An Overview of Gladioli

Posted on May 2, 2019 at 10:34 pm

The gladiolus is is a part of the iris family, which might also be known as the sword lily. It is a tropical flower from hot climates, primarily Asia and Africa, so it will need some careful looking after if you want to grow gladioli successfully. You should also buy gladioli bulbs from good gardening sources and plant them at the right time of year if you are going to get the most out of them and give them the best chance of flowering happily and successfully for as long as possible in your garden.

If you are new to gardening, or you haven’t grown gladioli before, then there are some things you will need to know to give you the best chance of success with them. Here is a general overview of gladioli, and how to care for them:

What do gladioli look like?

The gladiolus is a distinctive flower, tall and spiked in shape. They can come in many different colours, from pinks and reds through to purples and yellows. You can get all varieties in the UK, including medium flowering gladioli, dwarf gladioli and a mixture of other kinds.

Planting your gladioli bulbs

You will need to plant gladioli when there is no danger of frost anymore, usually between March and June depending on how mild the weather has been and how warm the soil has become. The warmer the soil, the better ,as you don’t want your bulbs to be in danger of getting too cold and becoming damaged. This could mean that the shoots don’t begin to grow.

You should plant the bulbs around 4 inches deep into the soil and make sure the pointed part of the bulb is facing upwards. This means the plants can take root effectively. You should dig the holes a little deeper than this though, and fill them with some compost or manure first, to make sure the bulbs have all the nutrients they need when they start to grow.

Selecting the right position to plant your gladioli bulbs

As with any type of plant or flower, gladioli need the right conditions to grow. Remember that these flowers come from much warmer climates, so you need to give them plenty of sunlight and warmth if they are going to grow successfully. Place them in a sunny spot where they will be able to catch as much of the day’s sun as possible. Try not to have them in the shade of a wall or other plants.

If you are growing your gladioli for cut flowers, it’s usually best to plant them in rows. This makes it easy to reach all the flowers so that you can cut them easily without damaging the plants. If you are growing them as a perennial, plant them in small clusters. This is the best way of making the most of those spiky, unusual flowers. When you have planted the bulbs, keep the soil moist but don’t over-water it. Gladioli will like well-drained soil best.

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