Back to blog

Tips for Growing and Using Gladiolus

Tips for Growing and Using Gladiolus

Not only do gladiolus produce some of the most beautiful flowers in your garden but they are also super easy to grow and maintain. There is no need to prune or stake them and they will bloom flawlessly without gardeners adding any fertilizer to the soil or needing to deadhead them.

Growing Tip No.1

You can plant your gladiolus bulbs generously as they are inexpensive, and each bulb will give you between 3-to-5-foot stalks with 10 to 12 blossoms. Because you are able to purchase these even on a budget you have room to experiment. Trying planting different varieties and include a rainbow of colors as well as several textures such as ruffled petals.

Growing Tip No.2

As well as getting creative with the varieties you use you can also show some artistic flare in planting locations. These flowers allow you to plant a good number of bulbs in a small space due to the foliage growing upwards rather than outwards. If you are planting in raised or a typical garden bed, then we suggest planting the bulbs in a grid with approximately 5 inches apart and 4 inches deep. If your bed is 2’ x 4’ you can expect to fit around 50 bulbs.

Growing Tip No.3

You can expect to see your gladiolus bloom within 90 days from when you plant them. If you decide to plant them all at the same time, they will bloom at the same time. So, why not plant them in batches every 2 weeks so that your displays last longer. This way you will be picking your gladiolus until mid-September.

Growing Tip No.4

Most gladiolus have any easy time standing up by themselves but if you feel a little extra support is needed then go ahead. The most effective way to keep stems straight is the use thin bamboo canes and twine. We would suggest considering this if your gladiolus is affected by heavy winds.

Tips for Growing and Using Gladiolus

Growing Tip No. 5

Knowing when to pick your gladiolus is extremely important as picking too early can potentially cause the flowers stop maturing. A sure sign that the plant is ready for harvest is when the lower 2 to 3 blooms have opened.

Top tip: For the best results you can remove the very top 2 buds on the stalk, then cut the stems and place them directly into water in a cool location.

Growing Tip No. 6

The gladiolus bulbs are winter hardy in zones 7 to 10 but if you live in a colder area, we suggest digging the bulbs out in fall and keeping them indoors. If you decide to bring your bulbs in for the winter, then you will want to cut the stems while leaving plenty of foliage behind to help the bulbs replenish for the following year.

You can also treat them flowers as annuals and purchase new bulbs each spring. After-all, as we mentioned in our first point, gladiolus bulbs are inexpensive.

Growing Tip No.7

Gladiolus are known for being elegant showstoppers, but this can also mean that it is intimidating when you go to add them to vases or bouquets. The trick is the shorten the stems more than you think. Cut both ends of the stem by a few inches to create an elegant orchid-like impression. Finally, get creative when pairing these sophisticated flowers by matching them with dahlias, lilies and even roses!

Meet Ben, our Flower Bulb Specialist
Meet Ben, our Flower Bulb Specialist

Gardening challenges?

Send me your questions! or read more about me.