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With their taut, upright flower stalks, gladioli are among the most beautiful bedding and cut flowers that no garden lover should be without. In this article we have summarized everything you need to know about caring for this garden beauty.

Gladioli are not planted until late spring

When is the right planting time?

Only in areas where no severe frosts are to be expected does the planting time of the gladiolus fall in the autumn. In cooler areas it is better if you don't plant the gladioli until May or June. The sprouting of the gladiolus is very sensitive to frost, so be sure to observe the climatic conditions in your region.

Which location do gladioli prefer?

Gladioli are sun worshipers and need a full sun spot in the flower bed. You should also make sure that the location is protected from the wind so that the upright growing flower stalks are not tousled or bent over by the wind.

Which substrate is suitable?

Gladioli prefer permeable to medium-heavy soil that is enriched with many nutrients. If necessary, you can loosen heavy garden soil with a little sand. Mix in compost or manure to the topsoil before planting to meet the gladioli's enormous nutritional needs.

How are gladioli planted?

The gladiolus bulb is always placed in the ground with the thick side down. From here the roots develop, with which the gladiolus anchors itself in the soil and absorbs nutrients. Two or three leaves grow out of each bulb, followed by a flowering shoot.

Gladiolus bulbs are relatively large. You should plant these about four to six inches deep for optimal plant growth. In any case, the tip of the bulb must protrude from the ground so that the gladiolus drives quickly and vigorously.

Important: the planting distance

To ensure that gladioli have enough space to grow and do not compete for nutrients, you should plant the large varieties about thirty centimeters apart. Smaller gladioli, on the other hand, only need a distance of ten centimeters to thrive. In most cases, the optimal planting distance is noted on the onion packaging.

When do gladioli bloom?

Gladiolus blooms in midsummer and lasts from July to October. In regions with a particularly mild climate, gladioli sometimes begin to bloom as early as May.

Can you prefer gladioli?

If you want the gladioli to bloom particularly early, you can prefer them in the flower pot from March. For this purpose, you can place two-thirds of the flower bulbs in commercially available potting soil and let them propagate in a warm place. The bulbs will also sprout willingly if they are simply placed on the ground and watered regularly.

Can you transplant gladioli?

Since gladiolus bulbs would freeze to death in our latitudes in the cold season, the bulbs have to be dug up in autumn anyway and stored in a cool but frost-free room during the winter. Next spring you don't have to put the bulbs in the place of the previous year, you can plant the gladioli in a different place each year. This is even advisable, as the heavily consuming gladioli can leach out the soil.

How to propagate gladioli yourself?

Gladioli can be propagated by seeds, cutting off runners and daughter bulbs. The easiest way is to carefully separate the small nodules from the mother bulb in autumn after digging them up. However, only use the larger daughter bulbs for further cultivation, as these are the strongest. This type of propagation also requires some patience, as the bulbs only bloom after two to three years.

Which neighboring perennials go well with gladioli?

Gladioli thrive particularly well in the vicinity of summer phlox and other midsummer flowering perennials. These imposing flowering plants take some of the austerity out of the gladiolus. Gladioli look great in front of a garden fence, to which you can tie the flower stalks directly if necessary.


You don't have to plant all the gladiolus bulbs at the same time, you can put them in the ground a few days apart. This extends the flowering period of the gladiolus, which lasts only about two weeks, and you can enjoy the blooming of the magnificent flowers for longer.

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