effect. Cover with remaining soil. Water well and add 2" of mulch to conserve moisture and keep the roots cool.

Common Gladiolus Pests

Unfortunately for gardeners, there are a number of tiny bugs that feed on gladiolus by piercing the stem or leaves. These insects include aphids, mealybugs, scale, thrips and white flies. Signs of bug damage include yellow or white spots, and leaves turning yellow or withering and falling. Try spraying pests with a strong stream of water, then use a natural pesticide on the flowers. Apply the pesticide weekly for heavy infestations and every other week for light infestations.

Larger insects also eat gladiolus flowers and leaves. They include beetles, caterpillars and grasshoppers. The best way to get rid of them is to put on your gardening gloves and remove them by hand, dropping them in a bucket of water to drown them. Another tip: remove any weeds growing near your gladiolus. Caterpillars often climb weeds to access gladiolus.

Snails and slugs come out at night to eat gladiolus. They should also be removed by hand, at night with the aid of a flashlight. Place them in a bucket of soapy water to drown them.

Bulb mites, tulip bulb aphids and root-knot nematodes live in the soil and attack gladiolus corms and roots. Check for signs of these insect pests before planting or storing them. If you see bugs on the bulbs, shake off as much of the dirt as you can and then cover them with neem oil.

When to Plant Gladiolus Bulbs

Begin planting your gladiolus bulbs in mid-spring and continue to plant every two weeks until mid-July to enjoy stunning flowers throughout the summer months.

When do Gladiolus Bloom?

Bulbs will bloom from 70-100 days from planting, depending on the lateness in the season. Tall-growing varieties may need staking. Water the gladiolus flowers well throughout the growing season. Fertilize when the flower spikes first appear and after the flowers are picked.

Gladiolus Care in the Winter

To prepare your gladiolus bulbs for winter, dig up the corms 4-6 weeks after the flowers fade. Remove as much soil as possible and cut off flower stalk 1" above the corm. Dry and store your gladiolus bulbs indoors for the winter. Hardy in Zones 8-11.

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Gladiolus

How to Plant Other Varieties of Gladiolus

How to Plant Hardy Gladiolus

Hardy Glads - In fall, plant in almost any type of well-drained garden soil in full sun. Plant the corms 4-6" apart in clumps approximately 3" deep. Fertilize when planting with any 5-10-5 fertilizer but avoid animal manure since it may encourage rot. Mulch over the winter for protection. Hardy in Zones 5-10.

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Gladiolus

How to Plant Glamini Gladiolus

Glamini Glads - Glaminis are highly pest resistant and bloom happily in full sun or partial shade. Their shorter overall height means you can use them in the middle or fronts of borders and beds. They also do exceptionally well in patio containers - or even window boxes where viewing their rich cascades of 3-4" flowers up close is a special pleasure. Glaminis are also splendid in your vase. Care is no more difficult than for any gladiolus. Simply plant 3" deep in sun or partial shade and space 3-4" apart. Glaminis can be lifted approximately 8-10 weeks after flowering. Dry the bulbs and let them overwinter in a cool, dark, frost-free location.



How can I extend the flowering period of gladiolus?
Plant bulbs in two-week intervals. This will also result in the continuous availability of fresh-cut flowers.

When can I use my gladiolus as cut flowers?
Cut flower spikes when only one or two flowers are open. Leave at least 5" on the plant so the bulb can regenerate well next year.

How do I cut my gladiolus for use in a vase?
Cut flower spikes cleanly at a slight angle and then place them in a vase with plenty of water. Fresh-cut gladiolus require a lot of water to stay fresh, so remember to watch the water level in the vase.

How do I clean my gladiolus bulbs for winter storage?
When you dig up the bulbs, you may notice a new corm has formed on top of the old one. Dry them outdoors for a few weeks, which should allow you to easily remove the new corms from the old ones. Discard any that show signs of rot. The remaining bulbs should be dried further to cure the new scar, before storing indoors.


More Information About Gladiolus from Herman's Nursery



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