- How to Plant Liatris Bulbs
- How to Grow Gladiolus From Seed
- How to Plant Brodiaea
- How to Cut Gladiolus
- How to Divide Gladiolus
- How to Plant Liatris Spicata
- How to Plant Plum Tart Gladiolus Bulbs
- How to Propagate Oxalis
- How to Care for Freesia after Blooming
- How to Plant Tigridia
- How Deep Do I Plant Gladiola Bulbs?
- How to Care for Freesias
- When to Plant Crocus
Liatris--commonly called blazing star--is a large blooming plant that can reach two to three feet high. The tall liatris flowers are used frequently as cut flowers in floral arrangements. Liatruises have root structures that are often referred to as bulbs, but in fact, they are not true bulbs--they are corms. Plant your liatris bulbs (corms), from mid-spring until summer in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Choose a planting site that is in full sun. The soil should be on the dry side and should not hold water after hard rains. If you notice that a puddle remains on top of the planting site after a few hours of a good rain, till in a few inches of sand to the top 12 inches of your soil bed.
Plant the liatris bulbs with the roots pointing down. Look carefully for small fleshy roots so you plant the bulbs the correct way. Liatrises should be planted about 2 inches below the soil.
Backfill the soil, water it and tamp it down to avoid any air pockets. Do not mulch over the site since liatrises prefer dry soil and mulch is used to help retain water.
Space multiple liatrises about 1-2 feet apart, which is common in most gardens. However, farmers who grow liatrises for cut flower sales, plant about four to six liatris corms per square foot.
Fill a pot with a moistened seed-starting potting mixture. These mixtures usually consist of peat, perlite and other non-soil mediums.
Sow one seed per pot, placing it on the surface of the potting mixture. Cover the seed with a thin layer of soil no more than 1/8 inch.
Fill a shallow tray with 1 to 2 inches of water. Set the pot in the water and allow the potting mix to absorb the moisture until the soil surface becomes wet. Empty the remaining water from the tray.
Cover the pot with a plastic bag to help retain soil moisture during sprouting. Set the pot in a warm, 75 to 80 degree F room to germinate.
Remove the plastic bag once the seeds germinate. Move the pots to a sunny window and water them when the soil surface begins to dry.
Move the pots outdoors to a warm, sunny area once all frost danger is past. Allow the plants grow in the pots until the foliage dies back naturally in fall.
Remove the corms from the pots once the foliage dies back. Store the corms in a mesh bag in a dry, 40 degree F location. Transplant them outside in spring when all frost danger is past.
Choose a location in full sun and improve the planting bed so it is suitable for growing brodiaea. Turn over your soil to a depth of 12 inches. Then, mix in several inches of humus (e.g, compost, peat) to make the planting bed rich in nutrients and well draining.
Dig holes or a trench that is deep enough so the top of the brodiaea corms are 5 inches beneath the soil.
Place the corms in individual holes or in a trench. Multiple brodiaea corms should be spaced 4 inches apart. The tips should be facing up, and the bottom, which may have some fleshy roots protruding from it, should be facing down. If you can’t tell which way is which, place the corms on their sides and they will adjust themselves.
Backfill the soil and pack it down with your hands so that the soil is firm and not filled with air pockets. Water well and cover with a couple inches of mulch if you live in USDA zones 5 to 6 and are planting your corms in the fall.
Grasp the gladiolus spike, or stalk, between the second and fourth leaves. Ideally, four leaves should remain on the portion of the stalk still attached to the plant, recommends the University of Missouri Extension. Select a stalk that has between one and three open blooms; the remaining buds will bloom after cutting.
Cut the gladiolus stalk diagonally with garden shears.
Place the gladiolus stalk in a tall vase filled with warm water. Keep the stalks in a vertical position until you use them in an arrangement.
Move the vase to a cool area that receives little to no light for two to three hours prior to placing the gladiolus stalk in an arrangement, recommends North Dakota State University Extension.
Dig up the corms after the first frost with a shovel or garden fork. Carefully dig out the soil approximately 2 inches away from the masses of crowns in a large circle while being careful not to injure other nearby clumps. Push the fork or shovel under the clump to dislodge it.
