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Today’s Flower – Gladiolus

Gladiolus bulbs are one of my father’s favorite. I added them to my garden bed that features flowers from five generations.

Growing perennials means lots of color when you plant gladioli. There is something about a bare piece of ground that suddenly breaks with foliage at an amazing rate and then bursts in a splendid show of flowers a few weeks later.  

Gladiolus are not actually bulbs but are considered perennial corms.How to Grow Gladiolus

Gladiolus is often called a bulb, but it is actually a corm.  See my article to understand the differences in flower bulbs.

Easy to Grow Gladiolus Corms Add Appeal to any Garden Setting

I remember having my lunch outside one year watching each day as these beauties kept getting taller and taller.  There was so much anticipation for the flowers to finally appear.  And they did not disappoint! Gladiolus is one tough heat loving perennial bulb.

A corm is a rounded underground storage organ that is present in plants such as crocuses, gladioli, and cyclamens, consisting of a swollen stem base covered with scale leaves. And flowers of course!

There are so many varieties that can be grown and they are easy in most gardens.  I love gladioli because they make spectacular cut flowers and attract bees and butterflies like crazy to my garden.

Here is how to grow them.

  • Plant gladioli corms in the spring after danger of frost has passed.
  • Loosen the soil to about 12 to 15 inches.  (these are tall plants and need a good root system.
  • Add organic matter to the hold and plant the bulbs about 3-6 inches apart and water well.
  • Glads are best grown in a garden that gets full sun
  • Now is the time to stake if you are planting tall varieties, so that you don’t damage the plant with a stake later.
  • Days to flowering is about 90 days.
  • If you like cut flowers, cut the stems when 1 or two flowers are open. The others will continue to open when place in water.
  • Be sure to leave some of the leaves after cutting the flowers.  The corms need them to provide nutrition for next year’s growth.
  • Zones 7 or 8 need just a layer of hay or straw. If you live in colder zones, you will need to dig up the corms, dry them and store them at 35-45 º F until the spring and then plant again.

Here are some of the gladioli blooms that graced my garden this year.

Yellow gladiolus

This pretty yellow gladiolus was a late bloomer for me this year.  It bloomed in my test garden in late July.yellow gladiolus

Close up of  the yellow one. I was so surprised to see it flowering when my others had yellow gladiolus

American Meadows - Fall Bulbs! Low Prices, Fast Shipping!This beauty had the prettiest combination of white, pink and yellow. The bees loved it!pink white gladiolus

Another pink one from my front border. This bed gets sun all day long and my gladioli bloom beautifully gladiolus

Deep red variety in my test garden. This one did not grow quite as tall as my others but had bigger blooms.Pink Gladiolus

Very lovely deep pink and white one.  Needed staking or it flopped over.

How to grow beautiful gladioliDo you grow gladioli? What are your favorite colors?

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Tuesday 9th of June 2020

I started gladioulis this year both in pots and garden soil. All the corms have grown! Easy to plant. But I noticed that the blooms dry up fast. Is that typical? I have the deep red gladiolus.

Carol Speake

Wednesday 10th of June 2020

All blooms will eventually die off. It depends on what you mean by fast. In my experience, I get a few weeks out of a stalk.


Friday 20th of March 2020

Ollie's is currently selling 20 gladiolas in a bag for $3.50


Wednesday 1st of August 2018

I adore these. What’s not to love about them, right? It’s also my first time planting them, ever, in all my 70 years. The first 4 of 15 corms planted started to bloom the middle of July. It is now the 1st of August and the rest are looking healthy and strong, so I am looking forward to more amazing flowering stalks. I planted 15 of mixed colours and have no idea what surprises I have in store colourwise. I had always thought of them as old fashioned and referred to them as such to my son-in-law when I showed off the first one in bloom. Mr. “Wisenheimer” corrected me and firmly stated that they are not old fashioned, they are “classics”. Never will I call them o.f. again.


Wednesday 1st of August 2018

They are truly a showy flower aren't they? My dad loved them but my mom didn't care for them. I have them in all my garden beds. They make great cut flowers. Carol


Friday 26th of August 2016

Many years ago I filled an old trough with soil and planted some gadioli bulbs They never fail to give me a show. A few years ago I lifted them and split, the bulbs into two further pots, this year the newer bulbs flowered too.


Friday 26th of August 2016

I have them everywhere in my yard. I love to see the long tall stalks just before they bloom. Carol

Martha Andrews

Monday 21st of March 2016

I just got 6 gladiolus bulbs from the dollar store, this will be my first year growing these.


Tuesday 22nd of March 2016

Hope you like them as much as I do Martha. The flowers are so pretty and perfect to bring indoors if you like cut flowers.

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