How to plant gladiolus bulbs

Planting gladioli - when is the best time to plant? The gladioli, which belong to the iris family, mainly belong to the category of ornamental plants and are welcome both in the garden and as cut flowers in tall vases. Gladioli are available in a wide variety of varieties and colors and are generally considered a tall plant variety - they can reach heights of up to 150cm. These popular and colorful flowering plants are relatively easy to care for and if you follow the care tips below, they will quickly enrich any ornamental garden!

The best time to plant

In general: gladioli like it warm and they are therefore planted in spring / summer. April is the main planting time for most gladiolus varieties. The main blooming season for gladioli is from June to September.
Many varieties can still be planted into summer (around April - June).

Important: if there is still a risk of night frosts in April, you should definitely wait until May or June before planting - gladioli are very sensitive to cold and neither the bulbs nor the plants should be exposed to frost under any circumstances.

Since the flowering time of gladioli is very short in many cases (around 2 weeks), there is the option of optically extending it in the bed by planting various early, mid-early and late-flowering varieties. This subsequent planting can take place until July if necessary.

Wild forms of gladioli (such as the Siegwurz varieties) can also be planted in the garden. They usually grow lower than the noble varieties and are not as sensitive. They can therefore be set as early as October.

Further care tips: location and planting

Gladioli should be planted in a sheltered and sunny spot.
The soil should be rich in nutrients and permeable to water. Before the gladioli are planted, the soil can be supplied with nutrients by means of humus or compost.

The soil should always be kept moist, but waterlogging should be avoided.
The gladiolus bulbs should be planted about 10cm deep in the ground, in groups or rows with a planting distance of about 15cm. It is advisable to put the same varieties together.

The higher and wider the plant grows in the end, the more space it should have in the soil. With very tall varieties, the planting depth and spacing should be increased accordingly by a few centimeters.

Lower-growing (wild) varieties can therefore also be placed a little closer to each other and do not have to be so deep into the ground (about 6-8 cm planting depth and about 10 cm planting distance).

In sandy or very loose soils, bulbs of tall gladiolus varieties should generally be set a little deeper to give them enough stability. In addition, the stalks can be tied to fixed rods if necessary.

Care during the flowering period

As already mentioned, the soil should always be kept moist, but never too wet.
Gladioli do not need to be fertilized; they should also not be planted in freshly fertilized soil.
Flower stalks should be cut off after blooming to prevent the tubers from weakening due to the formation of seeds. Individual flower stalks can of course also be cut off during flowering in order to be used as cut flowers in the vase.

However, you should not cut too many flowers during the growing season if the tuber of the plant is to be overwintered in order to produce a magnificently blooming gladiolus again next year.

After the flowering period: successfully overwinter gladioli

Since the nobler varieties of gladioli, as already mentioned, do not like frost and are not hardy, the bulbs have to go inside to overwinter.

To do this, the plants are removed from the ground after they have withered by the beginning of October at the latest, but in any case before the first frost.

The remains of the inflorescence are cut off about 5 to 10 cm above the tuber.
The tubers should be checked for pests and rot before storage.

After that, the tubers need to be dried - they should not get damp and rot during the winter. Wrapped in newspaper, they can be stored in the basement, for example, and should not come into contact with frost under any circumstances.

Some wild forms of gladioli are moderately hardy and do not have to be overwintered - they do, however, need winter protection (for example dry leaves).

Multiplication of gladioli

It can happen that brood tubers form on the tubers in summer. These can be removed after the excavation in autumn and overwintered with. In the spring they are then planted on a seed bed to develop new gladioli.

Pest Control

Gladiolus plants and flowers can be attacked by the so-called gladiolus bladder foot ("thrips"). It can be recognized by the whitish-gray spots on the leaves, which gradually spread. The flowers can also be affected: at the edges and tips, dry and bleached areas can be seen in the case of infestation, and in severe cases the flowers also cripple.

If the gladiolus bladder is infested, the affected areas can be cut off to prevent it from spreading.
After the excavation in autumn, both the bulbs of healthy and infested plants should be checked: if no pest infestation can be seen on the tuber, the rest of the inflorescence can be cut off even in pest-afflicted plants in order to successfully overwinter the tubers. However, tubers that have already been infected should be disposed of.

Furthermore, the gladioli can also be attacked by other fungal diseases; pruning prevents them from spreading; in more stubborn cases, the plants may have to be treated with fungicides.

If you take into account the few but important requirements of this beautiful and popular plant when caring for gladioli, you will be able to enjoy its abundance and color for a long time! Well-cared for gladiolus bulbs can be put out every year for years to regularly enrich flower and ornamental beds in summer!

Planting time of the gladiolus bulbs

Gladioli are planted as tubers, the best time to plant them is from mid-April to late May or early June. If the tubers are to be dug up again in autumn and overwintered, it is advisable to plant as early as April so that the plant has enough time after flowering to store nutrients in its tubers for winter and the following year.

Plant gladioli

Gladiolus bulbs are placed in as nutrient-rich and loose soil as possible, which should always be kept slightly moist. A sheltered location with direct sun is best. The tuber is placed with the flat side down about 10 centimeters in the ground and covered with soil. In a very light soil, the tuber can also be set a little deeper so that it has the necessary support later. Several tubers need a distance of about 20 centimeters from one another. Especially the varieties that grow very tall should have a support for their flower stalk so that they do not bend over later.

Hibernate gladioli

Gladiolus bulbs are not hardy and must therefore be removed from the ground in autumn, when they have already drawn in their leaves. The soil, dead parts and the remains of the leaves should be carefully removed. For thorough drying, the tubers are best laid out outdoors in good weather. After that, they can be stored in a wooden box or cardboard in a dark and airy room with a temperature of no more than 15 ° C until spring. During the winter and also before replanting, rotten and moldy tubers are sorted out. Gladioli must not be planted in the same place as in the previous year, otherwise they will become blooming.

Gladioli as cut flowers

In order to use the gladioli from the garden as flower decorations in the apartment, they should be cut as soon as the first flower opens on an inflorescence. Then all the other flowers gradually open in the vase. For a longer shelf life, make sure that as many leaves as possible remain on the stem when cutting. If a flower stalk is cut off directly on the ground, the tuber can no longer be developed so well, so that new tubers may have to be bought for the next year. Even with varieties that bloom in September or later, it is usually not worth keeping the tubers.