Gladiolus also known as sword lilies are easy to grow, inexpensive and come in wide range of vivid colors. They are a striking addition to borders and flower beds and make great cut flowers for dramatic arrangements.
How to grow gladiolus
For best bloom plant them in full sun
Gladiolus prefer well-drained, sandy soil, rich in organic material with a ph 6.7-7. Plant gladiolus corms 3 times as deep as they are tall about 4 inches deep and 6-8 inches apart. Taller varieties can be planted deeper for added support. Plant in rows, group or masses. At time of planting add a 5-10-5 fertilizer into the soil for continued bloom.
Best time to plant
In cooler climates plant when all danger of frost is over. You can start a few weeks earlier. Start in early May when soil is workable and then every 2 weeks for continued bloom throughout the summer. Depending on the variety and cultivar, gladiolus bloom 60-120 days from time of planting.
Make sure they get at least 1 inch of water during a dry spell and add 2″ mulch around the plant to help retain soil moisture.
Where to plant
Since glads come in varied sizes, taller varieties which can get up to 4 ft tall should be planted against a fence or wall/ house for support. They may also require staking to keep them from falling over.
Short or tall gladiolus make great cut flowers. Cut the flower stem when the lower 2-3 florets begin to show color. Use a sharp knife and cut the stem on an angle leaving at least 2-4 leaves. Place the stems vertically in water. TheyÂ can last up to 2 weeks.
Gladilous can be used as vertical accent in large arrangements. A composite of individual florets are used to make a “glamelia” a bouquet that resembles a large camelia.
In colder regions, the corms should be lifted after frost blackens the foliage.
In milder climates zone 7 and up, glads can be left in the ground year round.
More info on winter care: http://hortchat.com/info/gladiolus