Growing gladioli flower gardens is easy even for beginners. Gladioli are some of the go-to flowers for many gardeners. They produce lovely blooms that bring so much color to your garden or yard. Most people also use them as summer bedding plants that don’t need year-in-year-out replanting.
Plant a mixture of Gladioli corms and get beautiful blooms every flowering season with minimum effort.
Growing Gladioli Flower Gardens
Gladioli are grown from corms. Sometimes people refer to them as bulbs which are technically not correct. Gladioli flowers belong to the South African Iris family. They are some of the best options you have when you want to bring some shading effect to any space.
The corms sprout during the growing months and produce blade-like leaves. When mature, they produce trumpet-like or bell-shaped blooms. There are multiple small blooms on each stalk. The flowers open from the base upwards.
Gladioli flowers are sometimes referred to as Blade Lilies. They get the name because their leaves resemble blades. Also, the Latin name “gladioli” which implies little blade.
Gladioli corms are readily available either online or in gardens and nurseries. I like to purchase gladioli corms in several different colors.
They are accessible in various shades of red, orange, white, pink, purple, and blue. If you’re lucky you can also get them in bicolor assortments which are striking. The blue varieties are also pretty rare and difficult to get.
Gladioli flowers have been bred to produce hybrids. When you decide to grow some gladioli, you can either go for the hybrid varieties of the normal varieties.
The miniature hybrid varieties don’t grow very large. The maximum height is about 2ft tall. The normal varieties grow larger than this and also produce larger blooms.
It is important to note that some people prefer the miniature varieties because they don’t have to stake them. Some of the large varieties will require staking to avoid the branches from breaking.
It’s also advisable to check the variety before purchasing so that you don’t end up with a variety that you did not want.
Planting Gladioli Glowers
Most gladioli varieties flower for around 2-3 weeks. If you want to have flowers for longer, you can stagger your planting times. Plant some bulbs this week then wait for a week and plant some more. This way they will all bloom at different times and you can enjoy the colorful flowers for longer.
The best method to follow when planting your gladioli corms is to establish them in clusters. I prefer this method because you get more impact compared to planting them one by one.
As an example, plant each color in clusters of about five bulbs. When they flower, each of the colors will stand out. Of course, this is my preference please feel free to experiment and find out what works for you.
When to Plant Gladioli?
Gladioli corms ought to be planted roughly fourteen days before the last spring frost. In case you’re going for a staggered planting style as suggested above, follow regular intervals into early summer. This period normally lasts from April to May.
Plant the corms about 4-8 inches apart to give them sufficient space to grow. The planting depth should be about 4-6 inches below the surface.
The depth of planting depends on the size of the corm. The smaller ones are planted at 4 inches while the largest are planted at 6 inches.
Plant your gladioli flowers in nutrient-rich sandy-loam soil. The soil should also be well-draining. If you plant gladioli in soil that is not well-draining, the corms might rot during winter.
Mulching gladioli flowers help keep the soil damp for longer and allow the corms and the roots of young gladiolus to get adequate water. Mulching is particularly needed when growing the gladioli out in the garden.
Some gardeners also use some mulch to suppress weeds. The mulch limits the growth of weeds and helps eliminate the competition for water and nutrients. Apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch around every gladiolus flower.
When growing gladioli flower gardens, you need to provide the plants with enough light. Gladioli corms do well and blossom best when planted in an area where they get direct sun.
However, you still get good results if you plant them in many other locations as long as they can still get at least 4 hours of sunlight consistently.
Water gladioli when the top layers of the soil are dry. The watering routine should be similar or the same as how you water other types of flowers.
The only time you should increase the watering frequency is during the growing months. The plants require more water because the weather is drier and they are also growing faster.
Overall, the gladioli corms take between 70 to 90 days to bloom from the time they are established in the soil.
Planting Gladioli Containers
Planting gladioli in containers is an option that appeals to people with limited space or no gardens. Gladioli can be grown successfully in containers and pots.
It is also a great option for people who want to use containers and pots for home decoration and design.
It’s advisable to choose the miniature hybrid varieties if you want to grow them gladioli in containers. The shorter varieties will not require staking and will not occupy too much space.
Put a layer of gravel or small rocks at the base of the container. The layer provides some security and a buffer in case you over water the plants. The corms will not be left sitting in water and run the risk of rotting.
Fill the remainder of the pot with gardening soil and leave around 1 and ½ inches space at the top. Make shallow holes about an inch apart and pop in the corms. Make sure the pointed ends of the corms are facing upwards and cover them with soil.
Soak the arrangement properly until you notice water draining from the drainage holes. Position the container in a dark cold place. Also, provide the corms with temperatures of between 45-480 F to sprout.
Once the corms gave sprouted, move the arrangement into a place with room temperature and sufficient light. The gladioli should grow properly, reach maturity, and flower soon after.
Gladioli Flower Arrangements
It is so rewarding to finally get beautiful gladioli flowers after all the hard work. I love gladioli because I get to use them in different floral designs.
If you are not experienced in flower arrangements. You can cut the gladioli flowers and put them in a vase just by themselves and they will look beautiful.
If you have some experience you can use the gladioli in arrangements with other flowers and make awesome designs.
It’s also important to note that when harvesting your flowers, don’t cut all the leaves from the plant. The plants require the leaves to make food which will be stored in the corms to support next years’ growth.
Check this post on Simple Tips For Fall Planting.
Gladioli are incredible flowers. I love them because they are easy to grow but also because they produce beautiful flowers that come in many different colors. Whether you will grow them in the garden or containers make sure to give them a try.
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