ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Growing Gladiolus for Cut Flowers and Arrangements

Updated on January 29, 2016
Copyright 2011 by Jeanne Grunert. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2011 by Jeanne Grunert. All rights reserved.

Growing Gladiolus as Cut Flowers

Gladiolus offer gardeners many creative possibilities in the flower garden, but it is as a cut flower that they excel. Many gardeners grow gladiolus as part of a cutting garden scheme, a type of flower gardening concept in which flowers are grown so that they may be cut and brought into the house as bouquets. They're easy to grow and provide a dramatic focal point in a cottage garden scheme, a flower bed or border, or when used as part of a bouquet.

Native to South America, gladiolus bulbs are properly called corms. They come in a dazzling rainbow array of colors, from pure white to the richest deep purple. New hybrids offer taller or shorter types, and you can purchase them very inexpensively at discount stores or save up and buy an expensive new hybrid. With so much variety and choice, gladiolus provide gardeners with many opportunities to work them into the flower garden.

Requirements for Growing Gladiolus

Like many flowers, gladiolus require full sun, which is defined as six or more hours of bright, direct sunshine every day. Choose your garden spot carefully. Not only do glads need full sun, they also need well-drained soil. If the area is too wet, the corms rot in the ground and fail to grow or produce flowers.

Buy gladiolus bulbs in the spring. Most garden centers have them available in early March, and you can stock up on them when the selection is at its peak. Wait until the ground is easily workable in spring before planting them.

When planting gladiolus bulbs, plant them with the pointy-side up. Gladiolus corms look like chocolate kisses. The roots grow from the flat side, and the stem and flower emerge from the point end. Make sure the pointy end points up when you plant them.

Gladiolus corms should be planted at least 6 inches deep. One trick to growing great gladiolus bulbs is to plant them about 6-8 inches deep. This provides more support for the tall, sword-like stem. A common complaint among gardeners growing gladiolus as cut flowers is that by the time the flowers emerge, they are so heavy they topple over, dragging the entire flower stalk into the dirt and defeating the purpose of growing them in the first place. After all, if they're pointing down, you can't enjoy them! By planting them a little more deeply, you provide support for the stems.

If you do want to offer support, try a peony hoop or a plant hoop. Such hoops may be purchased at a garden center for a few dollars. They consist of a metal or plastic circle and movable tripod "legs." Place the tripod legs firmly into the soil with the circle centered over the spot where the flowers are growing. Peony hoops or circular plant supports should be added to the flower bed before the plants have grown more than a few inches tall. The idea is to let the flowers grow up and through the circle. As they get heavy, they lean onto the circle but do not fall over.

Water peony corms very well after planting. Typically they don't need a lot of fertilizer, but a well balanced 10-10-10 or a 5-10-5, or an organic compost mixture works fine to add nutrients to the soil.

Copyright 2011 by Jeanne Grunert. Used with permission.
Copyright 2011 by Jeanne Grunert. Used with permission.

Growing Gladiolus for Cut Flower Arrangements

Gladiolus make excellent cut flowers and can last up to two weeks indoors in flower arrangements. One trick to growing gladiolus as part of a cutting garden is to space out the planting of the corms in the spring into two week intervals. If you begin planting gladiolus bulbs in April and continue at two week intervals until late May, you should have blooms ready to cut and use throughout the summer. Try planting a variety of colors and types, and don't forget to add other flowers to your cutting garden such as snapdragons, carnations, and others.

Gladiolus Attract Hummingbirds to the Garden

One of the best surprises for me when growing gladiolus is how much hummingbirds love them. I love to attract birds to the garden, and I add flowers and plants that I know birds enjoy. I added gladiolus bulbs to my back flower garden and the cottage garden style around my potting and garden shed. Sitting on my back deck one day, I was surprised by how frequently hummingbirds visited the peach and red colored gladiolus blooming in the flower garden. The tall, tubular-shaped blossoms do indeed attract hummingbirds, so plant gladiolus as part of your gardening scheme to attract birds to the garden.

With their beautiful flowers, tall and dramatic foliage and ability to attract hummingbirds, gladiolus make a lovely addition to the garden. Use them in flower arrangements or simply enjoy them in the garden, but do add some to the garden this year.

Copyright 2011 by Jeanne Grunert. Used with permission.
Copyright 2011 by Jeanne Grunert. Used with permission.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      Great article full of good info. I especially liked your description of how to plant the 'bulbs'. It is often confusing and I'm sure many people do it wrong! Voted up.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Jeanne, what a delight this flower is in both the garden and indoors, and such a choice of colours - beautiful pastel shades or rich vibrant colours, lasting such a long time as a cut flower for arrangements is a bit plus, thank you for a lovely hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)