Gladiolus is a summer blooming plant that is planted in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 10 in the spring. In zones 3 to 7, they must be dug up in the fall and stored until the next spring. Gladioluses have underground root stems called corms, which are commonly classified as bulbs. There are many varieties of gladioluses, including the hybrid plum tart, which blooms majestic purple flowers.
Prepare a planting site in full sun. Turn over the top foot of your soil bed and mix in several inches of sand to create a well-draining flower bed with sandy loam, which is ideal for plum tart gladioluses.
Dig holes with a trowel deep enough so that the top of the bulbs (corms) are 2 to 4 inches beneath the top of the soil. Space bulbs about 6 inches apart.
Set the bulbs with the tips facing up. If you cannot tell which side is up, as is often the case with plum tart gladioluses, then plant them on their sides. They will adjust themselves as they grow to face the right direction.
Back fill the soil and lightly pack it down with your hands. Then, water the bulbs about an inch of water.
Control weeds and help retain water with several inches of mulch, such as pine needles or bark mulch.