Shake or brush off the excess soil from the corms back into the hole to expose the outer edges of the clump you are working on. Move the clump to a workbench or table where you can separate the corms.
Separate the corms by snapping them apart by hand. Remove new corms from the top of old corms and break older corms off of one another. Discard any rotten, disfigured or unusually small corms. Cut any remaining foliage back to about 2 inches above the corms with a pair of handheld bypass pruners.
Dry the best corms on a clean cloth in an unheated area with indirect lighting. Distribute the corms evenly and allow them to dry for two to three weeks. Brush any loose dirt from the dried corms and store them in a well-ventilated place with temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the garden bed in spring after the last expected frost date in your area. Choose a well-draining bed in full sun. Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed and till it in to 8 inches to improve drainage.
Sow corms, which resemble small bulbs, with the pointed sides up in 5-inch-deep holes. Cover each corm with soil and firm it lightly with your hands. Space corms 2 to 4 inches apart in clusters or rows.
Water weekly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. After the plant begins blooming, allow the soil surface to dry slightly between waterings.
Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the plants to preserve moisture and prevent weeds. Spread 4 inches of straw mulch over the bed if winter mulching is required.
Cut off the foliage with sharp shears once it has yellowed after the first frost and dispose of it.
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.
Gladiolus are among the most popular of flowers grown for cutting. Each corm sends up an upright cluster of stiff leaves. A flower spike appears late in the season, with flowers borne one above another, all usually facing the same way. Through hybridization, hundreds of garden varieties have been produced, and gardeners can find flowers in almost any color except true blue. There are varieties that are hardy as far north as zone 7, but most gardeners above zone 9 will have to dig and store the bulbs over the winter.
Gladiolus are very popular as cut flowers. The best way to cut the flower is to slide a knife blade between the leaves, cutting the stem well below the first flower but leaving most of the leaves to mature normally and so provide food for the bulb. Cut just before the flower opens for longer lasting arrangements. Succession planting will allow you to have cut flowers throughout the season. Glads also make great container plants and can serve as accents in the perennial beds or annual borders. They look best planted in masses.
Plant gladiolus in a sunny location with plenty of moisture. Place the corms 6 to 8 inches apart and 6 to 8 inches deep. If not planted deep enough they are likely to fall over when heavily loaded with flowers.
Loosen the soil beneath the corms well so that roots can penetrate easily. Work bone meal into the soil before planting. They will need a side-dressing when the flower spikes are forming.
Lifting Before the first frost, lift the corms and cut off the tops close to the corm. Spread the corms in a cool, shady place to dry. If drying indoors or in an area with poor air circulation, consider running a fan. Poor air circulation encourages rot and mildew.
Once the corms have dried they should be dusted clean and stored in dark place in dry wood shavings or peat moss. Check bulbs periodically through the winter for signs of softening or rotting. Discard any questionable bulbs.
Move the oxalis plant to a cool, dry location after blooming when the plant begins to die back. The plant will go into a dormant stage for one to three months. The purple-leaf variety will come out of dormancy after one month.
Remove the plant from the growing container to divide the corms as soon as new growth appears. Gently separate the root corms by pulling them apart to create new plants.
Plant the divided corms in growing containers with drainage holes. Fill the container with sterile potting soil that is airy for good drainage. Make sure the bulb is covered with soil equal to two times the height of the bulb.
Water the plants well with warm water after planting to stimulate new growth. Water the plants once the top layer of soil becomes dry to the touch.
Fertilize the plant with a water-soluble fertilizer and move it to a sunny location to continue plant growth. Continue to fertilize every two weeks during the growth period of the plant.
Acidantheras send up tall spikes of powerfully fragrant, creamy white flowers that open in sequence from the bottom to the top. Plants grow up to 3-1/2 feet tall, and the flowers are up to 4 inches across. The cream-colored flowers have red-brown markings, and bloom from August until October.
For best effect, group your plants in clusters in an area of the garden where their fragrance will be appreciated. They also make excellent cut flowers.
Once all danger of frost has passed, plant the corms in soil that has been enriched with compost or well-rotted manure. Choose a location in full sun that is sheltered from strong winds. Space the corms 6 to 9 inches apart and plant 4 inches deep. Give them a small dose of bulb fertilizer when they break ground and again in about a month.
