IMG_4463Surprise yourself this summer by growing beautiful gladiolus that can be used for fresh cut flower displays in your home. Gladiolus don’t always have the best reputation, often the first thing a person has to say about gladiolus, is “oh those are the funereal flowers,” right?  Gladiolus are not just for funerals, they make stunning displays, especially when a group of brightly colored blossoms engage a large vase in the center of a room. They are also a nice vertical accent to add to your mixed bouquets. If you want to try your hand at growing gladiolus this year, here are a couple quick tips to help you succeed.

  • In order to extend the bloom time of your gladiolus we suggest planting them in a succession of weeks. For example if your temperature is warm enough in May to plant the corms, start the first week of May by planting one row of gladiolus, the second week of May plant another row, you can plant in succession over 6 weeks’ time in order to extend the time of bloom from your gladiolus.
  • The biggest complaint gardeners seem to have with gladiolus is the fact that the flowers get too tall, the stems bend and tip over and therefore the flowers require staking. If you are planting the gladiolus in rows you can use some form of stake (bamboo stakes/dogwood twigs/ metal posts) attach clear fishing line or heavy twine to each end, while running the line down the rows in order to keep the flowers upright. If you are planning  your gladiolus in clumps here is a great resource for staking from Melinda Myers.
  • Gladioli are grown for their flowers, nothing more, nothing less. To ensure the biggest and best blooms, you will want to fertilize the blooms with a bulb booster. This can be added to the hole or row at the base of each bulb.
  • Be sure to plant deep, at least 6” this will help to hold the flowers and leaves upright once they begin to bloom.
  • Gladiolus prefer to be planted in sandy soil. If you do not have sandy soil, there is no need to worry, as long as the soil drains well you will have many healthy and happy gladioli to bring in for cut flowers.

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Gladioli are easy to grow, and if you have enough space they can become a great resource for extra income if you wanted to sell the flowers at your local farmers market. If you just love to enjoy them for their bright and bold blooms, follow the advice above and you will see great results.

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