Mom remembers planting her first gladiolus bulb.
She planted it about 2 feet deep and couldn't understand why it didn't grow. When she brought it up to her mom, Donna Fyrne, she chuckled and suggested it might have been a tad bit TOO deep.
Oh, the knowledge that has been learned since then.
Gladiolus are typically thought of as an old fashion flower, they get grouped with hollyhocks, sweet peas and iris'.
They are strong, tall and beautiful... I can see why they are mom's favorite.
Gladiolus are sold as dormant corms (similar to a bulb). They need to be placed in a location that receives full sun and has good drainage.
Cultivate the soil and mix in a good quality compost. Once soil prep is done, place corms in 4 inch deep holes. I've read to place them 12 inches apart, but we get away with much closer spacing.
We highly suggest you succession plant your gladiolus so you have continual blooms throughout the summer. We start our first succession in April and will continue through the first part of June.
Due to their height, they will benefit from staking of some sort. Nothing worse then a summer storm coming in and toppling over these beauties.
To harvest for cut flowers, wait until one third of the blooms are open. The rest will continue to bloom when you bring them inside and place in water.
In Montana the corms will need to be dug up prior to the ground freezing, leave them in and they will rot by next season. We dig the corms, lay them out to dry for a couple of weeks. It's important that storing them through the drying process and the storage that they do not freeze. We place in plastic tubs with vermiculite or perlite until next season where we do it all again!