Acidantheras need a long growing season, and in zones north of 6 it's a good idea to plant the corms indoors in pots about a month before last frost to give them a head start. Transfer the plants to the garden without breaking the soil balls, or plant pot and all in the garden. Cover plants if fall frosts arrive before flowering stops.
In zones 6 and colder, acidantheras must be dug up and stored in a frost-free area over winter. When the foliage dies back in the fall, dig up the corms, shake off the soil, and let them dry for a few days in an airy place out of the sun. Save the baby corms, too, but keep in mind that they will require two years to reach flowering size. Cut the tops back to 2 inches from the corms and pull off the dried remains of the previous season's corms. Store them over the winter in dry peat moss, perlite or vermiculite.
If the corms are left in the ground in Zones 7-10, lift and divide them every three or four years in early spring. Propagate from the small corms and cormels that develop at the base of the large corms. Plant the cormels in rich soil where they can build and grow. They should reach flowering size in two years.
Choose a planting location with full sunlight for the best flowering or place the freesia container in a south-facing window. Add aged manure to the garden soil until the soil feels crumbly to the touch prior to planting the corms.
Dig a hole approximately 5 inches deep in the soil. Set the corm into the soil and firm the soil over the top of the corm. Space each corm 4 inches apart.
Water the corms well. Freesia plants enjoy moist soil conditions and do not tolerate drought well. Continue watering the freesia to keep the soil from drying out until the plant ceases to flower. Once flowering is over, discontinue watering.
Fertilize the freesia plant every two weeks when it's actively growing and blooming. Choose a high-potassium, water-soluble fertilizer. Follow the directions on the label for fertilizer applications. Consider diluting the recommended solution in half to avoid overfeeding the plant.
Clip away spent freesia flower heads using pruning clippers to encourage new flower production. Discard the flowerheads.
Turn over the top 12 inches of soil with a garden fork or tiller and mix in about 3 or 4 inches of organic matter such as compost, peat moss or sand. The soil is now more suitable for tigridias. Tigridias like a moist, well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist, no soggy.
Dig a hole 3 inches deep and twice as wide as the tigridia corms. If planting the tigridia in rows, dig a long trench to make planting easier.
Set the tigridia corms in the holes or trenches, spacing them about 6 inches apart with the tips facing up and the fleshy roots on the bottom. If you can’t figure out which side is up, lay the corms on their sides and they will adjust to the proper position as they grow.
Backfill with soil and tamp it down so that it is firm and has no air pockets.
Water the tigridias well and cover them with about 2 inches of mulch, such as bark or wood chips, to help the soil retain water.
Bulbs and Corms
"Bulb" is a general term used to describe fleshy underground organs that some plants use to store nutrients during winter. A gladiolus bulb is technically a corm, which is a mass of tissues at the base of a stem that stores nutrients.
Gladiolus corms are planted in late winter or early spring. The North Dakota State University Agriculture and University Extension says soil type and size of corms determine the spacing and depth of planting. In general, corms are planted deeper in sandy soils and shallower in heavy soils.
The extension advises planting large corms 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart; medium corms 4 to 5 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart; small corms 3 inches deep and 2 inches apart; and cormels (pea-sized, newly formed corms) 1 to 2 inches deep and 1 to 2 inches apart.
Gladiolus corms must be dug up and stored each fall, then replanted in the spring after danger of frost has passed.
Plant freesia corms in the fall in southern climates and the spring in northern climates. Choose an area with well drained soil that receives full sun. Space each corm approximately 2 inches apart and plant 1 to 1.5 inches deep.
Keep soil moist once the plant begins showing leaves. Water regularly 1 or 2 times a week, not allowing the soil to dry out, until after the plant begins to die back in the fall.
Fertilize in the fall after the blooms begin to fade with a complete general-purpose flower fertilizer. Fertilizers formulated for irises work well with freesia.
Cover the corms with straw mulch before the first frost to help retain warmth. If your area receives constant hard frosts, dig up the corms or plant in pots that can be moved inside.
Remove plants infected by mites immediately. Plant freesia in a new location the following year. Removal is the only sure way to deal with these pests.
The crocus is a hardy perennial with colorful flowers. Plant crocus corms in the fall in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil at a depth of 5 inches.