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Gladiolus

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Botanical name: Gladiolus

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Any

Flower color: Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, White, Multicolor

Bloom time: Summer

Gladiolus is a perennial favored for its beautiful, showy flowers. Its flowers grow on tall spikes and are often found in cutting gardens or in the back along the border (because they are tall). Gladioli have many different colored flowers, and grow between 2 to 6 feet in height. It's good for cut flowers.

Planting

  • Plant gladiolus bulbs in the spring once danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed.
  • Ready your garden by using a garden fork or tiller and loosen the soil to about 12 to 15 inches deep. After loosening the soil, mix in a 2– to 4–inch layer of compost.
  • Set the corm in the hole about 4 inches deep with the pointed end facing up. Cover with soil and press firmly.
  • Space the corms 3 to 6 inches apart. Water the corms thoroughly.
  • Gladioli like well-drained, light soil and full sun.
  • If you're planting tall varieties, be sure to stake them at planting time. Be careful not to damage the corms with the stakes.
  • It takes about 90 days from the time gladioli are planted to root, grow, bloom, and store enough energy for the next season.

Care

  • Put a 2– to 4–inch layer of mulch around your gladioli to keep your soil moist and help prevent weeds.
  • If you get less than 1 inch of rain a week, water your plants regularly throughout the summer. Otherwise, water them moderately when in growth to keep the soil moist.
  • Remove the faded/dead flowers to ensure continuous growth. Once all the flowers on a stalk have gone, cut off the stalk.
  • Be sure to leave the plant intact so it can mature and rejuvenate the corms for the next season.
  • If you live in zones 7 or 8, put down a layer of hay or straw for winter protection.
  • Corms should be dug before the last frost in you live in zone 7 or ones colder. See instructions below.

Pests

  • Gladiolus corm rot (Fusarium)
  • Gray mold
  • Viruses
  • Aster yellows
  • Spider mites
  • Thrips
  • Aphids

Harvest/Storage

Before the first frost, you can dig up glads to store over the winter.

  • Use a space and dig up the entire plant, grasping the top to pull it out of the soil. Avoid bruising or injuring corms while digging. Shake off all loose soil and discard damaged corms. Cut the stalk within 1 inch above the corm. Save the small cormels separately if you so desire.
  • Allow the corms to dry in the Sun for 1 or 2 days if the weather agrees. Sift out excess soil and place corms in wooden flats or trays. Cure ina warm and airy location for 2 weeks (at a temperature of 80-85°F). Remove and throw away the oldest bottom corms (from the base of the new one).
  • Dust freshly dug, clean corms with a fungicide ("bulb dust") to avoid disease problems. Place dust and bulbs or other structures in a paper sack and shake vigorously.
  • Store the large, new corms in paper boxes, open paper bags, cloth bags, wooden trays with screen bottoms, or old onion sacks. Stack or hang the containers so air can move among them. Store the corms at 35 to 45°F in low humidity. A cool basement is quite suitable. Do not
    allow corms to freeze.
  • Replant these corms in the spring for another year of beautiful blooms.

Recommended Varieties

  • Candyman, for its beautiful deep pink flowers
  • Dream's End, which makes a good back border plant because its flower spike is up to 3 feet long (and it has pretty light orange flowers with large yellow centers)
  • Prins Claus, which has white flowers with splashes of pink on its petals

Gladious Picture

Comments

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glads

By Anonymous

hi i live in christchurch new zealand ive been growing and showing glads for about five years i dig my glads up every year so i can clean them and check them that they dont have any disease or rotten christine

Glad for glads

By Almanac Staff

Far be it from us to change a course of success, but this may be the time. Our weather prediction is for colder than normal temps in NJ, and depending on how deep your bulbs are and how much rain/snow falls (and then seeps down and freezes and, say, melts and freezes again), you might wish you lifted them. You could try adding a few extra inches of mulch (the chunky stuff, bagged or loose, used to line garden beds); that would effectively make the bulbs deeper underground. If you have a lot of glads, maybe split the difference and lift some of them and mulch some of them. We hope this helps!

I live in the Willamette

By Anonymous

I live in the Willamette Valley, in Oregon. Will I need to dig up the bulbs in the winter?

