How to Grow Gladiolus

Overview

Gladiolus, with gorgeous tall spikes of large blossoms, is valued for its place in cut-flower arrangements. With cultivars in just about every color and multiple colors, glads, as they are warmly called by fans, grow from corms that must be dug up each year for winter and replanted in spring in cold growing zones. Gladioli are simple to grow in just about every growing zone and thrive in full-sun locations.

Step 1

Purchase corms from a reliable source. You want clean, plump bulb masses for the best plants.

Step 2

Plant corms in midspring in well-draining soil. Gladioli grow best in average soil, so there's no need for extra fertilizer. If weeds can grow in it, so can glads. These tall flowers grow best in full sun but can tolerate late-day shade with no issues.

Step 3

Mound 6-inch hills around the stalks before blooming to help prevent these top-heavy flowers from breaking in the wind.

Step 4

Stake each stalk with a tall stake, securing near the base of the stalk as well as just below the flower.

Step 5

Cut blooms for arrangements with gardening shears in one solid cut and get into water immediately. Gladioli bloom from the bottom up so cut when at least half of the blooms on the stalk are open. If cared for properly with water inside, the rest will open within a few days.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep gladioli away from walls and other structures that can impede air circulation around the plant. Gladioli must be staked with tall stakes. They are not capable of holding their bloom weight on their own.

Things You'll Need

  • Corms
  • Stakes
  • Hand trowel

References

  • Gladiola FAQ
  • Growing Gladiolus

Who Can Help

  • North American Gladiolus Council
Keywords: gladiolus, gladiola, corm

About this Author

Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University, studying education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills, re-using, recycling, and re-inventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.