5 tips for growing gorgeous gladiolus

June 23, 2015

Sometimes called sword lily, gladiolus produce spikes of large silky blossoms that are gorgeous in cut flower arrangements. Many gardeners grow glads, for cutting, in their vegetable gardens. They grow from round corms, and new corms develop above the old ones. The flowers come in all sizes — from miniature to giant — with plenty of colour choices.

5 tips for growing gorgeous gladiolus

1. For blooms that last all season

  • To ensure that you have gladiolus blooming all summer, plant a few corms every two weeks, starting at about the time of the last spring frost. The plants will bloom about two months later.
  • If you plan to use your glads primarily as cut flowers, choose colours that will work well with your home's interior décor.
  • Stop planting 10 weeks before your first fall frost is expected.

2. Stagger them

  • Don't plant in rows when using glads in flowerbeds.
  • The plants look better in groups of five, and the shelter provided by surrounding plants will help hold them upright.

3. Stake the giants

  • Stake large-flowered gladiolus, which can grow 1.2 to 1.8 metres tall, with a soft cloth tied to a bamboo cane.
  • Place the stake behind the flower spike as soon as you can tell which way the florets will face.

4. Hasten blooming

  • Gladiolus florets open from the lower part of the stem upward.
  • Pinch out the top bud to speed the opening of flowers all along the spike.
  •  Or, allow the florets to open naturally and pinch off the lowest ones as they begin to shrivel.

5. Dig corms

  • Dig corms when the leaves begin to turn yellow — usually about six weeks after the plants bloom.
  • Lift the plants carefully with a spade, shake off the soil and set them aside to dry for a few days. Then cut the leaves to five cm before storing the corms in a cool, dry place.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu