Frequently Asked Questions

Site Selection
  • When looking for a place to plant gladiolus, look for sun.
  • Gladiolus prefer full sun for optimum growth. They will grow fine in partial sun but do best with more sun.
  • They also can be grown in large pots which can be easily moved around. Planter sized pots, such as redwood planters, not 6-8-10 inch pots. Now plastic pots that size are usually available at most larger nurseries or box-type store. The more shade gladiolus receive, the taller they grow.
  • Many people plant them next to the house for protection from the wind during the summer and cold in winter.
  • Gladiolus will grow in most soils. A sandy loam soil seems to work best. The looser the soil, the more water they will require. Glads like good drainage so avoid automatic sprinklers that come on daily for lawns.
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    Planting Suggestions
  • Turn over the soil in the fall, where you would like to plant your gladiolus in the spring.
  • The ground should be worked up to a depth of 6-10 inches deep.
  • After the soil is worked, add a good 5-10-10 fertilizer and work it into the soil according to label directions. Generally about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds for 100 square feet (length X width) is sufficient.
  • When planting gladiolus for home use, plant the corms (bulbs) 3-5 inches apart in rows about 3 feet apart.
  • For glads to be stable (such as not blowing over in the wind) they should be planted to a depth of about 5 inches.
  • A good rule of thumb is plant bulbs 3-5 times the depth of the thickness of the bulb.
  • Hint: Gladiolus are technically NOT a bulb but a Corm. Most people refer to them as a bulb and recognize them as such, consequently, glads on this site will be referred to as bulbs most of the time.
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    Growing Successfully
  • In warm weather, about 2-3 weeks after planting your gladiolus, you should start to see some shoots emerging from the ground. When your glads have reached the height of about 5-8 inches, it is advised to hill up (pull up dirt around the leaves) the plants about another 3 inches or so. The hilling helps to keep the glads from falling over when the bloom is open as there is a lot of weight in the bloom. Hilling will also protect the glads from falling over in the wind or when the ground is soft after watering or a heavy rain, because the glads are prone to lean heavily.
  • At the five-leaf stage the gladiolus is starting to form the flower bud at the bulb level. At this time it is recommended that you sprinkle around the plant with fertilizer or water with fertilizer mixture. It is recommended to use a 10-10-10 fertilizer and follow according to label directions. (Always read and follow direction on fertilizer and insecticide containers.)
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    Cutting Gladiolus
  • As the first floret of the flower spike is opening, the flowers may be cut and taken into the house to be enjoyed.
  • When cutting the spike, use a sharp knife. Run the blade of the knife alongside the flower spike down through the foliage. Use a slicing (drawing) cut to cut the spike. Always leave 3-5 leaves on the plant so the bulb (corm) can be fed and still build up the energy it will need for another year.
  • The flowers should be taken in the house, making a fresh cut when placed into warm water.
  • The flowers will drink a lot of water the first day or two. If you put the flowers into a bud vase you will need to watch the water level carefully, so they don't run out of water. If the flowers do run out of water and they start to look wilted, using the same technique, you can re-cut the stem and place them into fresh warm water.
  • Be creative! Enjoy your flowers and the fragrance!
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    Harvesting Gladiolus Bulbs
  • When the gladiolus starts to grow, it begins to form a new corm on top of the old one that you planted. (New corm growing)
  • About six weeks after the plant has finished blooming it may be dug and stored for the winter. If your ground freezes in the winter, they WILL need to be dug or they will freeze in the winter and will be lost. Your variety of gladiolus is UNIQUE. It is one of a kind. It cannot be replaced as you have the only ones. Even if we tried to replace it there is only a 10 million to one chance of ever finding that variety again. In reality, IT CANNOT BE REPLACED.
  • After the corms have been harvested, you should shake or wash off the dirt. Either break or cut off the stem from the corm about a half-inch above the corm.
  • Watch carefully to save the little cormels (the little pea sized, hard mini-corms you see in the picture above) so they can be planted next year to produce blooming sized corms to give to friends and relatives. If you have more than one variety, be sure to keep them separate so they don't get mixed up. If you see any corms that looked diseased or seem soft or show scabbing on them, they should be discarded as they may be diseased. It is suggested that you dip the corms in a fungicide to protect from disease and after they are dry sprinkle a powder insecticide (like Sevin). This will prevent insects from feeding during the winter. Always read the direction on the label and follow them.
  • After digging and cleaning, you need to let the corms dry for 2-4 weeks. This lets the corms cure (harden off and go dormant). After they have cured for several weeks, you need to remove the old corm. Remember you noticed it still under the NEW corm that had formed with all the little cormels? If you hold onto the new corm with one hand and push your thumb of the other hand between the old and new, the old one should pop off. It will leave a fresh scar on the new corm. This should be allowed to dry for a short while before the corm is put into storage. The corms need to be stored in open type of containers. To store corms in the winter place in paper bags (not closed up), nylons, onion bags or something similar. When large amounts of corms are stored, many people use screened bottom trays.
  • Corms should be stored between 38-50 degrees F. This slows the metabolism (growth and decay rate) of the corm. It also is cool enough that any insects that may have been brought in on the corm will be too cold to do any growing in the storage cycle.
  • I used to store all my corms in my basement. Others use the garage but it must not go below freezing. I have even seen the crawl space under a home used. The important thing is to keep the corms cool and at a relatively constant temperature.
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    What is the company guarantee?
  • We cannot guarantee the productiveness of the bulbs you receive, as there are too many conditions beyond our control. The bulbs are guaranteed to please you upon arrival, and should be inspected upon arrival and unpacking. Claims must be made in writing within one week of receiving the shipment. All bulbs are sold subject to current supply of the variety that has been purchased. You are purchasing a ONE OF A KIND product. If replacement is required, it will have to be another variety in most all cases. There will be some cases where we may have extra bulbs of the variety you have purchased. If we cannot satisfy your need for another variety, your money will be credited back to your account.
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    Why is there a small supply of bulbs this year?
  • This is the first year we are able to introduce our new hybrids. We have limited supply and are sorry we don't have a greater number but numbers will increase with each passing year. For those who are unable to dedicate and name a flower after their loved one this season because of limited supply, we are offering gift certificates so you can be the first ones to choose from our new crop that will become available in the fall of 2007. We usually start digging in September and October. After they are dug, cleaned and evaluated they will be offered for sale. We will e-mail those who have purchased gift certificates so they will have a week or two to select the flower they want for their loved one. After a short period they will be offered to the rest of the public.
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    When will I actually receive my bulbs??
  • Gladiolus bulbs are a live, agricultural product, and must not be expsed to freezing temperatures. We cannot, therefore ship them during the months where temperatures at either our headquarters or your shipping address are likely to be below freezing.
  • Gladiolus bulbs are time sensitive. They must be planted and allowed to grow at least once per year. Therefore, any bulbs that we have not sold by mid-June are planted in our fields to grow through the summer. The bulbs are then harvested and cleaned in September, and can be shipped at that time.
  • For orders placed during months when we cannot ship bulbs, we immediatly ship every part of the package except the bulbs.
  • We always ship your bulbs as soon as it is possible to do so without damaging the bulbs
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    What is Name A Flower's privacy policy?
  • At Name A Flower we recognize the customers right to privacy. We will not share customer information outside of the company for any purpose unless specifically asked to by the customer or required by law.
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