Typical Gladiolus plants will bloom mid to late summer and will grow about 4 – 5’ tall. However, there is more than meets the eye when growing a gladiolus plant in the garden.
In this article, we will look at the exact period when you can expect these sword lilies to bloom, as well as all other information you need to know about growing gladiolus in your garden this summer.
A good place to start is to know what these sword-like-foliage-characterized plants are, and their growth patterns. (Without unnecessary botanical jargon)
About Gladiolus Plants
Gladioli (or Gladiolus) belong to the Iris family. They are bulb plants with flower spikes of bright, funnel-shaped blooms.
Often called Sword lilies, the flowers of Gladiolus plants make up for beautiful, long-lasting cut flower bouquets. The fragrant plant grows in different colors and sizes, making the plant ideal for flower arrangements.
As a home gardener, you’d probably prefer the large-flowered gladiolus or miniature glads (for more compact arrangements.) among other hybrids.
When Do Gladiolus Bloom?
Depending on weather conditions and the variety of the plant, Gladiolus will bloom between 60 to 90 days after planting.
To stretch the period of blooming and flower harvesting, you will need to practice staggering your planting every 10 to 14 days. This will bring you a fresh cut of flowers for a longer period during summer.
Since the weather is a critical determinant of when the gladiolus plant will bloom, it is salient to make your planting during the right season (more on this shortly)
How Long does it Take For Gladiolus Bulbs To Bloom?
If you know when the gladiolus plant will bloom, then by extension, you can determine how long it will take for that to come to fruition.
It will take approximately 90 days after planting for these glads to start blooming. To make this happen, you need to plant them from spring through early summer.
More precisely, about two weeks before the last expected spring frost. This leads us to the next line of thought.
When is the Best Time to Plant Gladiolus Bulbs?
Spring is the best period to plant Gladiolus bulbs. These sword lilies grow well once the danger of frost is well behind the calendar and the soil now has a warm humidity of about 55°F (13°C).
It all makes sense given that spring symbolizes starting over and the season also represents new beginnings/transformations. In that spirit, you can begin to bring Gladiolus plants to life.
Is Gladiolus Easy To Grow?
The growing cycle of Gladiolus isn’t like most other plants, especially ones that grow from seeds. However, the process of nursing these upright bulbs is relatively easy.
You will have to deal with:
- Some digging (planting the bulbs 6” in the ground)
- Staggering the plants once they start to grow tall so that they don’t fall over and rip.
- Protecting them from winter temperatures (if you live in a planting zone colder than 5)
Also, I have had to deal with Gophers eating my Gladiolus and so this may be a challenge you’ll need to tackle, especially if you have gophers in your area. An effective solution is to either trap, poison, or protect the plants using gopher wire.
All and above, Glads are beautiful to grow. And, considering the flower harvest, the effort is worth it.
How Long Do Gladiolus Flowers Last?
Gladiolus has a short flowering period. You can expect flowers from these upright bulbs to last between one to two weeks. Still, the plant remains one of floral interest for both outdoor and indoor gardening.
The short flowing period of this plant explains why most gardeners prefer to plant its corms in succession, for instance, once every 10 days to achieve a continuous flowering harvest.
You can keep the gladiolus booming by replacing the water in your vase every 2 to 3 days. This routine will not only keep the plant fresh but will also encourage the upper flowers to open.
Another tip I observe is to keep my arrangement away from heating vents to improve healthy growth. But with all the extra care and attention, it would be a miracle if the Glads flower lasted more than two weeks without staggering.
How Many Times Does a Gladiolus Bloom?
Indeed, you can stagger the planting of the Gladiolus plant to experience continuous bloom throughout the summer, but, naturally, the bulb produces a maximum of three stems with flowers and blooms once a year.
Meanwhile, these corm plants will not flower more than once in a season. Looking at information published on the Missouri Botanical Garden platform, the Gladioli grow in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10.
Does Gladiolus Come Back Every Year?
Yes. Gladiolus will rebloom every year but the corm plants require protection in the cold season (based on your location) … and maybe lifting.
The upright bulb comes in different colors and varieties and will flower at the right time after coming back the following year. However, waterlogged ground, shady sites, and consumption by animals can prevent these plants from flowering.
Now that you know when Gladiolus plants are expected to bloom, you should also keep in mind that these beautiful plants will grow best where there is full sun, but the flowering will excel where there is partial shade.
Also, if you reside in colder regions, you can grow them as annuals. (I’d recommend you dig up the corms in the fall and store them indoors for replanting the following spring season).
What these point to is that you need to first be sure of your growing zone before planting Glads.
Once you are all set, you can grow these plants in cut flower gardens, flower beds & borders, containers, or even vegetable gardens.