Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

When to Plant Gladiolus

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Can you give me some tips on planting gladiolus? When’s the best time, and when do they bloom? And should I order them online or buy locally? -Beverly

The best time to plant gladioli (Gladiolus sp.) is in spring. Most varieties of gladiolus are hardy to zone 7 and can be left in the ground over the winter in those zones. In areas colder than zone 7, they should be planted in spring after your last frost date, and they’ll need to be dug up in the fall and stored with your other tender bulbs.

Technically a corm, not a bulb, gladiolus are considered tender, which means they do not require a period of cold in order to bloom (unlike bulbs, like daffodils, which must be chilled in order to bloom). They can be planted in the spring around your last frost date.

Gladioli bloom about 90 days (three months) after they sprout in spring, so the bloom time really depends on when you plant them. In warm climates, where they stay in the ground year-round, gladioli bloom anytime from late spring (deep South) to midsummer (middle South). In cooler climates you can expect blooms about three months after planting. Do successive plantings two weeks apart until June for a nonstop summer show!

As for where to buy gladioli, it’s up to you, but your local garden center may have only a limited selection, particularly if they only sell packaged bulb mixes. Ordering will give you access to the hundreds of unique varieties of gladiolus, but shipping delays may put you late in the planting season.

Either way, make sure your gladiolus corms are plump, healthy, and primed to bloom. Gladiolus corms are given a number rating based on their size (#1 is large, #6 is small). Buy no smaller than #3 corms in order to have blooms this year. Or, if you don’t have graded corms to choose from, pick corms larger than 1” in diameter.

Further Information

Julie



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7 Comments on “When to Plant Gladiolus”

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  1. masom Says:
    May 9th, 2010 at 8:05 am

    i need photo of gladiolus corm

  2. Merle Bush Says:
    March 13th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    this is my first time planting gladious they are beautiful flowers and I want to put then around my hummingbird poll and hope they attracting more hummbirds.

  3. Carrie Says:
    April 2nd, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I have always lived in a colder rainy area where I could not grow Glads. I recently moved to another town and was informed if I started my Glads indoors then moved them outside, they would do great. I started the bulbs March 5 and as of this date they are about 18″ tall. Next year I will start them inside much later. I don’t know what I will do, I still have 4 weeks before I can start hardening them off.

  4. Richard Raffit Says:
    July 8th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    We planted the bulbs in late March, the leaves have grown three feet tall but we have no sign of flowers. the plants are in the sun most of the day, and we water them every other day. WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG???

  5. jamroz Says:
    October 19th, 2012 at 12:21 am

    i will try them this time.but mostly i have seen glads producing leaves and leaves, no flower…..

  6. tammy wallace Says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Thank you so much for this information! I have always loved this flower and have decided to grow it again, yes I did say again! I couldn’t remember if they would bloom this year or not! I have always had the best luck with this flower. It came back for around 3 years then died off. For some reason. So I am going to replant this year since we have replaced the walkway and our home!

  7. Jane Soder Says:
    August 9th, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I recently bought some glad bulbs and now I’m afraid to plant them. It is nearing mid- Aug. I live in Rogersville Al., about 3/4 of the way from Huntsville to Florence, AL Its about 10 miles to Tenn. Can you give me some advice? Like should I store them in the frig until about March or even May? ( our average last frost in mid-April and many gardener are caught flat footed with tender plants out at this point)

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