Rate this Article: 

Average: 4.3 (106 votes)


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.


Botanical Name: 


Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Hardiness Zone: 

Bloom Time: 


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


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.


Add new comment

You can plant the glads now.

You can plant the glads now. See our frost chart at with last spring frost dates shown for Oklahoma.

Corms too old?

I bought corms last November and I would like to plant them this coming April. Thing is is that they were on clearance from last summer - would it be okay to plant them after they've never been in soil for this long? How long can the corms last without being planted? I kept them cool & dry all winter. Thanks!

As long as the corms are dry

As long as the corms are dry and there is no visible rot they are fine.

Planting gladiolus!

So Im planting gladiolus this spring :) been wanting to for awhile. Just wondering if I should lift the bulbs in winter? I live in paso robles, California, zone 8 :)

You can leave the bulbs in

You can leave the bulbs in the ground. It's recommended to lift the bulbs in the fall in zones 7 and lower.

wild gladiolus

I saw one blooming in the woods next to me, went over and pulled up a bunch of bulbs and planted them in my yard. Now a couple years later they pop up everywhere in my yard. Is there any reasoning to this? Also why do some bloom and others don't? Thanks
from North Florida (most southernmost part) zone 9a

The corms multiply by

The corms multiply by producing new corms on the top of the mother corm. You can dig them up in the fall and replant them where you want them to grow. The ones that don't bloom are probably the newer smaller corms.

I live in Fresno, CA and have

I live in Fresno, CA and have left my bulbs in the ground for the last three years. I noticed there is a lot of leafy (almost looks like tall grass) growing around the plant. When I dug it up to see what it was it looked liked little mini corms. What do I do with this? and will they grow to be full size gladiola plants?

They are mini corms and will

They are mini corms and will grow into big corms. Leave them where they are or you can transplant them.



cold corms

What's the weather forecast now??
With that in mind, if more cold days are likely, or worse, frost, you should probably just leave the foliage alone until all threat of cold weather has passed.
Glad corms should be lifted before cold weather sets in. Since you did not do that, consider whether or not they are deep enough in the ground to avoid the effects of any surface frost. If so, they may survive. Lifting them now may not make any difference.
We hope this helps.

Indoor Gladiolus Help!

My daughter brought home a bulb from school. I planted it in a pot 11 1/2 inches in diameter. She had no idea what the bulb was. The only place I could put the pot was next to the heater. I usually keep the house at around 64 degrees. Now the gladiolus is about 1 1/2 feet tall! Is the placement of the flower in an adequate area? If so how moist do I keep the soil? How often do I water it? I don't want to disappoint my daughter by having the flower die. Please help. I don't have a green thumb and plants often die on me for some reason.

Your plant will need lots of

Your plant will need lots of sunshine and moist soil. Do not over water it, as this will drown the plant.


I live in Zone 8-9 in Folsom, CA. Can I plant Gladadiolus every 30 days beginning now? Can I store them in my garage until March, 2013 without causing them to rot or become too dry? Any advice? Thanks! Al Figone

Wait to plant in March. Then

Wait to plant in March. Then plant the bulbs every 2 weeks to get a longer flowering period.
Store the bulbs in a box or paper bag with sawdust. They should be fine in your garage if it doesn't get really cold in there.

mold on corms

A successful gardener gave me some of her corms after digging. They have some mold on them, but no soft spots. Maybe she put them in a plastic bag before they has dried much after being dug? Are they worth storing and planting next spring?

Gently brush off the mold and

Gently brush off the mold and wrap the individual corms in newspaper. Store them in mesh bags in a well–ventilated room or put them in a paper bag and store them in a dry cool place. Check the corms a few times during the winter months and remove any that are soft.


I just moved to WA state from CA, and have 3 acres of gardens, trees and lawns. I know nothing about gardening, and I want to keep these gardens alive. I have Glads, Hydrangeas, fruit trees and more. How can I learn to take care of these gardens?

Sounds exciting, though a tad

Sounds exciting, though a tad overwhelming! If you look at our Gardening center, you'll find plant pages on glads, hydrangeas fruit tree, and more. See: That might be a good place to start. You can also visit your county's cooperative extension office as they offer free local information and can be a great help. For your office, see:

Glads every year

I live in NJ and leave my glads right where they are and they come up every year. I usually don't touch them.Will that continue to work?
Is there something I can cover the ground with ( mulch burlap ) to keep the ground warmer if a very cold winter develops?

Glad for glads

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!


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

I live in the Willamette

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

Glads are not hardy below

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

still blooming

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

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

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

According to your UofA

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

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?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zone 3

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

No flowers:(

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?

Gladiolus flowers usually do

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!

Might yet arrive

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.


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

Yes, they are dead, dead,

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

dead dead dead

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

Late planting?

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

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

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

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.


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


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.


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


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


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?


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.


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?


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

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

Glad for advice

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

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

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.