Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Gladiolus need to be planted after danger of frost. The soil should be warmed to a depth of six (6) inches; oaks will be fully leafed out. Corms planted in cool soil are apt to rot. Make sure the corms or clean and healthy. Do not remove the tunic or outer papery layer.

Gladiolus prefer full sun, but will respond in locations with some morning or late afternoon shade. Good air circulation is a must.

Incorporate no more than two to three (2 to 3) pounds of a 5-10-10 or 5- 10-5 fertilizer per 100 square feet. Underfertilizing is much better than overfertilizing.

Work the soil to a depth of eight (8) inches. As a rule of thumb, plant gladiolus corms three times their diameter; for example, a two (2) inch diameter corm should be planted six (6) inches deep and six (6) inches apart. Corms planted in shallow soil are more likely to fall over when blooming. Often, corms are covered with an inch or two of soil until they sprout. Sprouts, like asparagus plantings, are covered until the final soil line is achieved. Hilling corms is also a common practice, especially if early summer blooms are desired. A "hill" warms up faster than flat soil.

Gladiolus generally will bloom twelve (12) weeks after planting.


Gladiolus require little staking if corms are planted correctly. Plant the corms three times their diameter -- a 2 inch diameter gladiolus would be planted six (6) inches deep.

However, some large gladiolus still require staking. Bamboo or plastic staking should occur at the time of corm planting to minimize damage to the developing plant and root system. Stakes should be at least three feet tall.

Tie flower stalks to the stake using old nylon panty hose or torn sheets. Two ties should be sufficient to maintain a straight stem.


Corms should be dug after foliage has matured and started turning brown. Lift corms carefully with a spade or spading fork, taking care not to cut into the corm. Cut the tops off 1 (1) inch above the corm and dry for 2 to 4 weeks in a warm location (70-80 degrees Fahrenheit) with good air circulation.

Remove the old corm which is beneath the new corm. Discard any rotted or damaged corms. Cut stems back to within an eighth (1/8) inch of the corm. Place the corms in an onion sack or old nylon panty hose. Hang from a wall or ceiling. Ideal storage temperatures are between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


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