The Simplified Guide to Growing Gladiolus Bulbs

These classic flower spikes have been embellishing mid-summer temples and gardens for generations.

Nowadays, gardeners can choose from a series of flower forms, colors and heights, so there is undoubtedly a gladiolus for everybody’s taste buds.

Gladiolus bulbs are generally grouped by flower size right into categories from mini to giant.

One of the most widely used 3 to 4 feet tall sets come in different colors: garnet red, hot pink, yellow, green, cream, coral and even green.

This type of gladiolus includes 20-inch tall floras on corms that are winter hardy to USDA zone 5.


A lot of gardeners growing gladiolus to use them as flowers, they can also be glamorous plants in an annual backyard with zinnias, lavatera, and celosia.

Wish to experimentation with color? Try out some boldly colored bulbs, Try Growing gladiolus bulb.

 Growing Gladiolus & Caring For It

Gladiolus are inherited from South Africa and grow best on sunny sites in sandy loam soil with very good water drainage.

Any soil that’s good for cultivating veggies is equally excellent for gladiolus. Mix compost into planting beds in spring to aid with water drainage and fertility.

Gladiolus Bulbs growing

Gladiolus bulbs don’t compete effectively with other plants or weeds, therefore, to get better results, better keep the area around them open. 

Gladiolus can be planted about fourteen days before the last expected spring frost. It will take 70 to 90 days from the day of planting until the blooming.

For a persistent crop of flower spikes, plant a couple of corms every two weeks until early summer. Plant corms 2 to 6 inches deep, depending on their size, and cover with two inches of soil.

Gladiolus flower

Make corms 5 inches apart in rows or groups of 10 to 15 corms. The moment the plants are about 6 inches tall, stack up the soil across the base of the plant to help support the stem.

Apply a water-soluble fertilizer about 4 to 6 inches away from your stalks when the plants are 6 to ten inches tall.

Apply another application as soon as the blossom spikes begin to get their color. Keep the plants weed-free and mulched with a 2 to a 4-inch thick layer of bark mulch, wood shavings or straw. Keep the plants well-watered to give the largest flowers.

The Simplified Guide to Growing Gladiolus Bulbs 1

Tall sets of plants will mostly require stake support to prevent the flower spikes from flopping over when it is windy.

Hilling the soil will help, but staking specific blossom spikes or building a grid with stakes and strings are the most effective strategies to keep flower stalks upright. Single stem supports are perfect.

support for gladiolus stem

          Single-Stem Supports are ideal for gladiolus.


If you are growing gladiolus to cut blossoms for bouquets, blossom spikes should be trimmed on a slant when the lowest flowers on the stalk start to get their color.

When trimming the flower stalk, it’s better to leave at least four leaves onto the plant to nourish the corm for the next season’s blooms. Ditch the cut end of the flower spike in plain water immediately after cutting it.

Gladiolus Bulbs

Because they’re great in bouquets, gladiolus creates a fine accession to this cutting garden above.


In USDA zones 7 and 8, mulch gladiolus beds contain a layer of hay or straw for winter protection. In USDA zones 6 and 5 areas, except for the hardy gladiolus sets, dig up the corms for winter storage before the first frost.

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Clean off corms, slice the stalk over half an inch of the corm, and allow them to cure for a couple of weeks at a warm, airy location.

Once dried, remove and discard the older corm along with any smaller cormels. Store the huge, new corms in plastic mesh totes in the living room where temperatures remain in 35 to 50 degrees F. Plant gladiolus corms once again in the spring for another year of exquisite blossoms.