kick your shoes off and come on in …

Gladiolus Plant Care Guide ~ Varieties

0_Gladiolus_italicus_-_Samoëns_(1)

Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae).[1] It is sometimes called the ‘Sword lily’, but usually by its generic name (plural gladioli, gladioluses, glads).[2]

The genus is distributed in Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Tropical Africa and South Africa. The center of diversity of the genus is located in the Cape Floristic Region, where most species were discovered.[3] The genera Oenostachys, Homoglossum, Anomalesia and Acidanthera, traditionally considered independent entities, currently are included in Gladiolus.[4]

Species

The genus Gladiolus has been divided into many sections. Where possible, the sections have been indicated. Most species, however, are only tentatively placed.

************************

Botanical name: Gladiolus @ Old Farmer’s Almanac

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Any

Flower color: Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, White, Multicolor

Bloom time: Summer

Gladiolus is a perennial favored for its beautiful, showy flowers. Its flowers grow on tall spikes and are often found in cutting gardens or in the back along the border (because they are tall). Gladioli have many different colored flowers, and grow between 2 to 6 feet in height. It’s good for cut flowers.

Planting

  • Plant gladiolus bulbs in the spring once danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed.
  • Ready your garden by using a garden fork or tiller and loosen the soil to about 12 to 15 inches deep. After loosening the soil, mix in a 2– to 4–inch layer of compost.
  • Plant your bulbs 4 to 8 inches deep with the pointed end facing up. Space the corms 3 to 6 inches apart. Water the corms thoroughly.
  • Gladioli like well-drained, light soil and full sun.
  • If you’re planting tall varieties, be sure to stake them at planting time. Be careful not to damage the corms with the stakes.
  • It takes about 90 days from the time gladioli are planted to root, grow, bloom, and store enough energy for the next season.

Care

  • Put a 2– to 4–inch layer of mulch around your gladioli to keep your soil moist and help prevent weeds.
  • If you get less than 1 inch of rain a week, water your plants regularly throughout the summer. Otherwise, water them moderately when in growth to keep the soil moist.
  • Remove the faded/dead flowers to ensure continuous growth. Once all the flowers on a stalk have gone, cut off the stalk.
  • Be sure to leave the plant intact so it can mature and rejuvenate the corms for the next season.
  • If you live in zones 7 or 8, put down a layer of hay or straw for winter protection.
  • Corms should be dug before the last frost in you live in zone 7 or ones colder.

Pests

  • Gladiolus corm rot (Fusarium)
  • Gray mold
  • Viruses
  • Aster yellows
  • Spider mites
  • Thrips
  • Aphids

Harvest/Storage

  • At the end of the season, cut the stalks to within an inch of the corms, then leave them in a warm, airy location for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Remove and throw away the oldest bottom corms and store the new corms in plastic, mesh bags in a well–ventilated room. The temperature of the room should be between 35º and 45ºF. Replant these corms in the spring.

Recommended Varieties

  • Candyman, for its beautiful deep pink flowers
  • Dream’s End, which makes a good back border plant because its flower spike is up to 3 feet long (and it has pretty light orange flowers with large yellow centers)
  • Prins Claus, which has white flowers with splashes of pink on its petals

 


 

******************

See Also …

Gladiolus Planting Guide

Gladiolus @ National Gardening Association

GROWING GLADIOLUS

 

 

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Tips to Keep up With Your Garden in June | THE PERFECT GARDEN HOSE

  2. Pingback: August Birth Flower ~ Gladiolus | Auntie Dogma's Garden Spot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s