by High Country Gardens

Gladiolus arrangement in vase
Growing gladiolus bulbs for summer bouquets. (Parrot Mix Gladiolus)

Growing gladiolus bulbs is easy. The make wonderful cutting flowers and are moderate water users, making them welcome additions to a water-thrifty garden. Native to southern Africa, Gladiolus is hardy in zones 8-10. However, with a bit of extra care most of us can enjoy these beautiful flowers for years.

Growing Gladiolus Bulbs

Plant them in full sun, in the spring, when the soil has begun to warm. Well-drained soil is a must as ‘Glads' don’t like soggy feet.

How to grow Gladiolus Acidanthera
Gladiolus Acidanthera (Peacock Orchid)

Growing Gladiolus Bulbs: How To Plant Gladiolus

Gladiolus looks best planted in dense groups. They propagate by corms which are similar to bulbs in many ways. They have a bottom (basal plate) that will sprout roots. The other side should be planted up and you should see one or more growing points.

How to grow Gladiolus Peter Pears
Gladiolus Peter Pears

Simply dig holes and plant the corms 6-7 inches deep and about 6" apart, keeping in mind to create a mass of plants using at least 12 corms per planting. They not only look better en masse but they also support each other as they grow. Water well and water periodically as growth progresses.

Gladiolus blooms for about two weeks so many gardeners plant sections of Gladiolus at two week intervals to extend the flower season. Cut flowers as you like but be mindful not to cut too many leaves as the leaves feed the new corms. That’s all there is to it!

Growing Gladiolus: After Season Care And Gladiolus Bulb Storage

If you are in zones 3-7 you can either treat your Gladiolus as an annual plant, replanting new corms in the following spring, or you can dig the corms once the leaves have yellowed and after the first frost.

Cut the stems to 2 inches, wash the soil off and dry for a few days. Store in a cool place in paper bags or cardboard boxes with 1-2 inches of vermiculite. Be sure to label your corms so you know what you’ll be planting come spring. It’s easy and you’ll have an unending supply of beautiful flowers for very little effort.

If you live in zones 8-10, your Gladiolus bulbs will rest for several months before starting their cycle again.

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