Flower Gardening: Planting Gladiolus Corms
I am taking on the adventure of flower gardening this year and Gladiolus is one of the flowers that I will be growing. They make a great cut flower and look beautiful in bouquets. Gladiolus are easy to grow and are a hardy plant. They add a lot of height to flower gardens, therefore, they are best placed at the back of a garden area.
Some Notes about Gladiolus
- Gladiolus are grown from corms, not bulbs.
- Gladiolus are one of the August birth flowers.
- Gladiolus are sometimes known as the sword flower because of the shape of their leaves.
- The Gladiolus are known as the rememberance flower.
When to Plant
- Plant the corms in Spring two weeks before the last frost date for your area. You can continue planting the corms every two weeks until mid-July to have continuous blooming Gladiolus all season. Depending on what zone you live in, you may have to dig them up in the autumn season to store for the next season.
How to Plant
- Plant the corms in full sun. The Gladiolus will grow in part shade but the flowers won't be as vibrant and the plant will not grow as well.
- Gladiolus like sandy soil that is well drained. If you live in an area that doesn't have sandy soil, add a little before planting your corms. This allows the soil to drain well so that your bulbs aren't sitting in the wet soggy soil.
- Plant Gladiolus corms three inches apart in clusters. This will provide you with an area that looks lush and full but yet the Gladiolus will still have space to thrive. Set the corm in the hole about 6 inches deep with the pointed end facing up. Cover with soil.
How to Care for Gladiolus
- Water the Gladiolus corms right after planting them. You will then want to water them regularly but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. They need about 1 inch of water a week.
- Once the Gladiolus begin to get taller, you will want to find a way to stake them so that they don't fall over once they begin to flower. Planting them in clusters, as shown in the above photo, does help with keeping them stable but you may still find that you need additional support. A simple wooden stake works well for a support. Gladiolus can grow up to five feet tall.
- Mulch around the Gladiolus to prevent weeds and to help retain moisture.
Now is the time to be planting Gladiolus corms for a beautiful cut garden flower. I will be sharing in the upcoming weeks on how to cut Gladiolus for lovely flower bouquets and then how to dig them up to store them for the Winter season, depending on what zone you live in.