Growing Gladiolus

Latin Name Pronunciation: glad-ee-oh-luhs 

Plant gladiolus corms after the last frost in your area. They prefer full sun, but will grow in part shade, although they may get leggy in shade and need to be staked. "Glads" take 70-100 days from planting to bloom, depending on variety, so be patient. Grow them in clumps in perennial garden beds for a late summer boost of color or in rows to use as cut flowers.

Corms are starchy storage structures, similar to bulbs, which increase vegetatively by forming multiple offsets. Plant flat side down, pointed side up, about 6" deep, in average-to-rich easily worked soil. Press down the soil firmly and water them in when planting. Although moderately drought tolerant, consistent moisture will produce better blooms. Gladiolus are grown as annuals in cold weather zones but corms can be lifted and stored until spring. Digging and storing is recommended even where they are hardy. In fall, when plants die back, carefully dig the corms and cut the stem, leaving an inch attached. Clean off the soil and remains of the old corm, saving the new ones that have formed around the base. Dry corms in a warm dry place with good air circulation. Once dry, store in mesh bags with dry wood shavings in a location that remains dry and cold but doesn't freeze. Replant.

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