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Gladioli Growing Stages

Gladioli Growing Stages

Gladioli have been a favorite of gardeners for decades. With their myriad of colors and sizes, these showy flowers add a vibrant splash of color to any garden. Growing gladioli is relatively simple and the end reward is definitely worth the effort. As these flowers grow in stages, it’s important to understand the various stages of gladioli growth. 

What Are Gladioli?

Gladioli, also known as sword lilies, is a beautiful and hardy flower that is popular in ornamental gardens. First things first: what exactly are gladioli? Gladioli are a genus of perennial cormous flowering plants that are part of the iris family. 

Gladioli have tall, erect stems with long, narrow, sword-shaped leaves and colorful, funnel-shaped flowers. The flowers appear in a range of colors, including red, pink, yellow, purple, white, and even bi-colors. 

These flowers bloom from summer to fall and are sometimes known as “the flower of the gladius” or “the flower of the gladiator” because of the sword-like shape of their leaves. Growing gladioli is relatively easy and they are well-suited for a variety of garden settings. Here, we’ll discuss the various stages of gladioli growth from planting to blooming.

Site Selection and Preparation

When it comes to growing gladioli, site selection, and preparation are key components of the entire process. The best place to plant gladioli is in a sunny location that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. 

The soil should be well-drained and amended with compost to improve fertility. The soil should also be tested for pH and adjusted if necessary to ensure optimal growth. 

It’s also important to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches before planting to ensure adequate root development. Finally, it’s important to provide adequate spacing between plants, as gladioli need plenty of room to spread out and allow for proper air circulation.

Planting and Care

When it comes to planting gladioli, it’s important to choose the right location for your plants. Gladioli prefer full sun and well-drained soil. After choosing the right spot, it’s time to get to work! The first step is to prepare the soil. 

Work in some compost and a slow-release general-purpose fertilizer. Once the soil is prepared, it’s time to plant the corms, which are the small bulbs that look like onions. Plant them five inches deep and six to eight inches apart, making sure to leave enough room for the plant to spread out. Water the area thoroughly after planting.

In the care stage, it’s important to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water when the soil is dry about an inch deep. Gladioli also benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks to keep the plants healthy. 

As the plant grows, you may need to stake it to keep it upright. Finally, be sure to deadhead the flowers when they start to fade to encourage more blooms. With these simple steps, you can enjoy a beautiful display of gladioli blooms in your garden.

Growing Gladioli from Bulbs

Gladioli are beautiful flowers that add color and texture to any garden. Growing them from bulbs is a great way to enjoy their beauty and fragrance. The bulbs need to be planted in well-drained soil and in a sunny location. The bulbs should be planted approximately 5 inches deep and 12 inches apart. Once planted, the gladioli will go through several stages of growth before they are ready to be harvested. 

The first stage is the germination stage. This is when the gladioli bulbs absorb moisture and the sprouts begin to emerge from the soil. This stage can take anywhere from two to four weeks. Once the sprouts are visible, the plant is ready to enter the vegetative stage. During this stage, the gladioli will produce leaves and will start to grow in height. This process can take up to six weeks. 

The third stage is the flowering stage. This is the most exciting stage as the gladioli will start to produce their colorful blooms. Depending on the variety, the gladioli will bloom from late spring to early fall. Once the blooms have opened, the gladioli can be harvested. During this stage, the plant can also be divided to help it continue to thrive. 

Finally, the gladioli will enter the dormancy stage. During this stage, the foliage will die back and the plant will enter a period of rest. The gladioli will go dormant until the next spring when the cycle starts over again. By following these stages, you can enjoy beautiful gladioli blooms in your garden for many years to come.

Common Diseases and Pests

Gladioli are beautiful flowers but they can be prone to a few diseases and pests. Common diseases and pests include downy mildew, rust, aphids, and thrips. Downy mildew is a fungal disease that can cause foliage to become yellow or brown. 

Rust is another fungal disease that can cause yellow spots on the leaves. Aphids are small insects that suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to become distorted and discolored. 

Thrips are tiny insects that can cause damage to the flower buds and flower petals. It is important to keep an eye out for these pests and diseases and take action to prevent them from causing damage to your gladioli.

Harvesting and Storing Gladioli

Harvesting and storing gladioli is a process that requires timing and skill. Gladioli flowers should be harvested in the morning when the flowers are at their peak and before the petals start to wilt. 

Cut the stem leaving about 10 cm of stem attached to the corm, and avoid bruising the stem as this can lead to early rotting. Gently shake off any excess soil and store it in a cool, dry place. When storing, place gladioli corms in paper bags or mesh bags and keep them in a dry place away from direct sunlight. 

Do not store them in plastic bags as these will cause the corms to rot. Inspect the corms regularly for signs of rot or mold and discard any that have gone bad. Finally, before replanting, use a brush to remove any excess dirt from the corms and allow them to dry for a few hours before replanting.


Growing gladioli is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. From the initial steps of preparing the soil to the final steps of harvesting the blooms, there are many steps involved in the process. 

Knowing the different stages of growth and how to care for the plants during each stage can ensure a successful outcome. With the right care and attention, you can be rewarded with beautiful, long-lasting flowers that will bring a burst of color and life to your garden.

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