GLADIOLUS GROWING TIPS

These planting tips have worked with some of our members in the past, if you have other methods you have found successful please feel to leave a comment. You can do this by clicking the “leave a comment” below. Your knowledge will help us grow better glads.


PRE-PLANTING PREP:

  • Bring corms ten days—2 weeks out of cold storage to stimulate and break dormancy. Transfer to an area of normal house temperatures.
  • Peeling off the husks is not strictly necessary, but it does permit inspection of the corm.  DO NOT PLANT CORMS THAT HAVE SOFT OR ROTTEN SPOTS.
  • Each corm has about 6 eyes or potential shoots.  Two or three of these will sprout.  If you wish to grow the biggest, then remove all but the strongest eye, using a paring knife or potato peeler.  It’s a good idea to disinfect the knife regularly in a mild bleach solution

A Q-tip dipped in a mild bleach solution to disinfect the “wound” on the corm works well.

  • Prepare field stakes.  Use a Sharpie “Industrial Strength” permanent ink marker to write variety names on the stakes.  Write on BOTH sides because the ink does tend to fade.
  • Do any Organization of corms according to one’s color scheme in the garden—or  planting areas.


PLANTING TIPS:
Here in southern Alberta, we plant when the May Tree starts to leaf out, and when the soil is dry enough to be worked.  This has been as early as April 15, but generally about April 25 until May 10.  We have found that it’s best to get them in as early as possible.  Glads planted can stand the May frosts, will still sprout (slowly) and if they are out of the ground, can tolerate 2 or 3 degrees of frost.

SOIL PREPARATION

  • The soil should be dug or rototilled to a depth of 7 or 8 inches and then raked level. Using a shovel, trenches can be dug in rows to a depth of 4-5 inches.
  • If you are landscape gardening, dig holes about 12″ in diameter to the above depth for clumps of 5–6.
  • If your soil is reasonably fertile, then fertilizer is probably not necessary before planting.  In the past, for exhibition purposes, we lightly scattered 11-52-0, and Pink Vigoro in the trench, scratched it in and then set the bulb on top of a handful of sand.

PLANTING THE CORMS

  • Place the corms in the row/hole with the base down, with the shoots pointing straight up.
  • One can use Bulb Dust lightly sprinkled over the corms to discourage fungus and to foil cutworms.
  • Soil is then raked in to fill the trench/hole.

Note:  The foregoing could be applied to clump planting, using 5–6 corms per hole.  (An aside, for a more dramatic effect, plant clumps in all the same variety, then the blooms will be finished about the same time, and one can tidy the area, leaving the leaves).

4 thoughts on “GLADIOLUS GROWING TIPS”

  1. Reg, you are a master from whom all of us can learn so much.
    One tip I have from the 2011 season and correct me if I am wrong:
    I placed each corm in a peat pot and then placed in a tray of water until the corm sprouted. When 1″ of green was showing, I covered each corm with soil and continued to monitor the growth. When the glad was 3″ in height, I transplanted out into my trenches and again covered with soil leaving 1″ of greenery above ground level. This gave the glad strength for future support and I was well on my way for earlier blooms!

  2. This is my fourth year of planting glads… here we sit mid august and still no blooms… usually i have had beautiful bouquets around my house for over a month now on a regular basis… anyone know what my issue is?? planted in exactly the same spot? Planted early and mid may???

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