Gladiolus, one of the most popular ornamental flowers, stands for strength and moral integrity. The gorgeous and vibrant spikes of the flower are believed to symbolize infatuation. However, the glory of fabulous gladiolus doesn’t stop at that only, but is said to evoke the drama of Roman Gladiators as well. The history of gladiolus spans from Africa to Mediterranean. With the history as rich as its striking color, who wouldn’t be tempted to grow them in their garden? Almost everyone I guess! In case you are also one of them, go through the following lines and explore tips on how to grow the gorgeous gladiolus in your garden.
Growing Gladiolus Plant
- The best time to plant gladiolus would be spring. When the soil is good enough to plant sweet corn, you can plant gladiolus as well. The plant prefers warm soil, so you can start the planting process in mid-May. Gladiolus comes in a variety of colors and you can choose one as per the climate in your area as well as your preference. Blue Isle gladiolus exhibits magnificent blue flowers and hardy gladiolus has rick pink hue.
- Choose a site that gets enough sunlight. The plants will be sturdier if they get good sunlight. In addition, well-drained soil is necessary for successful gladiolus cultivation. Create a raised bed or loosen the soil to the depth of little more than twelve inches and remove the gravel and stones. Work in the mulch, to loosen soil and to make it more fertile. The ideal pH for gladiolus would be 6.5 to 7.5.
- Gladiolus grows from bulb-like storage roots, called corms, which should be dug up and stored until the time of plantation comes. While choosing the corms, go for ones that are strong and free of soft spots and contusion. If you want large-size blooms, you need to buy corms that are 1¼ inches or more in diameter. Also, go for plump and tall corms, rather than wide and flat ones.
- Dig holes 3 to 6 inches deep. The larger corms should be planted at the deeper end of the range. Leave a space of two to four inches between each corm. You can plant gladioli in groups of seven of same hybrid for best results. Gladiolus will bear a little crowding, but they tend to get bigger if spaced out much. Plant corms with their pointed side up, with the space about four times as their diameter.
- Gladiolus doesn’t need much water, as it is a Mediterranean plant. However, you need to keep the plant moist and water it occasionally, if the season is dry. In addition, when the foliage appears, you need to water it regularly. An inch of water per week should be ideal. Also, keep removing the weeds, to eliminate any competition for the plant.
- You need to mulch Gladiolus plant as well, to retain the moisture and conserve water. Apply a layer of mulch straw or glass clippings, which will not only nourish the plant, but also will keep the weeds at bay. A little fertilizer can go a along way keep the plant healthy. Since gladioli are susceptible to pest, it is advisable to use a good quality pesticide as well.
- You can harvest Gladiolus within three to four months, after you have planted the corms. Harvest them in the morning or night, before the top blossoms opens. While picking them. snip back the spent blossoms. If you live in a temperate climate, leave the bulbs after the flowers have died down. You can mulch them to provide nutrients. If properly taken care of, gladiolus can return year after year.