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Gladiolus Garden Tip

August 20, 2010

Our Gladioli at TBG are scattered throughout the Color Garden and Cottage Garden sections of the Perennial Garden, they come in a wide range of colors and are blooming now as they begin in July and will actually bloom all the way until frost. The flowers make some of the best cut flowers for arranging, as they do not wilt as fast as many other blooms.

The plant shoots from a corm, not a bulb. A corm is a type of modified underground stem where a bulb contains a set of modified underground leaves.

Glads do need full bright sun to grow as they will thrive well even in just part sun. You can plant the corms each year as early as April and as late as June. Plant the corm just twice the width of

the corm itself into the soil, so usually it should just be covered in 1 to 3 inches of top soil depending of the Gladiolus variety and size of the corm.

Once the plant produces a flower, it only lasts a week or so and it is done for the season. So to make it look like the Glads are continuing to bloom throughout the rest of the season the trick is to plant the corms at different times weeks apart from each other. So plant one or two corms in early April, and then plant one or two more corms one or two weeks later, and space this out through June or until you run out of corms to plant. This way, the individual Glads will mature at different times throughout the season and not all be flowering at once in a short period of time.

Of course, the large and heavy Gladiolus blooms may make the plant a bit top heavy so usually staking the plant is necessary.

In November, remember to dig the corms out of the ground as they should be protected and stored in a cool dry place safe from freezing over the winter months. Some Gladioli varieties are hardy enough to survive outside in the ground if we have

a mild winter, but it is usually best to bring them in.

The mother corm that was planted in the spring and produced the flower actually shrivels up and dies. So what you are digging up in the fall is one or more baby corms and you can usually find evidence of the mother corm sticking to the bottom of the new corms. You can go ahead and remove the mother corm and separate any other new corms before they get planted outside again.

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