How to Care for Gladiolus

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    • 1). Plant gladiolus corms in the spring. Stagger your planting by planting a few corms beginning in March and more every two weeks until May. This staggered planting will give you a nice succession of blooms.

    • 2). Plant the corms 3 to 4 inches deep and 6 inches apart in rich, well-drained soil.

    • 3). Stake taller varieties. You can use individual stakes or purchase a grid support that allows the flowers to grow up between the open grids. You can also plant your gladiolus behind medium-sized plants that will offer a natural support.

    • 4). Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season only if your gladiolus is not planted in fertile soil. If you have planted your gladiolus as recommended, there is no need for any additional fertilizer.

    • 5). Water regularly during dry periods. Gladiolus tends to be rather drought-tolerant; however, even these flowers need extra water during extremely dry periods. During these times, water about once a week for 20 minutes.

    • 6). Cut back the fans almost to the ground after the flowers are spent.

    • 7). Lift the corms at the end of the season and before the first frost, in colder climates (Zone 5 and colder). Dry in a warm, airy place for 2-3 weeks. Clean and store in a dry place until ready to plant in the spring. The corms may be left to over winter in the ground in warmer climates (Zone 6 and warmer); however, you should be sure to apply a protective layer of mulch.

    • 8). Divide when you lift your corms at the end of the season or every 3 or 4 years if you do not lift corms. Division is done by lifting the corms and removing the small cormlets attached to the parent plant. These cormlets will flower the second year.

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