How & When To Plant Gladioli Bulbs What You Need To Know!
Gladiolus flowers are tall and towering, making for a bold and show-stopping centerpiece to any garden or flower arrangement. With their striking architectural structure and wide range of colors, gladioli make perfect garden borders and vase pieces. While buying these amazing blooms might bring some instant satisfaction, nothing quite beats being able to go into your backyard or garden and cut beautifully bright flowers you grew yourself.
Gladioli are an amazing choice to mix into your flower garden when your perennials are still reaching maturity. Gladioli are relatively easy to grow, and they make excellent cutting flowers. With very little work needed when compared to other bulbs, gladiolus flowers burst into bloom during the summer and decorate your garden with delightfully tall and colorful flowers. But how do you plant and grow gladiolus flowers in your own garden?
About Gladiolus Flowers
Gladiolus flowers are a genus of perennial plants (perennials can be regrown each spring) in the iris family. These tall, striking beauties are bulbous plants but don’t grow from a bulb. Instead, gladiolus flowers come from corms, a bulb’s closely related cousin.
The tall, spikey orchid-like blooms are sometimes called sword lilies due to their long, blade-like appearance. The flowering plants usually end up between 2 and 5 feet tall with flowers that can range from less than 3 inches to more than 5 inches across. The distinct narrow blade, or sword shape, of their deep green leaves gives them their name.
Gladiolus flowers come in such a wide variety that you are bound to find the perfect type for your garden vision. There are around 300 species of gladioli, ranging from flowers with plain petals to frilly and or ruffled petals. The floral displays come in every color: red, purple, pink, orange, yellow, white, and even multi-colored petals.
Depending on the species used to create the gladiolus hybrid, the blooms can take on three distinct shapes.
Most gladiolus hybrids come from these three parent species, but each type makes for a stunning floral arrangement.
Planting Gladiolus Flowers
Gladiolus flowers are versatile. You can plant them in your garden, raised flower beds, or large containers. For your gladioli plants to produce the best blooms, they need to be planted in full sun. While you can plant gladioli bulbs in shady areas, the colors will be less vibrant overall. They need 6–8 hours of direct sunlight per day to achieve the ultimate vibrancy.
When planting gladioli, you will need to loosen your soil, rake out the rocks and other debris, and try to add compost or manure. While not necessary, compost and manure will enrich the soil and improve the soil’s water retention, permeability, drainage, and aeration. Gladioli have the best performance in soil that is well-drained.
Lastly, depending on the size of the bulb, you need to space your bulbs 6–10 inches apart in your garden. If you have larger bulbs, they will need to be planted deeper into your soil, but on average, your gladioli bulbs should be about 2 to 6 inches deep.
When To Plant Gladioli Bulbs
Even if you have the perfect soil, you need to know when to plant gladioli bulbs. Gladioli are summer flowering plants; therefore, they need to be planted in warmer weather to give them the best bang for their buck.
You should only plant gladioli bulbs in the spring after the frost has passed and your soil has warmed up to around 55°F (13°C). If you want continuous blooming flowers through summer and early fall, you will want to plant your bulbs every 10 days to rotate their growth cycle. Depending on the variety of gladiolus you choose to plant, you’ll have flowered blooms within 60 to 90 days.
How To Plant Gladioli Bulbs
If you want to add your gladiolus flowers to your backyard garden or flower beds, you can follow these steps:
How To Plant Gladioli Bulbs in a Pot or Container
If you want to plant your flowers in a specific pot or container rather than in the flower bed or garden, here are a few steps you need to take:
Growing and Cutting Gladiolus Flowers
Once your flowers are planted, you may be wondering how to keep them healthy and growing throughout the season.
Some of Our Favorite Gladioli Varieties
Since gladiolus flowers come in such a wide variety, we wanted to share some of our personal favorites with you. The size and color variations produce creative flower displays and beautifully unique flower gardens.
The jester variety offers ruffled petals with deep red centers, and the black beauty gladiolus has large, deep maroon petals. If you’re after some lighter colors, the white prosperity gladioli produce snow-white blossoms, and the pastel mix creates a pretty contrast of pink, white, yellow, and peach.
If you want something more adventurous, you can also go for the parrot mix, which produces contrasting color petals with different colored throats. No matter what you pick, there is a color and petal-type just for you.
Fun Facts about Gladiolous Flowers
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Featured Image Credit: Capri23auto, Pixabay