Not Hardy

Gladiolus

I buy my gladiolus as corms from Veseys Seeds. They provide the following information on how to take care of them. They also recommend that the bulbs be planted in groups of a least 6 or more of a single color.

Glads do best in full sun in a light, evenly moist soil. A light application of a low nitrogen fertilizer can be used at planting time. Glads need plenty of water during growth but they also must have good drainage. Plant the corms 6 inches deep, pointed ends up, and 6 inches apart at 2 week intervals. Start planting after the last spring frost and continue until the end of June for a long season of bloom. Staking is usually necessary after the plants are 12 inches high, or you can try hilling up soil around the stems to a height of 6 inches. Deep planting reduces the need for staking.

If you are planting glads in a cutting garden (or stealing a row from your vegetable garden), set the corms at the bottom of a trench 8 inches wide by 8 inches deep, covering them with 2 inches of soil initially, then gradually filling in the trench as the plants grow. When cutting the stems, leave 4 leaves on each stalk. If flowers do not open or are deformed and streaks appear on the leaves, you may have thrips. To control gladiolus thrips spray with a registered pesticide throughout the season or dust bulbs with a bulb dust before storage.

Dig & Store/Overwintering: After the foliage yellows in early fall, dig the corms, cut off the tops and store them in a dry airy place for 3 weeks. Then separate the largest of the new corms that have formed on top of the old withered ones. Store these in bags made from old nylon stockings (for good air circulation) in a cool dry place over winter.”

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