Glads are not hardy below

By Almanac Staff

Glads are not hardy below USDA Zone 6. In your area they may over-winter with a thick layer of mulch.

still blooming

By Anonymous

I planted about 50 glad bulbs at the same time last year. They all bloomed over a period of 6 weeks. Left them in the ground (KY) and this year (after a mild winter, summer drought, and excessive heat) they have been blooming since June...and we are still getting some blooms and it's nearly Oct. I love it, but is this normal?

Yes, it's normal. Gladiolus

By Almanac Staff

Yes, it's normal. Gladiolus bulbs (corms) grow and multiply in the first year. Every 3-4 years you need to lift and divide the corms so that they don't get too crowded. Dividing is best done in the fall after the blooms fade.

i live in North Central

By Anonymous

i live in North Central Arkansas...do I need to dig up for winter?

According to your UofA

By Almanac Staff

According to your UofA extension office, "Gladiolus can be left in the garden year round in most parts of the state, but hard winters which freeze the soil to the depth of the corm will kill them. Most people that grow gladiolus for cut flowers dig their plants each fall and store the corms in a dry, frost free area over winter."

Newcomer to Glads

By Anonymous

I live in Missouri, will I have to dig Glads up during winter, never grew them, they are just now ready to bloom. How do you store and is a garage ok?

Newcomer

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you need to dig the bulbs after your first frost. Place the bulbs in a warm dry area for a week or two. Cut the stalks and put the bulbs in a paper bag. Store in a cool, dry area. Garage is OK if it doesn't get too cold in the winter months.

im in zone 8b is it ok to

By Anonymous

im in zone 8b is it ok to leave tha cone in winter time...and i want to change the plase .when can i dig it and plant?

Zone 8b

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can leave the bulbs in the ground if you add mulch to the top of the soil. In early spring dig the bulbs before they start growing and move them to the new location.

Help please

By Anonymous

In March I planted over 8 bulbs they bloomed so beautifully by May. After one set bloomed the flowers died within two days. The rest bloomed and all the flowers died within a week. I pulled the dead flowers off in hopes more would bloom but it didn't. Soon the stalks started to die. Now the stalk are a yellow green with no life in them. What can I do now. I would like those flowers in my garden again. What to do?

Gladiolus only bloom once per

By Almanac Staff

Gladiolus only bloom once per season. They need a dormant period of 2-3 months while they produce new corms. When the flowers die, you can cut off the stalk. Let the foliage turn yellow and die back. If you live in a warm climate (zone 7-9) you can leave them in the ground. If you live in zone 6 or less, then you need to dig the corms up and store them indoors for the winter. If you wish to prolong your blooming season next year, plant the bulbs at 2-week intervals in the spring.

Zone 3

By Anonymous

I live in Montana and I have successfully arrived at the flowering period almost at September. I saw that you wrote it needs a dormant period of 2-3 months after flowering. So does that mean I dig them up in November- December? And just cover with mulch until then? Or do I dig them at the last frost? Which might happen in a month and a half maybe. We've already had one frost in the last week of August.

Zone 3

By Almanac Staff

You need to remove the bulbs before the ground freezes. We suggest that you dig them after you have had a couple of frosts. Put the bulbs in a dry protected area to dry for a week or two. Then put them in a paper bag and store in cool, dry area over winter.

Thanks!!!

By Anonymous

Thanks! Do I cut all foliage and just leave the bulb? I'm new to this.

Zone 3

By Almanac Staff

Leave about an inch or two of foliage. Good luck!

No flowers:(

By Anonymous

I Live in Massachusetts and planted bulbs in April. I have tall green stalks but no sign of flowers or buds and it is August. Any idea what's happening?

Yes, they are dead, dead,

By Anonymous

Yes, they are dead, dead, dead. Try again next year.

dead dead dead

By Anonymous

I live in northern New Brunswick, Canada and most of the glads only came into bud in late august,they are now in full bloom the middle of september. Dont give up hope

gladiolus

By Anonymous

I planted in March and gave up seeing any flowers but last week they bloomed over night,i could not believe it they are beautiful

Might yet arrive

By Anonymous

I planted in March, April and May. Some of the ones planted latest flowered first. Some of the ones planted early are just coming into flower now (August). A good many are still growing and I'm expecting them to flower in September.

