This summer I will again be growing gladiolus for cut flowers. My mom has always called them ‘glads.’
You might have seen the bulbs for sale in bunches in the summertime at the supermarket or at a farmer’s market. They have an almost tropical feel in a tall vase, and you will feel very pampered when you adorn your family table with them.
Gladiolus (Glads) Are Easy To Grow!Most garden soils that will produce a good crop of vegetables or weeds will also grow good glads with little or no added fertilizer. Glads prefer good air circulation and full sunlight but will do reasonably well with a little high shade in early morning or late afternoon. Choose an area with good drainage. Glads don’t like wet feet! Raised beds are an ideal solution.
Directions To Plant
Obtain bulbs (also known as corms) in the color(s) you want to grow. Bulbs often come packaged like this in single colors or in multi-colored sets:
Simply plant gladiolus bulbs in rows 8-10″ apart and 5-6″ deep with the root buds faced down or follow package instructions. You could plant a new row every two weeks and have a steady supply of fresh cut flowers to give to friends or put in a vase.
A healthy, fresh bulb should not be dried out. It should be firm and fleshy like a good clove of garlic or an onion with a tough skin.
Often, but not always, you can see the little root buds swollen and just waiting for contact with soil and moisture to grow.
At the appointed time, ‘little swords’ slices through the soil and announces their presence. Glads are in the iris family and come in zillions of colors and hues.
The gladiolus is sometimes called the ‘sword lily’.
Can You Dig It? Yes, But You Don’t Have To Every Year
The bulbs can be dug and saved in a warm location from one year to the next. They aren’t supposed to overwinter, I’ve heard, but surprisingly, in our zone 5B garden we have had glads act more like perennials for the last 5 years.
The yellows and oranges and peaches aren’t as hardy, apparently, and have died off. Thankfully, we’re left with beautiful crimson, purple, and fuchsia glads each year.If you live where the ground doesn’t freeze in the winter, you may choose not to dig up your corms. However, disease brought on by too much rain and too cool of a soil, as well as eventual crowding, may reduce the amount and quality of next year’s bloom. It is suggested that you dig and divide your corms every couple of years in the fall, being sure to discard any damaged or diseased corms. The plant should be separated from the corm as close to the corm as possible, either by hand breaking or cutting with pruning shears. Store any lifted corms in a cool, dry place, in single layers in a flat or ventilated tray. Then, replant those corms the following February or March.
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Thanks for reading!