Planning to Grow Gladioli

I’m tired of going into florists and not being able to afford the most beautiful flowers. I love gladioli but don’t have them in the house nearly as often as I’d like, mainly because they are pricey, but also because the flowers in the shops are so much smaller than I know they should be. Where they send the huge specimens – I don’t know. So this season, I’ve decided to devote some space on the allotment to growing cut flowers. I’ve done some research and Gladioli prefer full sun but can tolerate a small amount of shade (perfect for the allotment). They need to be spaced out fairly widely and I’ll need to keep them weeded (as they don’t compete well). Also I’ll need to feed them with all purpose fertilizer. On the surface of it it looks pretty simple. I’ll need to stake them if they are to grow in the wilds of the allotment – but that can be arranged. You can buy around 25 bulbs for £6 or £7 and I’ve chosen to go with Black Jack and Nymph. If I order them now they won’t arrive until March (when you need to plant them) which is long time to wait but I get the feeling that suppliers run out once you get closer to Spring and so I’m putting my order in now. Wish me luck! And if anyone has any growing tips then send them over.

11 Comments on “Planning to Grow Gladioli

  1. Hi,
    Just found your blog (looking for seeds for my allotment) and saw your bit about glads. I’m no xpert, but I like them and have tried them wherever I’ve lived: in Manchester clay, London clay, Kent sand and Shropshire stony, well-drained loamy stuff! I’ve found that good corms will flower well the first year wherever they are, but whether they go on to thrive, multiply etc. depends on the drainage. In sandy soil (with feeding), or even better gravelly loam (no need!) they expand rapidly and pup until crowded. In clay they either rot or get eaten by slugs if you leave them in, and never seem to really get going if you raise them every year. Best of luck!

  2. Thanks Frag – good advice. As a gladioli novice I will be testing a few in the ground over the winter and lifting a few to see which works best. Thanks for the help.

  3. I feel exactly the same when it comes to buying flowers and have come to the same conclusion. I’m planning on trying to grow some on my plot too this year, although I’m not quite so organised as I haven’t decided what I’ll grow yet. I like gladioli too so maybe I’ll give them a go. I do have some Fresia corms to go in, and some assorted flower seeds, although have no idea if they will be good as cut flowers.
    I’ll be interested to find out how you get on.

  4. I grew Glads for the first time last year and they are surprisingly easy! Just stick ’em in the ground and up they come. I lost a few to glad droop, but be fast with the stick and the’ll be fine. The real pain is lifting them again when you plant loads dotted round your garden. good luck though, they are a wonderful flower (I don’t think you’ll want to cut them, as they look lovely in the garden!)

  5. Hi
    I live in SW France, and have been growing my own veg for the last for years here, I am so glad to find you blog on growing Gladioli, I plan on putting 20 in my veg patch tomorrow – It is April, and I hope I have not left it too late. My soil is heavy clay, have you any tips?
    The Scarecrow

  6. Hi,

    Not strictly gardening related, but I wonder if you can put my mind at rest as I notice you have one of your own. We have just acquired two lovely kittens, and also a lovely bouquet of gladioli. Can I leave these in a vase with these two wandering around or is it like lillies – poisonous to cats?



  7. Hello everybody, my name is Damion, and I’m glad to join your conmunity,
    and wish to assit as far as possible.

  8. Hello everybody, my name is Daniel, and I’m glad to join your conmunity,
    Wish to assist as far as possible.

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  10. Hi,

    I planted Gladioli bulbs on 19 March and they still have not come up – do I need to be concerned? I live in South London so clay soil? Thanks so much!