The flower buds on some of mine looked just like a tight clump of leaves until two weeks before blooming started, deceiving me into thinking no flowers were coming this year.

Gladiolus flowers usually do

By Almanac Staff

Gladiolus flowers usually do not have a problem blooming. Here are tips that might suggest the problem: 1) Gladilus corms need to be lifted in the fall. Did you lift them? And did you store correctly? 2) The soil needs to be well-drained so they don't have corm rot; dig one up to inspect. 3) If you buy small corms, they may not bloom; buy big, health corms. I hope that this helps!

Late planting?

By Anonymous

I purchased 10 bulbs in July and live in zone 6. Can I still plant them this year or will the bulbs survive un-planted until next spring for planting?

Since it takes about 90 days

By Almanac Staff

Since it takes about 90 days from planting to root, bloom, grow, and store enough energy for next year, it isn’t advisable to plant glads now in your area, since the frost will come before then. (About the latest you should plant is early July.) You can, however, try to save the corms for next spring. With proper care, they should come through the winter fine, as long as they are healthy. See the directions under “Harvesting” above for guidelines about overwintering the corms.

Gladiola rot

By Anonymous

i planted 7 gladiola corms in a large plant potter made for the porch made sure they were 4" deep and i watered them and had them sitting in the sun, but the problem was instead of seeing anything growing they rotted in the soil what can i do to avoid this from happening again.

It could be that they had a

By Almanac Staff

It could be that they had a disease that caused them to rot. For example, Fusarium corm rot, also called yellows, is a common problem with gladiolas. Before planting corms, check to see if there are mushy spots, discolorations (such as brown areas), etc. If so, throw them out so that they don’t infect other corms.

question

By Anonymous

After the flower dies I'm left with what looks like a seed pack , is this another blossom coming out ?

Question

By Almanac Staff

Those are seeds and can be harvested and started in pots. But if you want to save the existing corm you should remove the spent flower and not allow the seeds to set as this takes energy away from the corm in the ground.

Wintering

By Anonymous

What happens if you just leave the corms in the ground over the winter after you cut the stalk back?

Wintering

By Almanac Staff

If the soil freezes you will loose the corms. In a warm climate you can leave the corms in the ground.

Regrowth

By Anonymous

After I plated some last summer it seems like 100 baby bulbs have sprouted up next to the original bulbs but the are now not growing well, what can I do? Is it to late to have beautiful flowers his season?

Regrowth

By Almanac Staff

The baby bulbs need time (ususally 2 years) to mature before they bloom. In the fall dig up the bulbs and replant them in a larger area so that they have more space to grow. if you live in a cold climate store the bulbs and replant in the spring.

Help!

By Anonymous

I planted 10 bulbs, 7 in a rather shallow plastic shadow box. The other three are in a pail. I have a patio garden. They are all producing leaves and one in deeper soil is starting a flower stock. Can I re-pot these into other pots without damaging the growth or do I need to wait until next year?

Help!

By Almanac Staff

For best results gladiolus corms need to be planted about four times as deep as they are wide. The shadow box may be too shallow for healthy growth. You can carefully repot the glads with only leaves to bigger pots. Don't move the glads with flower stocks.

gladiolus in maryland

By Anonymous

I live in Maryland, can you please let me know if I need to take the bulbs out for the winter.

Glad for advice

By Anonymous

I moved into a place that have gladiolus. The garden had not been taken care of for years. Only a few blossomed and they did not look that great. Is there a way of reviving them for next year or should I did them up and plant new bulbs?

Glad for Advice

By Anonymous

I live in Massachusetts and do not dig them up for the winter. I have grown glads for years and every other year, in the fall, I dig them up and replant the healthy corms. This will keep them at the right planting depth and ensure healthy corms. A little plant food in the whole when planting is also a good idea. Your corms are just fine, by now they are probably at the wrong planting depth which inhibits bloom.

Thank you for the

By Anonymous

Thank you for the information. This is the first year I've had glads in my garden and wasn't sure how to prepare them for winter.

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