Get more out of your gladioli with these tips

Published on 02-01-2024

Tips and tricks by Jaap Houwer, Sales Manager at Forever.

How do you make sure you get to enjoy your gladioli for as long as possible?
There are two ways to make sure your gladioli bloom for longer. The first one is planting gladioli every month from February through May, June, and July. You’ll have beautiful gladioli from June all the way through to the fall. The gladioli you plant in July will bloom by the end of October. Another way to make gladioli bloom longer is by mixing different varieties together. The fastest gladioli will bloom after only three months, whereas the slowest will take four months. Different bulbs of one variety usually bloom for two to three weeks, on and off. So if you mix different varieties at one planting time, you could easily have six weeks of flowering gladioli. Of course, you could also combine these two methods by mixing bulbs and planting your mix at different times.

Something else to remember is that our gladioli are great as cut flowers. In fact, that’s one of the criteria for which we select our seedlings during breeding. So feel free to cut the gladioli in your garden above the ground and put them in a vase. That way, you’ll have both a colorful garden and a colorful home!

Can you make the same gladioli bloom year after year?
If you’re lucky, your gladioli will bloom for one or two more years. Take the gladioli out of the ground in the fall, store them in a dry, cool place like your shed, and plant them again in the spring. Gladioli bulbs like to be stored in a dry place at 2-8 degrees Celsius. They don’t do well with warmer or colder temperatures (especially frost) while they’re in storage. Store them right and you can often enjoy the same bulb several times over.

You can also leave the gladioli in the ground, but only if you're sure the ground won't freeze, or the bulbs will die off. The best thing is to buy a batch of fresh gladioli each year to supplement what you already have and try to reuse the existing bulbs as best you can.

Does only one flower/stem come out of a bulb?
Most of the time, one bulb will produce one flower/stem. Sometimes you get lucky, and two or more stems come out of one bulb. This is most likely to happen if you plant large bulbs (sizes 12 and up).

Does the plant or flower attract bees?
Gladioli are true magnets for bees and insects. When they’re blooming, you’ll be amazed by the number of bees constantly flying to and fro. When we photograph the flowers in our Forever show garden, we really have to do our best not to have a bee in the picture!

Are gladioli likely to fall over? (If there is a lot of wind, do they need supports?)
Some gladioli can grow quite tall. This varies by variety. Our Bordiolus gladioli, for instance, only grow to be about 70 to 90 cm tall. Our other varieties can grow to a length of 90 cm or more, some of them up to 130 cm long. Yet, gladioli generally withstand wind well. Flower growers also grow gladiolus outdoors, so they deal with wind too and still manage to sell to the flower trade throughout the season. We also select our varieties for the firmness of their stems to ensure our clients can enjoy sturdy gladioli. That means that thinner-stemmed varieties drop out of the race, so you can be sure of strong gladioli when you buy a Forever variety.
Now you know all about getting the most out of your gladiolus bulbs!

Curious to hear more of our tips? Be sure to check out our blog post about planting gladioli!